You’re looking at a future classic, the latest generation of a legendary lineage that counts the Countach, Diablo and Murcielago as ancestors. The latest V12 powered big Lamborghini with epic noise and scissor doors. Meet the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
Sant’Agata’s latest flagship made its debut at this year’s Geneva show, and they have already collected over 1,500 orders, with a waiting list of 18 months!
Those with the ability to write a RM2.9 million cheque (that’s the estimated price of the Aventador in Malaysia) are not accustomed to waiting, but for this hot one, they will have to. We’ve also heard that Lambo won’t be making many of these…
The Aventador brings new meaning to all-new, especially for Lamborghini. For once, there’s a completely new engine behind the seats. It’s a 6.5-litre V12 that’s relatively compact and lightweight at 235 kg.
The bull’s heart pushes out 700 horses at 8,250 rpm, while maximum torque is 690 Nm at 5,500 rpm. Lambo says that the torque curve is “extremely well-rounded” with “bull-like pulling power in every situation”. Acoustics is of course a main selling point, and great sounds are promised.
Its partner in crime is as fresh faced. Meet the new 7-speed ISR transmission, designed for “the world’s most emotional gearshift feel”. Shift times for this single clutch ‘box are quick – 40% faster than the Gallardo’s e.gear and almost 50% less than a dual-clutch unit, says Lambo – thanks to the ‘box’s Independent Shifting Rod. Apparently, ISR has smaller dimensions than a manual gearbox.
The new drivetrain is contained in a new carbonfibre body. It’s a full monocoque made from carbon fibre, meaning that the entire occupant cell, with tub and roof, is one single physical component. The entire CF monocoque weighs only 147.5 kg.
Together with the front and rear aluminium frames, it weighs only 229.5 kg and torsional stiffness is an amazing 35,000 Nm per degree. This contributes to the Aventador’s trim kerb weight of 1,575 kg, which is the weight of a Camry 2.0 with yours truly in it.
An amazing recipe that brings some impressive results. The Aventador does 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds. Push on and you’ll reach 350 km/h. Lambo is proud to point out that while performance and power is up by 8%, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are down by around 20% from the Murciélago.
Power is laid down via permanent all-wheel drive. A self-blocking rear differential together with a front differential electronically controlled by ESP aid handling. A Drive Select Mode System lets the driver choose vehicle characteristics (engine, transmission, differential, steering and dynamic control) from three settings – Strada (road), Sport and Corsa (track). Finally, the Aventador sports pushrod spring and damper suspension inspired by F1 and carbon ceramic brakes in each corner.
The supercar has reached a new level, and with the Aventador, the boys and girls at Sant’Agata have pushed the ball to Ferrari’s court.
Many think that what we do for a living is cool, but it’s not always fun and games. Getting a chance to drive Lambo’s finest is nice, but after waiting the whole day from morning to evening, I felt like I more than earned those few minutes behind the wheel. And then there’s the writing bit!
Yours truly was last in queue of the 50 plus journos from across Asia Pacific that converged in Sepang for the bull fight, and I was praying hard that those dark clouds hanging above would hold their load, for the fear of Lambo cancelling the session before I had my go, for safety reasons.
The prayers worked, the sky held up, and my turn finally came. The Lambo crew looked like they were in a hurry to close shop, so there wasn’t much time to get comfortable – it was in and drive, not the best prep for a multi million ringgit supercar. Did the bare minimum (chair and steering adjustment, air con vents away from my face) before the Italian voice on the walkie asked “All OK, ready to go?”
Can’t say that I was completely at ease. This is a 700 hp V12 Lambo around a track that might be familiar, but no less technical and challenging, and although I love to drive, I’m far from the best driver in town. It helped that I got the only right-hand drive unit of the three Aventadors on duty, though.
I eased into the throttle as we got away slowly from the pitlane. I was alone in the car, with no teacher, and leading the way as pace car was an Italian Lambo test driver in a Gallardo LP 550-2. Yes, Mr. Casanova may be two cylinders and two driven wheels down, but yours truly soon found out that he stood no chance in the Aventador – the instruction to not overtake the pace car is therefore moot.
The sound of the new Lambo with the new engine is different from the Gallardo in front – it’s a deeper snarly growl, not so high pitched. The sound dominates the Aventador experience, and is so addictive that I stretched it to redline in every gear at every opportunity. If the free revving engine could talk, it would have said: “I’m born to do this, I’m loving it, gimme more!”
Intimidating size, stance and firepower aside, surprise surprise, the Aventador isn’t a hard car to drive. Forward vision is good (rear not so, unsurprisingly), it comes with paddle shifts, the steering is light and the car is easy to point around.
And unlike the Prancing Horses, it’s not super loud at idle and low speeds. I had a small issue with the “working environment” though – the Aventador’s two pedals are located too much to the left in our RHD car, which compromised my seating position. The seats hug, but could have done so tighter considering the g’s we pulled.
So the big bull is docile when not provoked, but driving it hard and making the most of its ability, that’s another matter altogether. Like the F1 cars that visit once a year, it’s full throttle out of the pitlane into the snake that is Turn 1 and 2. I’ve already heard how the V12 sounds at full pelt when I played passenger hours ago, but it’s more amazing when it’s caused by your own right foot. Kick in the back!
Powering out from Turn 2 into Sepang’s first sweeper gave me the chance to stretch the Aventador’s legs for the first time, rowing through gears three, four, five and changing at 8,000 rpm with the right paddle. I reached the uphill right Turn 4 in no time (didn’t look at the speed) shifting down to second to clip the apex.
This was my first experience of standing on the Aventador’s ceramic brakes, which wiped out crazy amounts of speed in a short distance. Not open wheel formula car standard, but not very far off. However, although great, I had a feeling that it wasn’t as super as it was earlier in the day. Perhaps it’s fatigue after serving and pleasing hardcore journos and instructors all day since morning.
That brings us to another observation. The three Aventadors in action never took a break the entire day, and there were over 50 media members doing three laps of Sepang each (including one outlap and inlap) plus the earlier 1-on-1 laps with the pro drivers. They say supercars are temperamental creatures, but these raging bulls were so well behaved despite being spanked all day. Truly impressive reliability.
Anyway, Lambo talks about this single-clutch ISG gearbox having an “emotional shift”. They might have not wanted the clinical and seamless feel of say, DSG, but the shift process is quite brutal really, combining well with the V12 to firmly knock you back in the seat.
Not smooth, even in the mildest Strada mode, but the drama is not necessarily a bad thing in a big dramatic Lambo – no one will buy this then complain the lack of slurry overlapping gearshifts. Right? The rev matched downshifts are nice.
The rest of the lap saw me and the 700 horses lean on those fat Pirellis for dear life. It was clear that the rubber was at the end of their lives – another downside of going out last. Because of that, I’m grateful to the ESP for saving my bacon more than once, like when I got the last corner before the back straight wrong.
Speaking of that, I managed to nudge past 230 km/h on the back straight before having to stand on the brakes for the hairpin. The max speed wasn’t as surprising as the manner it got there, of course. It’s a howl to remember.
So, the Lamborghini Aventador is an amazing car. It looks dramatic, goes like stink and can make one feel like a superhero. Also handy for Mr Billionaire will be the surprising ease of use and the effective safety net. So if you have RM3 million to spare… please wait for 18 months!