Lamborghini Aventador

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Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4. Lamborghini

History

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the Murcielago, which had served as an iconic supercar for a decade. Lamborghini intends its all-carbon-fiber Aventador will fill the same drool-inducing niche. Like other Lamborghinis, the Aventador takes its name from Spanish bullfighting; in this case, a bull who fought particularly bravely in 1993. It's got 700 hp (not surprisingly, if you know anything about Lamborghini naming conventions), and permanent all-wheel drive (thus the "4").

Engine

The Lamborghini Aventador is no rehash of the Murcielago -- it has an entirely new, lightweight 12-cylinder engine still positioned in the rear, in front of the axle. The high horsepower is coupled with 509 lb-ft of torque and the new Independent Shifting Rods 7-speed transmission. The ISR is faster and lighter than previous transmissions, and according to Lamborghini, "the world's most emotional gear shift." I'm not sure how you measure that.

The powerful engine is held in relative check by safety systems, including the precision and stability of all-wheel drive (thanks, parent company Audi). The driver can choose his drive settings from Strada (road), Sport, and Corsa (track). Each setting changes the characteristics of the engine, transmission, differential, and steering, depending on how much help you want handling this much car. Lamborghini even improved its notoriously awful fuel economy, with the Aventador achieving a whopping 13.5 mpg (estimated).

Design

The new Aventador isn't a huge departure from the outgoing Murcielago and its little sister the Gallardo, but it is a smoother-looking car than the sharp-angled Reventon. Lamborghini has been touting its carbon-fiber prowess lately, and it showcases the material in the Sesto Elemento concept and the Aventador's body. Lessons learned in the jet-inspired Reventon find their way into the Aventador, such as a roof line that allows for more headroom and improves aerodynamics. The carbon-fiber body allows for aerodynamic elements like the front spoiler to be integrated into the shell, rather than being a separate piece (making fender-benders super spendy).

The rear wing has two positions, the "approach angle" of 4 degrees for top straight-line speeds, and the full 11 degrees for maximum downforce in the twisties. And, of course, the doors open up, and you can get a clear engine cover to show off what you've got everywhere you go.

Interior

Starting the Aventador is like starting a jet: flip up the red switch cover to push the start button. The toggle switches for the windows and air conditioning are located below the 7-inch screen in the center console. Adjusting anything more complicated -- communications, entertainment, etc. -- involves the Human Machine Interface, a set of controls in the console with a joystick and buttons.

The interior is of course swathed in leather, and the dash displays all gauges in a TFT-LCD display like the Reventon's. Thanks to being virtual, the gauges can be swapped out, depending on what the driver wants to know. Road speed, engine speed, fuel level, and almost any engine metric you can imagine can be read in the dash.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Specs

  • Engine: 6.5-liter V12 mid-rear engine
  • Horsepower: 700 hp
  • Torque: 509 lb-ft
  • Top speed: 217 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
  • Price: $379,700
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Lamborghini Aventador J

Lamborghini Aventador J in Geneva
Lamborghini Aventador J in Geneva. Lamborghini

Lamborghini has never backed off extravagance, neither in its cars' designs, engines, nor the language used to describe them. It calls the Aventador J, the roadster version of the coupe, "radically open." This seems a bit overblown until you realize that not only is the roof completely missing -- so is the windshield. Looks like somebody just justified that vintage leather helmet and goggle purchase.

Not too may people will get to experience bugs in their teeth at 200+ mph, though, since this is a one-of-one car, like the iconic Jota its name refers to. The name also comes from "Appendix J" in the FIA rule book, where tech specs for race cars are listed.