Lamborghini Aventador


Debut: 2011
Maker: Lamborghini
Predecessor: Murcielago



 Published on 8 Jan 2012
All rights reserved. 

With new chassis and engine, big Lambo wants to be back on top.


A while ago, Evo magazine gather Lamborghini Aventador and its ancestors Countach, Diablo and Murcielago for a comparison drive. While the newest car was found to be easily the best of the bunch, it was Countach that impressed most. That is hardly a surprise to our readers. As we always said, no other supercars dominated the world longer than the mighty Countach – some 17 years to be exact (1974-1987). Ironically, it was also the last Lamborghini to be regarded as the world's top supercar. Diablo and Murcielago did not disappoint, but they just followed the formula set by Countach and failed to take another leap like that from Miura to Countach. When new generation super-exotics like Ferrari F40, McLaren F1 and Bugatti Veyron arrived, the big Lambos became outclassed.

For 37 years since the first LP400 launched, the flagship Lamborghini did not deviate from the formula of tubular spaceframe chassis, longitudinally mid-mounted V12 and a gearbox mounted fore of the engine. Traditionalists might call it the classic formula, but the spirit of Countach was never about classic. It was all about innovations and excellence. At that time, tubular spaceframe chassis was the best possible for road cars in terms of weight and rigidity, so Giampaolo Dallara decided to adopt it without the slightest hesitation. Today, carbon-fiber is the top choice for those really exotic – such as Bugatti, Pagani and Koenigsegg. If Sant'Agata wants to return to the top league, it has to switch to carbon-fiber chassis. This is especially true since McLaren managed to bring carbon-fiber tub to the even cheaper MP4-12C last year.


Wedge profile remains true to Countach


Another top priority on the to-do list is a brand new engine. We are not asking for a downsized turbocharged motor, as we know for pure driving satisfaction nothing compares with an Italian naturally aspirated V12. What the Aventador needs is a clean-sheet V12 rather than another small evolution of the Bizzarrini-designed unit, whose history could be traced back to half a century ago to the very first 350GT ! Modern construction is able to make it lighter, lower, higher revving and more powerful. As the last one on SV was already good for 670 horses, a full 700 hp shall be the starting point.

In this way, Aventador LP700-4 was born. Like its ancestors, it is named after a Spanish fighting bull, and the rest of the name refers to longitudinal mid-engined, 700 horsepower and 4-wheel drive.

Exterior

The Aventador was designed by the little known Filippo Perini, Lamborghini's design chief since 2004. Previously responsible for facelifts like Gallardo Superleggera, LP560-4, Murcielago LP640 and Reventon, Perini finally got the job that every automotive designer would dream of: to design a brand new Lamborghini V12 model !


New styling attempts to bring back the uncompromising character lost...


The exterior of Aventador is a consistent evolution from the Countach-Diablo-Murcielago bloodline. Its wedge profile is unchanged, as are the trademark "scissor doors". However, compare with the refined Murcielago it is added with an extra sense of aggression. Its nose becomes a knife edge, ditto the trailing edge of its tail. Its otherwise smooth body is graphically decorated with hardedge polygons, zigzag cut lines and ridges inspired by the Reventon special. Apparently, such efforts attempt to bring back an uncompromising character lost during the Chrysler and Audi era. I would say it is largely successful, although the strong flavor of batmobile from some angles is somewhat comical. At the back, the Aventador is characterized by six Y-shape LED lights and a single hexagonal exhaust.

Lamborghini did not reveal its drag coefficient, but the Aventador has a few tricks to keep drag low during top speed run. The rear spoiler is one of them. It rests flush with the tail at low speed, raises to 11 degrees at mid-range speed to induce downforce and scales back to 4 degrees at very high speed to reduce drag. Similarly, the cooling intakes normally rest flush with the flying buttresses, pop up at medium speed and retract again at high speed.

Chassis

Compare with Murcielago, the Aventador is 170 mm longer and runs a 25 mm longer wheelbase. However, this does not make it any heavier. On the contrary, it undercuts the old car by 90 kilograms. The biggest weight saving comes from the chassis. It comprises of a carbon-fiber monocoque passenger cell and aluminum front and rear subframes. The whole chassis weighs only 229.5 kg, while torsional rigidity is boosted to 35,000 Nm/degree, a far cry from the Murcielago's 20,000 Nm/degree.


Carbon-fiber chassis and pushrod suspensions are headlines


Better still, the carbon-fiber monocoque is built in-house with RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) technology co-developed with Boeing and University of Washington. It utilizes an 80-ton stamping machine to forge the hot carbon-fiber composites into shape, saving the need for lengthy fabrication process in high-pressure and high-temperature chambers, thus reduces production cost by two-third. This allows the car to have its price inflated by a reasonable 10 percent. At £202,000 or €255,000 before tax, the big Lambo is significantly cheaper than million-dollar exotics like Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Pagani, while making the slower Lexus LFA (at £340,000 or €375,000) seemed overpriced.

