9

10

Model

LP 700-4

Price

$754,600

The Numbers

6498cc, V12, AWD, 515kW, 690Nm, 1575kg, 0-100km/h in 2.9 sec, max: 350km/h, 17.2L/100km

The Topgear Verdict

The king of Lambo’sstable of bulls lives upto the hype. And then some...

2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

Those AWFUL Scottish gits The Proclaimers were happy to walk 500 miles (and 500 more, so they say) just to fall down at some girl’s door. Obviously they undertook this gruelling journey because A) they were bloody keen to see her and B) they were too tight to catch a bus.

But following your heart and travelling absurd distances for what
is likely to be a brief encounter is something I can identify with after flying 12,800kms to drive a car for less time than some blokes spend on the toilet. Nine minutes, to be exact.

That’s right; in the time I had behind the wheel it would be possible to head for the smallest room in the house, get the job done and read all the junk mail, including the latest Aldi brochure with its dodgy angle grinders and $50 nail-guns (might get me one of them, what could go wrong?).

It all seems quite ridiculous, until
I mention the car is the Lamborghini Aventador… and the location is the Sepang Formula One track.

In this light, the time spent on a plane is nothing given most blokes, and even a few of the rougher women I know, would give up their left nut
for the experience.

Now, unless you wear long socks with shorts, have been in prison for a stretch recently or drive a Hyundai, you would know the Aventador is the boss of the Lamborghini family, the big brother to the Gallardo and successor to the Murcielago.

Like pretty much all Lamborghinis, it’s named after a bull that took a long time to die in the slightly uneven Spanish ‘sport’ of bull-fighting. They don’t name them after the toreadors (the guys with the red hankies), which is good because the Lamborghini Pedro doesn’t have quite the same poetic ring to it.

The Aventador takes its visual cues from the limited-run Reventon and has the same kind of presence as an American army helicopter gunship dropping its payload from 100 feet above your goat herd. If it was any more masculine its carbon-fibre testicles would scrape on the tarmac.

I’m driving the Aventador in Malaysia with journalists from South East Asia, some of whom learnt their skills at the Gumby School of Driving, so the briefing is full of useful tips such as ‘do not change down gears until you have started braking’...

After a lap in the passenger seat to learn the track I wait nervously for my go, hoping there is at least one car left for me. Finally, I walk out to a white Aventador which is giving off an all-over heat shimmer.

The scissor door lifts up and I try to contemplate the best way to get in without looking like a muppet, before giving up and falling backwards into the cockpit. Classy.

After pulling the door down I’m all alone in a supercar that costs $754,600 (before on-road costs) in Australia.

The Aventador has a start button like just about every sports car these days, but it also has a red plastic cover you need to flick back first. It’s kind of like the protective cover over the big red button on the desk in the White House. Press it and the 6.5-litre V12 clears its throat with a sound so stunning I can’t help but giggle.

The ear candy continues as it grumbles away when I ease out of the pit lane behind a V10 Gallardo that will act as the pace car.

To be honest, I can’t remember much from the first lap as I fumble with the controls and try to get an idea of how this beast behaves.

The second and third laps are awesome. The fear has melted away and the Aventador is up and running, snorting and bellowing as it tears through the fast bends.

A compatriot says his speedo read 180km/h during some turns and hit 250km/h on the straight, which is still 100km/h short of its top speed, but who has time to look?

I’m having trouble breathing as I use all the road powering out of the corners; all that sticky rubber fails to maintain complete traction and I’m onto the ripple strips. Those 12 cylinders lurking behind me are making a monstrous 515kW and 690Nm, which is being fed through all four wheels, enough for a 0-100km/h sprint of 2.9 seconds. Seriously, I’m not kidding. That’s motorbike quick.

I flick the right gear paddle and the seven-speed automated manual bangs into the next gear with all the subtlety of a SWAT team.

I’m starting to get a feel for the car. You see, Lamborghini went out of its way to give the Aventador a full one-piece carbon-fibre cell, the only one of its kind on the planet, and then used other super-light materials.

The end result is a car that is huge, has a massive engine, and still weighs just 1575kg. It feels surreal to throw a car wider than a Hummer into turns when it feels as light as a hatchback.

Lamborghini also chose pushrod suspension, that is, race-car inspired shocks and springs that sit vertically, allowing the car to laugh in the face of lateral g-forces and sit remarkably flat in and out of bends.

What shocks me is just how easy to drive this thing is. Sure, the tail can hang out, but never uncontrollably. There is a stunning amount of power, but you have to rev the engine all the way out to 8000rpm to get the best from it. That’s how it should be.

All too quickly, my time in the Aventador is over. Within seconds I’m being prised from the cabin, wailing and saying things about those doing the prising that I would like to unreservedly apologise for.

Reviewed by: James Stanford

Driven: November 07, 2013