The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4: Ridiculous?
Dec 2011 15

Lamborghinis are ridiculous, and rightfully so, this is why they’re made, and that’s why I love them. Lambo’s, like most all memorable supercars are best the more outrageous they are. Supercars are the cars you put on your wall when you’re a kid, and when that kid grows to be a CEO of a company he buys that car. Supercars are not practical, fuel efficient, roomy, or cheap to run either. They are what dreams are made of, they’re fantasies come to life…Supercars should be designed by kids, so they look like they have rocket launchers with laser canons mounted on top – this is what comes to mind when I think of Lamborghini especially.

From the beautifully timeless Miura to the renowned Countach and Diablo these are the cars that define this exotic car company. A change occurred when Audi came into the mix and bought the company in 1998 which brought some much needed stability in an ailing market. They produced the last generation of Lambos, the mighty Murcielago (2001) and the baby Gallardo (2003). This most recent generation of Lambos are excellent cars and are major successes for the company. The Murcielago in particular is just as dangerous as it is beautiful. It too has unbelievable performance and looks like it has gun turrets, grenade launchers and the typical Lamborghini characteristic of being able turn on you in a second and murder you. This is what Lambo is about, being ridiculous – until now….

All the aforementioned cars were developed over half a century; the point is that Lamborghini likes to take their time when designing their next generation supercar. This is because they want this newest model to be as memorable as the last. This latest model is called the Aventador, its cost is 386,000 dollars so start putting away those pennies now. Its carbon fiber skin resembles a stealth fighter with all its sharp edgy corners – this supercar looks like it was forged from Jay Leno’s chin.  From every angle it appears it could avoid radar and go kill something.

The interior is no less edgy, with a mix of fighter-jet cockpit and video-game fantasy. The instrument panel is a thin-film transistor (TFT) display packed with information and offering the choice of either a speedo or tach as the main dial. As expected the limited visibility is par for the course; this is a Lamborghini, not your mother’s caravan.  Even the starter button is safeguarded by a red cover, just like a fighter jet.

The current boss of Lamborghini said in the old days the priority of the company was to build cars that had – in order of importance – top speed, acceleration, and handling. For the Aventador it’s the other way around with handling being the top priority. Here are the numbers: 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in 6.5 seconds, yes acceleration still matters. Top speed it’ll do 217 mph (some say even more), faster than the Murcielago, so that has not suffered either. How did they achieve this new benchmark for the company? It all starts with the massive all new 6.5 liter V12 engine, their first in almost 50 years. So what does all this mean? I’ll tell you. 691 horsepower, that’s enough power to illuminate a small town. Putting that power down requires a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and a flappy paddle gear box, meaning no shifter on the floor. Shifts change in less than 50 milliseconds, that is faster than you can blink your eye.

Now for the handling, the number one priority. Traditionally this is the part where a big Lambo will kill you by being unpredictable as always. As you might suspect this Lambo has unbelievable grip, but it also has a push-rod suspension which is very clever and unheard of in a road car. It’s incredibly light; it weighs about the same as the small 3 series BMW. The chassis is made of lightweight carbon-fiber, not steel – more advantages for carving the corners. It’s unlike a traditional big Lambo which you can only drive at 80% because the punishment for taking it over the edge 1 % is certain death. This is the first big Lambo you can throw into a corner at ballistic speed and it will make it around without suddenly breaking loose. When and if the wheels do break free it allows the driver to make corrections and exit the turn just as easily as George Clooney picks up young Hollywood starlets.

Things have changed with Lamborghini, for the better is debatable. The air-conditioning actually works, unlike the older models which felt like a sick dog was coughing on you. All Lambo’s exhausts used to be as obnoxious as Gilbert Gottfrieds scowling voice, now you don’t even have to raise your voice to have a conversation. The shifter actually works, and it rides like a proper car – not a supercar.

Yes, there are still the insane trademark scissor doors which will always create a spectacle weather you’re in New York or Paris. There’s even satellite navigation so you can escape to your hideout while being chased by the police. But there’s not even one gun turret mounted on top to take out the police if they get too close. Worst of all, they’ve taken away the big Lambo’s unpredictable manners in the corners. This big Lambo has all the modern amenities and it performs beautifully, it truly does, what I worry is the path this supercar company is headed. I fear the next generation of Lambo’s may practically drive themselves, and those drivers will never truly appreciate the pantomime, drama and theatre that these incredible cars create simply because they were as beautiful as they were dangerous. This is what Lamborghini was built on – being unpredictable and flamboyant; never knowing if it’s going to turn on you and commit harry carri, all the while looking good doing it, and that’s not ridiculous.

See the vid below

Top Gear – Aventador from ElectroFSH on Vimeo.