Apart from chassis, the Aventador has its suspensions upgraded, too. Now the forged aluminum double-wishbones are controlled by racing-style inboard horizontal springs and dampers via pushrods, just like Pagani, Koenigsegg and Ferrari Enzo. This reduces unsprung weight and gives more freedom to tuning. On the downside, the car does not offer any kind of adaptive suspensions – the Ohlins dampers here are passive, a far cry from Ferrari's magnetorheological adaptive dampers. Perhaps Sant'Agata has spent too much money on the chassis already.


Polygons and zigzags inspired by Reventon


As expected, the bodywork is made largely of carbon-fiber, with the exception of the aluminum bonnet, doors and bumpers. The new body shell allows the fitment of larger wheels, measuring 19 and 20-inch front and rear respectively. This in turn allows larger Brembo CCM ceramic brake discs – 398mm with 6-piston calipers up front and 380mm with 4-pot calipers at the rear.

At 1575 kg dry, the big Lambo is still hardly a lightweight. It is 80 kilograms heavier than a Ferrari 599 GTO and almost 300 kg more than a Koenigsegg. However, considering the car has a big V12, all-wheel drive system and relatively luxury features for a supercar, I would say the weight is reasonable, if not one to be worth special mention.

Powertrain

The original 3.5-liter V12 launched in 1963 employed seriously oversquare combustion chambers to achieve high rev and power. Over the years, it gained capacity, reached maximum bore limit and then majored on lengthening stroke. Ultimately, the 6.5-liter version on LP640 had a slightly undersquare profile of 88 mm x 89 mm. Now with the opportunity to do it all over again, the new L539 V12 has its combustion chambers returned to oversquare profile of 95 mm bore and 76.4 mm stroke. Displacement remains unchanged at 6.5 liters, which is already very large indeed.

Specification-wise, the L539 is pretty conventional. It has a 60-degree V-angle, DOHC 48 valves, dual-VVT and variable intake manifolds like its predecessor. The aluminum cylinder block is still inserted with cast-iron cylinder liners rather than coated with modern silicone spray, while connecting rods are made of forged steel rather than lightweight titanium (note: both are acceptable as the short-stroke engine has no difficulty to rev to 8500 rpm). Most surprising of all, it does not get direct fuel injection like its smaller sibling Gallardo or its new generation Ferrari rivals. Lamborghini admitted it had problems to get the exhaust emission right without sacrificing output power, so DI has been put on the agenda for its next evolution. Like the passive suspension, this implies a tightly controlled development budget.


No direct injection, but still 700 horsepower.


Having said that, with a higher compression ratio (11.8:1 instead of the previous 11.1:1), a more powerful engine management system, more efficient scavenging lubrication pumps and the aforementioned reprofiled combustion chambers, the engine is capable of higher rev, more power yet a broader spread of torque. It produces a maximum 700 hp at 8250 rpm and 509 lbft of torque at 5500 rpm, an improvement of 30 horses and 22 lbft from the last LP670-SV. A modest boost perhaps, it is nonetheless a good starting point for further evolutions to come.

However, the biggest improvement is not output, but the packaging of the engine. It continues to use dry-sump lubrication, but the new sump is made much thinner, allowing the crankshaft to sit 75 mm lower in the chassis than before, greatly lowering center of gravity. The engine is also made lighter, with its weight reduced from 253 kg to 235 kg, thanks partly to a new aluminum-silicon alloy. The lower mass of the engine also helps shifting one percent of weight away from the rear axle. Weight distrubtion is now 43:57 front to rear.

The V12 is mated to a new 4-wheel drive system. As before, the gearbox is situated forth of the engine and inside the transmission tunnel of the cabin to benefit weight distribution. What's new is front/rear torque split device, now a Haldex 4th generation electromagnetic multiplate clutch instead of the old viscous coupling. In other words, a computer-controlled, active torque-split device replaces a passive mechanical device. It should be a big plus to the new car. Front-to-rear torque spilt can vary from 0:100 to 60:40 depending on needs.


Better weight distribution; Haldex 4WD improves traction.


