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Lamborghini stops Geneva with the £1.7m, 760bhp ‘Centenario’

Please be upstanding for the most powerful production Lamborghini ever built

There are anniversaries, and then there are Lamborghini anniversaries. Celebrating 100 years since company founder Ferruccio’s birth then, comes the most powerful toro to have escaped from the stable.

Meet the Lamborghini Centenario. It is a limited edition supercar built almost entirely from carbon fibre, packing a 760bhp V12 and enough aero cues that pay homage to the legendary Italian on whose name the company stands. It debuts at the Geneva Motor Show, and could even have enough in its locker to distract people from a new Bugatti.

It’s based on the Aventador, though measures in slightly longer than even the 740bhp SV version. There are large air scoops on the front bonnet, in part a reference to the sports cars of the 1970s, but also a functional aid for downforce on the front axle.

Even the headlights get weeny air ducts, along with the side skirts and wheel arches, all providing important flow to the rear radiators. The roof takes up Lamborghini’s other muse, that of the aeronautical industry, with a hexagonal carbon fibre air duct up top.

There’s lots and lots of carbon fibre, Lamborghini employing the lightweight material for the entire body and monocoque chassis. The front splitter, side skirts, wheel arches and rear diffuser are all functional, and therefore coloured in matt carbon. The show car’s body is gloss carbon, though you can pick a colour if you’d prefer. All in, it weighs 1,520kg, making it 55 kilos lighter than an Aventador.

Oh, and there’s an extendable rear wing, integrated into the body at low speeds, extending out 150mm and 15 degrees during what Lamborghini deems “high performance conditions”. And we haven’t even touched on the mother of all rear diffusers…

Aiding such a state of play requires something big and V12-shaped. Step forward the company’s raucous, 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder engine, mounted in the middle and here tuned to produce that headline 760bhp, and with its rev limiter raised to 8,600rpm. It is, as Lambo says, the company’s most powerful engine ever built. And one of the most powerful cars without a turbo ever.

Acceleration is suitably stratospheric. Utilising four-wheel-drive and a seven–speed manual sequential ‘box, 0-62mph takes just 2.8 seconds, with 0-186mph dispatched in 23.5secs. While that’s not a benchmark you might be familiar with, it means the Lambo will be closing in on 200mph in the time it’s taken you to read this paragraph. Swift, then.

Top speed? Over 217mph, though Lamborghini frustratingly doesn’t say by how much. We suspect a notable bit, given the spec on offer.

There’s also rear-wheel-steering added, allowing greater agility at low speeds, and increased stability during the fast stuff. Three driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa – accompany Lambo’s dynamic steering and adaptive suspension. 

There are lightweight, carbon fibre sports seats inside, with carbon fibre panels, Alcantara and a 10.1in high definition touchscreen, which includes Apple CarPlay and trackday telemetry. Though each owner can make the interior his or her personal playground, Lamborghini tailoring each cabin for the owner.

And there’ll only ever be 40 owners, because Lambo is only building 20 coupes, and 20 roadsters, with deliveries kicking off later this year and throughout 2017. The price is €1.75m plus tax, which is around £1.7million including VAT. But that’s rather a moot point, because all 40 Centenarios have already been sold. And that’s before it’s Geneva Motor Show unveiling.

“It is the most fitting tribute to Ferruccio Lamborghini in his centenary year,” explains outgoing boss Stephan Winkelmann. “A man who created an exceptional brand, believed that anything was possible and produced extraordinary, iconic cars.

“The Centenario is a super sports car for Ferruccio Lamborghini and the future he and we believe in today,” he added.

It certainly is. Happy anniversary, old boy.

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