Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 (2011) at 2011 Geneva motor showMon, 28 Feb 2011
This is the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the new V12 supercar from Sant’Agata. After months of speculation, leaks and drip-feeding, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 has finally been unveiled on the eve of the 2011 Geneva motor show at the VW’s Group pre-show party. It features an all-new 6.5-litre engine, a carbonfibre chassis and stunning looks.
It does, adopting the same aircraft-inspired design as the limited-run, Murcielago-based Reventon. The overall silhouette is similar to the outgoing Murcielago, but while that car was quite clean cut, its successor has much more character and form and is more three-dimensional – witness the sculpted doors, jagged nose and slanted tail.
The LP700-4 has a flat underbody too, and a three-stage pop-up rear spoiler; it lies flat, or angles at 4-deg for high-speed stability, or at 11-deg for greater downforce at mid-range speeds. All the air intakes are lined with glossy back frames, and there are Y-shaped LED running lights around the bi-xenon lights in the headlamps, and Y-shaped LED taillights. It’s 4780mm long, 2030mm wide and 1136mm tall, making it longer, narrower and 1mm taller than the Murcielago. It's also just 2mm longer than a Mondeo, so it's not that unwieldy.
Aventador is the name of bull that earned the Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera for its courage in Spain’s Saragossa Arena in 1993, but you want to know about is the LP700-4 designation: 700 is the engine’s output in PS, and the 4 means four-wheel drive. Mid-mounted in the Aventador is an all-new, direct-injection 6.5-litre V12 that produces 691bhp at 8250rpm and 509lb ft at 5500rpm. And it drives all four wheels via a seven-speed automated manual gearbox.
Result? In Lamborghini’s own words: 'The extremely well-rounded torque curve, the bull-like pulling power in every situation, the spontaneous responsiveness and, last but not least, the finely modulated but always highly emotional acoustics are what make this engine a stunning power plant of the very highest order.' Or in the world of cold, hard statistics: 0-62mph takes a paltry 2.9 seconds, and the top speed is 219mph. Fat 255/35 ZR19 (front) and 335/30 ZR20 (rear) Pirellis do their best to put all the power down, and we’d recommend ticking the options box for the transparent engine cover so you can see the V12 in all its glory.
Lambo has stuck with an automated manual transmission because it’s smaller and lighter than a dual-clutch ‘box; shifts times are 40% faster than the E-gear unit in the Gallardo, and the company claims it’s built 'the world’s most emotional gearshift'. And the transmission, along with the throttle response, differential, steering and ESP system can all be tweaked via the Strada (road), Sport and Corsa (track) settings of the Drive Select Mode system.
But while there’s more technology than ever before in the new Aventador, Lamborghini has also been focussed on cutting weight. Rather than a steel chassis, the LP700-4 is the first production Lamborghini to feature a carbonfibre monocoque. New carbonfibre techniques mean construction is quicker and cheaper than ever before, and together with front and rear aluminium frames, and carbon and aluminium body panels, the Aventador LP700-4 weighs just 1575kg. Okay, that’s the dry weight, but it’s still 90kg less than the dry weight of old Murcielago LP640-4, which means faster acceleration, better braking and improved handling responses.
However, although the new V12 is lighter than before, there’s still a rear-biased 43:57 weight distribution. And despite the new LP700-4 weighing less and the V12 featuring direct injection, the official figures for the Aventador are 16.4mpg and 398g/km CO2. Still, it’s way better than the LP640-4’s 13.2mpg and 495g/km.
Yes. The suspension is by aluminium double wishbones all round, with inboard-mounted pushrod springs and dampers, and Lamborghini claims the set-up allows the springs to be softer for improved comfort but still maintain the precision that a 691bhp supercar needs. The front axle also features a lift system that can raise the nose by 40mm. There are huge carbon-ceramic brakes, too: 400mm up front with six piston calipers and 380mm at the back with four piston calipers.
Inside there’s more room, an improved driving position, while a TFT-LCD screen ahead of the driver is customisable, and there’s a second screen for the sat-nav. The broad transmission tunnel dominates, and features a red cover for the obligatory starter button.
The first Aventadors will be delivered to lucky customers in summer 2011, and UK customers will pay £242,280 for the privilege. Buy your lottery ticket now.
By Ben Pulman