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Lamborghini Aventador driven
Driven December 2011
You know how Lamborghini has followed this naming protocol since the time of the Miura – all of its cars are named after an illustrious line of fighting bulls, and the Aventador is no exception. Well, this car follows that five-decade-old naming tradition, but the technology it employs is completely new-age.
The Aventador makes the most of this new carbon-fibre technology that Lamborghini has developed in collaboration with Boeing and the University of Washington. This makes the Aventador lighter and structurally more rigid than the outgoing Murcielago. Power-to-weight is key to speed, so sharing aircraft tech works out nicely for Lambo.
The 1575kg Aventador gets a V12 6498cc engine that makes 690bhp and 690Nm. That’s one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the supercar business – each horse pushes a mere 2.25kg of car. Result: 0-100 in a blistering 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 350kph.
And it looks menacing from any angle, radiating power and speed without turning a wheel. Slip into the driver’s seat and sink into the best quality materials in the business. You know it’s going to be special even before you thumb the starter.
The 690bhp V12 humming a few inches behind your back, the tight steering wheel, low seating position, all echo the fighter aircraft feel that Lamborghini went on and on about during the briefing. In ‘Strada’, or normal road driving mode, the car is very driveable, and while the power’s all there on tap, it’s dispensed in a manner that somehow combines ferocious and docile.
And there’s no risk whatsoever of breaking something in this car if you drive it hard even in this ‘timid’ mode. Accelerate, and the tranny drops down a few cogs, RPM needle jumping up a few thousand rpm.
The V12, only growling up to now, suddenly sounds like you have a pet thunderstorm riding in the back.
Twists and turns are dealt with swiftly – this thing may be named after a bull, but it changes direction like a housefly, piling on the G forces nicely as you exit a corner. And with those 20-inch 335/30 rear tyres, grip is never a problem. If you still manage to kick the tail out despite all that traction, the All-Wheel-Drive corrects it quickly. At Malaysia’s Sepang circuit, we managed 230kph but were still way off the Aventador’s claimed top speed of 350kph.
Despite its intimidating, stay-out-of-my-way body language, it’s surprising how quickly this car grows on you. If you treat it right, you’ll get all the adrenalin you expect from a 690bhp car and still get home safe. The only thing separating you from this virgin-studded garden of Eden is its price tag.