2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

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Lamborghini Aventador - Road Test First Drive - Autocar.co.uk



What is it?



The Aventador is the long awaited replacement for Lamborghini?s legendary Murcielago, and quite some monster it is, too, boasting a vaguely comical 690bhp from its all-new V12 engine and a top speed of 217mph.



In many ways, and despite its cutting edge technology, it?s actually an old school kind of a car. Lamborghini refers to it as a ?super sports car? claiming that it ?redefines the market with its brutal power, outstanding lightweight engineering and phenomenal handling precision?.





In the end, though, it?s still a big old bruiser of a machine, with a monumentally large V12 engine in its guts ? and an exhaust note to make your heart explode. Same as it ever was from Sant'Agata, in other words.



What?s different this time around is what lies beneath the typically extrovert exterior. Gone is the manual gearbox, no more is the legendary Bizzarrini V12 engine. Instead the Aventador is powered by a brand new 60 degree 6498cc V12 that?s mated, like it or not, to a seven-speed paddle shift gearbox. And at its core sits a no-expense-spared carbonfibre monocoque ? hence the impressive claimed 1575kg ?dry? kerbweight ? with single-seater style pushrod suspension at each corner.



Its brakes are similarly state of the art, and feature carbon ceramic discs with six-piston callipers at the front, four at the rear. Even its body parts are fashioned mostly from carbonfibre (although the bonnet, bumpers and doors are made from aluminium). What we?re talking about, in other words, is a car that may look and sound like a traditional raging bull but one that?s very much at the leading edge of things technically.



What?s it like?



Outrageous is the word that keeps on popping into one?s mind when attempting to describe what this car is actually like. As with the Murcielago, the doors open upwards to reveal a cabin that initially seems a very long way away, the high-backed driver?s seat nestling just inches above the ground.



But when you climb inside the similarities between old and new come to an abrupt end. The interior of the Aventador is every bit as new and revolutionary as its engine, gearbox or suspension. And, mostly, it works as good as it looks.



Whether the new digitised instruments will receive universal approval will remain a talking point for years to come, you suspect, but the basic ergonomics inside are hugely better than in the Murcielago. Not only is the driving position much better organised, with pedals that are no longer angled in towards the centre of the car, there?s also more room for your head and elbows plus better visibility in all directions.



And yet it still feels unequivocally like a Lamborghini inside this car, especially when you discover the start button beneath its bright red cover within the centre console, and then summon the courage to give it a prod. Do so and you?ll hear a familiarly charismatic scream from the starter motor, followed by a quite outrageous eruption of revs when the engine fires. As if climbing into a bright red Lamborghini via one of its vast scissor-doors isn?t somehow theatrical enough on its own.



Even at five miles an hour this car sounds and feels fantastically alive beneath your backside. To begin with the steering seems lighter and a lot less cumbersome than you remember, the ride massively more refined (than in a Murcielago). The entire car, in fact, feels more mature than you were expecting given the history.



But the big news, inevitably, concerns the performance, and I can tell you here and now that it is astonishing ? to the extent that you do not just climb aboard this car and nail its throttle to the floor at the first sign of a decent road. You build up to that moment, slowly, and discover other things about this incredible car en route.



Like how explosive its throttle response is, even at 4000rpm, and how switching between its various drive modes (strada, sport and corsa) alters not just the gearchange speed and severity but the crispness of the engine mapping as well. Which, as you?ll eventually discover later, will allow you to do things on the throttle in this car that you?d never even dreamed of doing in a Murcielago.



And then there?s the gearshift itself, which Lamborghini claims is 40 per cent swifter than a Gallardo Superlegerra?s, making it ?one of the world?s fastest ever automated gearboxes?.



It?s not a dual clutch system but it does pre-select ratios, so the effect is almost the same ? in theory. In practice, however, it?s a long way from swapping ratios as quickly or as smoothly as a Ferrari 458 or McLaren MP4-12C. As ever, Lamborghini has engineered the shifts to feel as dramatic as possible. In corsa mode you get a mighty thump in the back on upshifts and a huge burst of revs on downshifts. Which is great when you?re in the mood for it but not always 100 per cent desirable.



Having said that, it?s difficult NOT to be in the mood for it when you?ve got 690bhp of V12 thundering away behind your head, plus one of the best balanced mid-engined chassis? in existence through which to deploy it. And when you do finally let rip in the Aventador, the most surprising discovery is that it?s nowhere near as terrifying as you thought it might be.



The acceleration and the noise are monstrous in every way, and the brakes nigh-on race car powerful when you really lean on them, but there?s a fundamental composure to the driving experience that makes the Aventador seem unusually friendly for a big, hairy Lambo.