The gearbox is also all-new. Controversially, Lamborghini decided to skip the popular route of double-clutch gearbox (due to limited development budget again) and opt for a new kind of automated manual gearbox. The 7-speed ISR (Independent Shifting Rods) transmission is a joint-development with Italian transmission expert Graziano. It weighs 79 kg, considerably lighter than a dual-clutch alternative, yet it can make gearshift in a lightning 50 ms - faster than the 60 ms taken by Ferrari 599 GTO and a night-and-day difference to the 200 ms on the outgoing E-gear ! How is this achieved? The ISR gearbox uses 4 shift rods to manipulate gearshifts simultaneously. As one rod is disengaging a gear, another rod is already engaging the next gear. These actions partially overlap so to save time. However, it cannot fully pre-select the next gear like a dual-clutch box because there is only one clutch.

Sadly, the arrival of ISR gearbox means the end of traditional manual gearbox. Because most customers ordered E-gear in the previous generation, Sant'Agata decided not to offer manual box alongside the ISR. The ISR is pretty versatile. It offers 3 modes - Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (race). The first two also allow full automatic operation. Apart from gearshift speed and smoothness, these modes also alter throttle, steering, 4WD torque split and stability control.

Interior

Inside, the Aventador's cockpit still features a large transmission tunnel, but ergonomics, build quality and equipment are all vastly improved. First, you will find it easier to enter the cockpit, thanks to a lower and narrower door sill. Once settled on the seat, you will find the relationship between yourself and the controls is far more rational than before. The instrument pod and center console are finally close enough. The steering wheel is fully adjustable. The foot well still biases towards the center, but with the demise of clutch pedal foot room becomes less cramped. There is decent room for head and elbow. Visibility is good for the road ahead, more challenging rearward through the shallow rear window and louvers, but at least you get a standard rearview camera now.


While looking cool, cabin delivers an uncomfortable smell of gimmick.


The interior design tries hard to be special, as seen from the extensive use of polygonal elements and contrasting colors. It could be more tasteful though. The combination of classic toggle switches and modern LCD instrument panel is strange, especially when the latter provides no more functions than conventional dials – unlike Ferrari's which is integrated with multimedia display. The new instrument allows you to switch between analogue speedometer plus digital tachometer and analogue tacho plus digital speedo. While looking cool, it delivers an uncomfortable smell of gimmick.

Plenty of switchgears come from Audi. Some do not gel with the exotic cockpit, such as the rectangular air vents (from A6), but they do work flawlessly. The reskinned Audi MMI multimedia control interface is much much better than the cheap sat nav on Ferraris.

Strangely and disappointingly, the cabin is completely covered with leather, alloy and plastic, with none of its carbon-fiber surface exposed to sight. If you want to have it uncovered, you will have to pay extra for hotter variants (e.g. SV) in the future.

On the Road

Press the hexagonal Start button and the V12 comes into life. The first impression is very different from the old engine – it is much smoother, quieter and more cultured, more like a Ferrari V12. Power delivery is more linear than ever. It is more tractable low down, pulling eagerly from 2000 rpm all the way to 8500 rpm like a gas turbine, without any obvious steps in the wide spectrum. Less dramatic you may say, it is perfect for accessing performance in bends.

At 3000 rpm, the noise is as subdued as the old engine at idle. This makes Aventador a better companion for highway cruising. Floor the throttle, the electronic tacho needle climbs instantly beyond 5000, 6000, 7000 and 8000 rpm. The noise gets loud and angry, releasing the true personality of the fighting bull. The sound is addictive, although it lacks the hard edge of 599 GTO.


Full-bore launch is sensational, thanks in part to violent gearshifts.


Full-bore launch under Corsa mode is a breathtaking experience. The thrust is so strong, accompany with a violent kick at your back during each upshift. Yes, the ISR gearbox is nowhere as smooth as today's double-clutch gearboxes, as each gearshift comes with a short pause followed by a brutal re-engagement, but it is this drama that makes the Lamborghini's acceleration feel more spectacular than that of Bugatti Veyron, even though it is actually slower. Another advantage is a razor sharp throttle response, something not its turbocharged rivals can match.

Straight line acceleration is a strong card of Aventador, as it is benefited by more power, less weight, a more sophisticated 4WD system and electronic launch control. Lamborghini claims an incredible 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds, which is merely slower than Bugatti Veyron and quicker than anything else we have seen. Is it really that quick? Independent test results from Quattroruote magazine confirmed this. Auto Motor und Sport recorded slightly slower times, with 0-60, 0-124 and 0-186 mph done in 3.0, 9.4 and 24.8 seconds respectively. The last figure puts it just behind Bugatti (14.9s for SS and 16.8s for standard car), Koenigsegg CCX (21.9s), McLaren F1 (22.4s) and Pagani Zonda Cinque perhaps, while jumping ahead of Ferrari Enzo (26.1s) and leaving 599 GTO for dead. The Lamborghini has greatly narrowed the gaps from those million-dollar exotics. That alone is a great achievement for a production car aiming to sell 750 units annually.

As for top speed, we have no reason to doubt its 217 mph claim. Whether it manages 210 or 220 mph in Nardo or Ehra-Leissen is not important. What counts is that drivers will find it effortless to break 200 mph on Autobahn, by the time the car is still accelerating.


Understeer remains in slow corners; Ovesteer now more friendly.


Performance aside, the Aventador is also a far better car to drive than Murcielago. It steers better. It stops better. It rides massively more refined. It slips through the curves more precisely. It feels far lighter than its predecessor. In a nutshell, it makes LP670-4 SV feel ancient.

But what else would you expect? The most important question is: how does it compare with other excellent supercars? That is more difficult to answer. For a car so big and heavy, there is always a limitation in its agility, even though the Aventador hides it quite well. If you compare it with Ferrari 458 or McLaren MP4-12C, you will find it still feels cumbersome on regular roads. The sense of its massive width can never be overcome. Same goes for the initial understeer that built into its DNA to keep it safe in corners. Yes, the understeer is already less than its predecessor, but it is still there, especially at slow corners.

It is difficult to say whether the Aventador produce more grip in corners than the last SV, which was already very good in this aspect, but it does show a far friendlier manner at cornering limit. While the old car would scare you with plenty of oversteer, the new car is stable and planted. Oversteer comes at a modest rate. In fact, on public roads oversteer is virtually impossible to induce. You need a race track to access power slide. That also limits its driving fun a bit when compare with smaller supercars as well as the better balanced 599 GTO.


Amazingly capable on track; not so on mountain roads.


The ride quality is definitely better than any Murcielagos, thanks partly to the immense solidity of its carbon-fiber chassis. Nevertheless, it is not to say it can compare with the adaptive Ferraris, let alone the hydraulically-suspended McLaren MP4-12C. The fixed rate dampers mean Lamborghini can only choose to favour part of the spectrum. It chose to deliver a beautiful high-speed ride, leaving low-speed ride very hard. Consequently, the big Lambo is not the best tool to thread through mountain roads.

The steering is another example of "improved but not quite to up the class best". Compare with its predecessor's, it requires less effort to turn and shows less shake through the steering column, if not have the latter completely resolved. It lacks the transparency of Ferrari helms, probably due to the extra 4-wheel drive mechanicals.

Likewise, the ISR gearbox is far smoother than the old E-gear – even can be called "refined" in Strada mode – but in Sport mode the gearchanges are far jerkier than the dual-clutch boxes on its rivals. Corsa mode is even more unforgiving, thus is best to leave for track days.

However, the brakes are by all means top class. They have the power to stop the big Lambo in the same distance as lighter rivals. Pedal feel is great, too.


Those rough edges contribute to its character...


The Aventador feels most at home on wide, flat and fast roads, or even better on tracks. Attack a fast bend, the car settles with some initial understeer and then the Haldex clutch starts sending more torque to the front wheels to balance the car. Bury the throttle on corner exit and you will be amazed with the immense force that punches the car forward while keeping it on rails. The cornering power of this car is simply sensational, more so than Bugatti.

As Quattroruote magazine found out, it could beat MP4-12C, 599GTO and 911GT3 RS convincingly on a fast track. That could be a surprise for something so big and heavy. Its all-wheel traction, superior power and low center of gravity all help to excel on track.

Which comes to our conclusion: is it better than its rivals? That depends on your preference, of course. If you love to exploit your supercar regularly on narrow B-roads, nothing could be better than a compact McLaren or Ferrari 458. If all you want is a car to shine on the world's fastest roads every Sunday morning, plus a spectacular look, a bit of uncompromising character and the most exotic bloodline to appreciate in the rest of the week, the big Lambo remains the very best. A perfect supercar it isn't, but just like its ancestors, those rough edges contribute to its character and make it all the more desirable.
Verdict: 
 Published on 30 May 2015
All rights reserved. 
Aventador LP750-4 SV

Lighter, more powerful and faster than the standard Aventador, but it is a lot more than numbers…


The SV badge was first used on Miura in 1971. Standing for Super Veloce, or Super Fast in English, it represented the go-faster version of Lamborghini’s supercar. Countach did not use this badge throughout its life, but since Diablo, every generation of Lamborghini’s V12 machine must have an SV derivative. The current Aventador is no exception. Like its ancestors, LP750-4 SV is lighter, more powerful and faster than the standard car. It carries 50 kg less weight, while its engine pumps out an extra 50 horsepower. The result is a power-to-weight ratio lifted by 10 percent, and 0-60 mph sprint reduced by a tenth to 2.7 seconds. However minor these improvements sound, on the road it feels a very different beast – in fact, a lot more than the numbers suggested…

Let’s see what have been modified first. This is obvious from the outlook. The standard Aventador is already one of the most aggressive looking cars on earth. However, “one of the most” is not enough to Sant’Agata. It wants to be on top. So the SV gets even more aggressive. Its nose and front splitters get pointier and together form a big trident (take note, Maserati). Black carbon side skirts make its body appear to be slimmer. The flying buttresses no longer feature pop-up intakes but 4 fixed intake ducts, again made of carbon-fiber. At the rear, there are larger diffusers, new quad-exhaust, more ventilations and a fixed carbon rear wing. The latter can be adjusted to 3 different angles manually. That body-colored diffuser top cover mirrors the upper plane of front splitter. It’s a clever design, not only adding style but also relieving the visual mass of the tail. Lamborghini design is finally back to the top!


“One of the most” is not enough to Sant’Agata. It wants to be on top.


The extra aero kits boost downforce by 170 percent. At 280 km/h or 174 mph, there is now between 186 and 218 kg of positive downforce depending on the rear wing angle. You might ask why the latter vary so little. I suppose that is because the Lamborghini lacks active aero (unlike Ferrari and many other supercars), so keeping the rear wing downforce within a narrow window will not alter front-to-rear balance too much. Curiously, the quoted top speed of 217 mph is the same as the standard Aventador, and it is achievable with the highest downforce setting, so it is obviously regulated by electronics. De-restricted, it might be capable of over 220 mph!

That is perhaps not a surprise when you consider the car has 750 horsepower on offer. Aston Martin’s 7.3-liter V12 on One-77 remains to be the most powerful naturally aspirated engine on earth, but the Lamborghini comes within 10 horsepower with smaller displacement (okay, you might say the same thing to Ferrari F12, whose engine is smaller again and 10 hp adrift). The Lamborghini 6.5-liter V12 has yet to get direct injection, but its modified valve timing, intake manifolds and exhaust with lower back pressure are already enough to squeeze out another 50 horsepower at 8400 rpm, 150 rpm higher than the previous peak, although maximum rev is kept at 8500 rpm. Maximum torque is unchanged, too, but with 509 pound-foot you don’t need to beg for more.


What makes the Lamborghini V12 special is its soundtrack, and you get more in the SV.


At normal pace, it is hard to tell if the engine is different from the standard unit. Rev it closer to the top end, you can feel the extra shove and enthusiasm for rev. Its throttle response is even sharper than the standard engine, especially in Corsa mode. However, what makes the Lamborghini V12 special is its soundtrack, and you get more in the SV because of the quad-exhaust and reduced sound insulation throughout the cockpit. Beyond 8000 rpm, it is shockingly loud and addictive.

The 7-speed ISR gearbox has its shift quality improved a little, but you still won’t confuse it with a dual-clutch gearbox. In the more aggressive modes, every gearshift is accompanied with a shockwave. That said, it matches the aggressive character of SV.

The 50 kg weight reduction is achieved by using carbon-fiber for more body parts, such as bonnet, doors and rear wing, as well as a stripped out interior. It has infotainment system, carpets and most sound insulation discarded. The carbon-fiber bucket seats are also lighter. It goes without saying less weight leads to better handling. However, even more influential are 3 other modifications.


While the standard car feels a little bulky and understeery at initial turn-in, the SV steers much more responsively.


The first is the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. They are an inch taller and shod around larger forged alloy wheels. As implied by the Corsa label, these semi-slicks don’t last as long as the regular road tires, but they offer tremendous grip and are fine for some flying laps on track. The second is the addition of magnetorheological adaptive dampers. In Strada mode they add new-found ride comfort to the big Lambo, even though the spring rates are slightly increased. In Sport and Corsa modes, the stiffened damping have body movement more tightly controlled, maintaining composure over small bumps or kerbs. The third is the new variable-ratio electrical power steering. It is also found on Huracan, but this one has been improved to behave more consistently (it locks the ratio once you have entered a corner). Quite amazingly, it has the handling of Aventador transformed! While the standard car feels a little bulky and understeery at initial turn-in, the SV steers much more responsively, thanks to the quick ratio adopted at lower speeds. It’s not quite as direct as the racks of Ferrari 458 or F12, but it is quick enough to make the big Lambo feels agile and alert for the first time. Admittedly, the retuned Haldex 4WD system is also cooperative to cut understeer.

On track, all these elements gel to make the SV the most exciting Lamborghini to drive by some margin. It feels sharp, responsive and even edgy. Corner entry comes with a little understeer, which is fine for security, but it will adjust the line if you lift off mid-corner. Apply a heavy dose of power again, you can swing the tail outward – and massively if you want! Ultimately the 4WD and stability control will catch it, but before that happens you have the option to alter the balance with throttle. Mind you, it is not as easy to control the balance as the lighter and less powerful 458 Speciale, McLaren 650S or 911 GT3 RS. You have to be more delicate with throttle and brakes. But the option is there and what you need is more practice to understand its temper. Lamborghini’s handling has never been so interactive!


Lamborghini’s handling has never been so interactive!


By this time you must have watched the official video showing the SV lapping Nurburgring Nordschleife in 6:59.73. It was recorded in the only flying lap it attempted, so potentially it could beat the production car lap record of 6:57, set by Porsche 918 Spyder last year. That's an incredible achievement for a classic, big naturally aspirated supercar. It is also at least 20 seconds quicker than the standard LP700-4. For comparison, the recent Porsche 991 GT3 RS is only 5-8 seconds quicker than the standard GT3. One can see how giant a leap the SV has taken. This has to be one of the fastest cars in the real world regardless of price!

Speaking of price, the SV is sold at “just” £320,000, versus £260,000 of the standard car. It is still a relative bargain by supercar standards. With 600 units slated to production in the next couple of years, it won’t be exactly exclusive, but few others could deliver the same visual impact, sensational noise, response and all the theatrical factors. Welcome back to the top of the game!
Verdict:
 Published on 21 Jul 2016
All rights reserved. 
Centenario LP770-4

€1.75 million plus tax buys you the most aggressive looking Aventador. Isn't it too expensive?


Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in 1916. To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of its founder, Lamborghini introduces the limited edition Centenario. Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters will be built for buyers already placed orders. Each costs an eye-popping €1.75 million plus tax. Considering its rarity, it might sound a bargain compared with the €2.4 million Bugatti Chiron, but then again the Lambo is less special, because it is practically a rebodied Aventador SV. Based on the same running chassis, 6.5-liter V12 and 4-wheel-drive powertrain, the Centenario adds only 20 horsepower to the equation thanks to none other than remapping the engine management system, which raises its redline by a scant 100 rpm and maximum output to 770 hp at 8500 rpm, all the while without altering torque production. Its top speed is unchanged at 217 mph, while 0-60 mph is still accomplished in 2.7 seconds – admittedly, any cars achieving acceleration performance at this level is hard to improve further. According to official figures, you need to go to 300 km/h (186 mph) to see it pulls away from the SV by half a second. You pay an extra €1.4 million for that slim advantage. Is it worthwhile?


You pay an extra €1.4 million for half a second advantage in 0-300 km/h.


In performance terms, it is definitely not. From collector’s point of view, if you have an acquired taste on styling, it might be. The Centenario is the maddest, baddest looking Lamborghini of all. Beautiful it is not, but it certainly turns head. It’s so aggressive that I suppose Batman would be eager to get one in stock form. Although the wedge body shape is familiar, the surface treatment is far more aggressive than Aventador. Up front, its nose features a more effective double-plane air splitter which draws air towards the two ducts sculpted in the bonnet, certainly adding downforce. The front splitter is added with vertical strakes which are painted in yellow to catch attention. At both sides, there are yellow vertical blades added to the skirts to improve air flow. The upper and main side intakes have been combined to a massive single unit, covering the entire trailing edge of the door like Bugatti Chiron. This has a big visual impact to the car, making it looks hotter and more performance-oriented. At the back, the thoroughly redesigned diffuser is not only larger but it features 6 vertical blades, which are again yellow-tipped to catch eyes. The rear wheels are now half-exposed by the open diffuser, a reminder to Countach. Above the diffuser, a new hydraulic rear wing can raise vertically by 150 mm and tilt for up to 15 degrees. It alone generates 227 kg of downforce at 280 km/h (sadly, Lamborghini won’t reveal the total downforce generated by the whole aero package). It goes without saying the new bodywork is made entirely of carbon-fiber.


It is a more track-oriented machine than the SV. For pure road use, we might prefer the SV.


On the road, the new aero is unlikely to make a discernible difference, but on a race track you can feel the extra downforce at fast bends, which allows the Centenario to grip harder and corner faster. Another discernible difference is the new active rear-wheel steering, something Porsche and Ferrari already used in some of their cars, but the first time on Lamborghini (though it will be applied to all Aventadors later). Below 45 mph, the rear wheels turn up to 3 degrees in opposite direction to shorten turning circle. Above that speed, they steer in the same direction to enhance directional stability. As a result, the Centenario feels more agile in town and slow corners, but more stable when you are committed to the driving. Unfortunately, some of the playful oversteer of the SV has been lost. In addition to the stiffer adaptive damper tuning, the use of rigid suspension bushings and reduced sound insulation, the Centenario is a more track-oriented machine than the SV. For pure road use, we might prefer the SV.

More universally welcomed is the improved tuning to the ISG transmission, whose gearshift is slightly less violent than before. The upgraded infotainment system with a larger portrait touchscreen is also welcomed. No doubt both will be seen on lesser Aventadors, too, because it doesn’t make sense to develop them for only 40 cars.

For so much money, you can buy a LaFerrari, McLaren P1 or Porsche 918 Spyder with change. Why are there still people wanting the rebodied Aventador? Especially when Lamborghini already introduced Reventon and Veneno a few years back? And why is Aston Martin able to launch batch after batch of ultra-expensive limited editions? It proves that not only the world has too many rich people, but the coach-building industry has returned to prosperity not seen since the 1930s.
Verdict:
 Published on 26 Jan 2017
All rights reserved. 
Aventador S


Just as Miura S, Aventador S has a difficult task to fulfill, but it does that beautifully.


Aventador S, what a simple name. The last time we saw Lamborghini used simply an “S” to represent an updated version, rather than the cumbersome LPXXX-X nomenclature, Ferruccio was still taking charge of his company. That was Miura S. The original Miura was known for jaw-dropping beauty and wild performance claims, but its chassis was seriously underdeveloped. It was Miura S that finally had most problems sorted out and realized its promises. Aventador S is just the same. As much as we loved the original Aventador – for its shape, brutal power and all flaws that became part of its character – we have to admit that it no longer meets the expectation for a supercar today. Junior supercars like McLaren 675LT and Ferrari 488GTB are a lot lighter, more agile, more precise to control and, ridiculously, even faster in straight line. The big Lambo feels outdated in comparison. Therefore, Aventador S has a difficult task: it needs to have the rough edges rounded, to lift agility and precision dramatically and to prove that the V12 mid-engined format is still relevant to today's requirements. The letter S might sound simple, but it actually carries a lot of weight.

The Aventador S looks cleaner than the old car thanks to a restyled nose with new intakes and front splitter – the latter generates 130 percent more front downforce. At the back, it adopts the SV's fixed intake ducts at the C-pillars, replacing the retractable units of the old car that I loved so much (sadly). The diffuser also gets closer to the spec. of SV, but the centrally-mounted triple-pipe exhaust is unique. Made of titanium, the latter saves 6 kg.

The chassis has received equal attention. For the first time, the standard Aventador is equipped with adaptive dampers. These advanced
magnetorheological units are borrowed from the SV. Meanwhile, the recent Centenario special lends its active rear-wheel steering. To cope with these changes, the Aventador S has revised its suspension geometry, rear springs, stability control setting and even adopts a set of Pirelli P Zeros with new compounds. Surprisingly, its dry weight stays at 1575 kg, as the weight of rear-wheel steering hardware is offset by the lighter exhaust.



With 4WS, it no longer feels clumsy to handle. Its chassis dynamics is a big step forward!


The most influential change is definitely the rear-wheel steering. Like rivalling systems on Porsche and Ferrari, at low speed it steers the rear wheels in direction opposite to the front wheels to sharpen the turn-in, and in the same direction at high speed to enhance stability. However, Lamborghini uses it more aggressively – it steers the rear wheels up to 3 degrees in opposite direction and 1.5 degree in the same direction. This effectively equals to shortening the wheelbase by 500mm in tight corners, or lengthening the wheelbase by 700mm at high speed. Moreover, to deal with the understeer problem of Aventador, it keeps counter-steering the rear wheels until 70-82 mph (depending on many factors), way higher than other applications we have seen so far. As a result, the Aventador S has its notorious understeer largely banished. Its turn-in becomes much sharper, more so than the SV. It feels lighter and more agile, too, although it would be irresponsible to say it felt as agile as those lighter supercars. The enhanced agility also comes from the retuned stability control and Haldex 4WD system, which can keep 90 percent torque at the rear axle so that it finally feels like a rear-drive machine. You can adjust the driving line with throttle and even push the tail slightly outward. The big Lambo no longer feels clumsy to handle. Its chassis dynamics is a big step forward!

The new car gets also the SV’s variable-ratio electrical power steering. Working in harmony with the active rear steering, it makes tight corners handy to turn. Its direct gearing requires much less steering effort, while on highway it asks for fewer corrections. Both precision and feedback have been improved.

The magnetorheological adaptive dampers maintain tight body control while improve ride comfort. No, it is not as supple as McLarens or Ferrari 488, but compared with the old car its ride feels smoother in any of its 3 suspension modes.


The weakest link is again that ISG gearbox...


Is the car any faster? The 6.5-liter V12 is largely unchanged, but with revised variable intake manifold and increased valve overlapping it gets closer to the state of tune on SV. It produces 740 hp at 8400 rpm, up 40 ponies, while torque stays the same. Strangely, Lamborghini still quotes the same 217 mph top speed and 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds. 0-124 and 0-186 mph are slightly quicker than before, but it still trails the lighter SV as well as the aforementioned Ferrari and McLaren junior supercars. However, the Italian V12 still produces one of the most memorable noises in the world, something not a flat-crank V8 could replicate. Its aural thrills and its instantaneous throttle response more than make up for what it loses in ultimate performance.

Unfortunately, the weakest link is again that 7-speed ISG gearbox. As it is left untouched in this update, its gearshifts are either slow or brutal, depending on driving modes. Its torque interruption and subsequent kick feels like industrial grade in the world of dual-clutches. This seriously hampers its driving satisfaction. Perhaps it is time to invest into a new gearbox?

The Aventador S is unquestionably a huge improvement over the original. It has most problems sorted out, most notably the understeer, clumsy handling and stiff ride. In many ways it feels as great as the SV, perhaps even more agile. The SV is a sharper weapon on tracks, thanks to its Corsa tires, extra downforce and weight reduction, but the Aventador S is a better road car. It is still troubled by an outdated gearbox and some limitations inherited from Countach, such as lack of headroom, limited visibility and difficult access to the cabin. Some may say it is not as user friendly as junior supercars, while billionaires might think it is not special enough. However, with more than 1000 cars sold every year, its formula seems to be quite successful so far. The S should keep the legend alive.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis

Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout
Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

0-124 mph (sec)
0-150 mph (sec)
0-186 mph (sec)
Aventador LP700-4
2011
Mid-engined, 4WD
Carbon-fiber tub, aluminum
subframes
Carbon-fiber mainly
4780 / 2030 / 1136 mm
2700 mm
V12, 60-degree
6498 cc
DOHC 48 valves, DVVT
VIM
-
700 hp / 8250 rpm
509 lbft / 5500 rpm
7-speed automated manual
All double-wishbones
-
F: 255/35ZR19
R: 335/30ZR20
1575 kg (dry) / 1670 kg (kerb)
217 (c) / 213** mph
2.8 (c) / 3.0* / 2.8** / 3.0*** /
2.8**** / 2.7^ / 2.9^^
6.4* / 6.3*** / 6.1**** / 5.8^ /
6.3^^
9.0**
14.0*
24.8***
Aventador LP750-4 SV
2015
Mid-engined, 4WD
Carbon-fiber tub, aluminum
subframes
Carbon-fiber mainly
4835 / 2030 / 1136 mm
2700 mm
V12, 60-degree
6498 cc
DOHC 48 valves, DVVT
VIM
Cylinder deactivation
750 hp / 8400 rpm
509 lbft / 5500 rpm
7-speed automated manual
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 255/30ZR20
R: 355/25ZR21
1525 kg (dry) / 1620 kg (kerb)
217 mph (c)
2.7 (c) / 2.7* / 2.7^^

5.9* / 5.8^^

8.6 (c) / 8.7^^
13.1*
24.0 (c)
Centenario LP770-4
2016
Mid-engined, 4WD, 4WS
Carbon-fiber tub, aluminum
subframes
Carbon-fiber
4924 / 2062 / 1143 mm
2700 mm
V12, 60-degree
6498 cc
DOHC 48 valves, DVVT
VIM
Cylinder deactivation
770 hp / 8500 rpm
509 lbft / 5500 rpm
7-speed automated manual
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 255/30ZR20
R: 355/25ZR21
1520 kg (dry) / 1615 kg (kerb)
217 mph (c)
2.7 (c)

-

8.6 (c)
-
23.5 (c)




Performance tested by: *C&D, **Quattroruote, ***AMS, ****MT, ^R&T, ^^Sport Auto





Year
Layout
Chassis

Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout
Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
0-124 mph (sec)
0-150 mph (sec)
0-186 mph (sec)
Aventador S
2017
Mid-engined, 4WD, 4WS
Carbon-fiber tub, aluminum
subframes
Carbon-fiber mainly
4797 / 2030 / 1136 mm
2700 mm
V12, 60-degree
6498 cc
DOHC 48 valves, DVVT
VIM
Cylinder deactivation
740 hp / 8400 rpm
509 lbft / 5500 rpm
7-speed automated manual
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 255/30ZR20
R: 335/25ZR21
1575 kg (dry) / 1670 kg (kerb)
217 (c)
2.8 (c)
-
8.8 (c)
-
24.2 (c)































































AutoZine Rating

Aventador S

LP750-4 SV

Centenario


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