The steering is so light yet so precise, the handling balance so well resolved, you can take huge liberties with this car without feeling like you?re on the verge of an accident. So long as you respect just how rapidly it accelerates, in fact, it?s actually a pretty easy thing to drive hard. Much more so than the ?will it, won?t it? Murcielago ever was.



Should I buy one?



If you?ve got a spare ?201,900 plus local taxes to spend on a toy (so make that just under ?250k), and are sufficiently extrovert in life generally, it?s hard not to recommend the Aventador with a great big cheesy thumbs up.



One caveat, though. If you?re looking for the full ?on the edge of oblivion? driving experience that the Murcielago once offered, you may be somewhat shocked to discover how refined and resolved the Aventador is to drive. For most of the time, that?s a big step forwards. Make of that what you will.



Steve Sutcliffe Lamborghini Aventador



Price: ?201,900 (plus local taxes); 0-62mph: 2.9sec; Top speed: 217mph; Economy: 16.4mpg; CO2: 398g/km; Kerb weight: 1620kg (est, 1575kg dry); Engine: V12, 6498cc, petrol; Power: 690bhp at 8250rpm; Torque: 508lb ft at 5550rpm; Gearbox: 7-speed automated manual



WATCH THESE VIDS ON 1080p



`This car is a winner.
 
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hiimandy1

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I'm glad I've just finished finals, otherwise these videos could KILL my GPA. Especially the CGI desert/column/tornado one. I could only imagine what will happen with the Estoque, I have an odd love of four doors.
 

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I don't think I like the Aventador in white. It has some weird angles. I still prefer the looks of the Murcielago.
 

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for me it looks like a podium from a beauty contest. 1st Aventador, 2nd Reventon, 3rd Murci
 

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I don't get how some people think that the Reventon was better looking. There is no such thing as a better looking supercar than the Aventador!


How I Spent My Saturday: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 - Motor Trend Blog

What?s black, has a devilish 6.5-liter V-12 that makes almost 700 horsepower, is made mostly from carbon fiber, has pushrods at all four corners and costs about $400,000? If you answered, ?an F1 car,? you?d be wrong but not that wrong. No my friends, we?re talking about the latest road going terror from Italy, the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. And yes, I just drove one. Thanks for asking.

What?s it like? Well, in a non-surprising nutshell, it?s fast. Like, you can?t be serious fast. Like I just pulled the most excellent column-mounted metal shift paddle into 4th gear and the convoluted yet future-fabulous digital speedo is showing me an indicated 120 mph on a two-lane mountain road. If a cop had pulled me over I would have beaten myself with his nightstick because my actions were just so criminal. In my pitiful defense, I had no concept of the speed I was traveling because with the singular exception of the Bugatti Veyron, I?ve never sat behind the wheel of anything quite so omnipotent.

Of course, what do you think 691 horsepower (691!), 509 pound-feet of torque, the traction of AWD and a 3400 pound-ish curb weight equal? Your own personal bullet train, that?s what. I?ll give the Aventador?s straight line performance a perfect 10. But then there?s the handling, which due to those F1-style horizontal dampers and a hyper-stiff carbon fiber tub plus the nifty AWD, also rates a 10 out of a possible 10. I just couldn?t get the car to misstep. Big shocker, I know. Same goes for the big carbon ceramic brakes. The styling might be 12 out of 10, but of course that?s subjective. Can we at least agree that looks-wise the Aventador?s one capital offense past sinister?

So, best car ever? No, not quite. While better than the transmission it replaces, Lamborghini?s high-tech independent shifting-rod (ISR) 7-speed auto-clutch leaves something to be desired (for a better breakdown on the ISR transmission, see Ron Kiino?s first drive). Like the old unit, if you?re just tooling around in automatic, the shifts are slow, even lifeless. Put it into Sport (why on earth would you ever have to put a supercar into sport?) and things improve, a bit. But if you want the ultra-violence the transmission is capable of (sub 50-millisecond gear swappage) you need to switch into Corsa. Kinda.

I?m in Corsa (the ISR is manual only at this point) and I slingshot from a standstill down the road in first gear up to about 7,500 rpm. I pull the paddle and GA-BAM! What a shot! What a shift! What a double boot to my poor kidneys! Only now I?m nearing 90 mph and there?s a big turn coming, so I pull the up paddle at about 4,000 RPM. Shift. Where?s the explosion? Where?s the drama? Why haven?t my glasses flown off my face? There?s still too much interpretation of what the tranny-computer thinks I desire. For $400k, just go ahead and give me what I want, please. Hurt me. Point is, I?ve driven the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Nissan GT-R, two dual-clutchers that sport what I feel are the best transmissions on earth. The Aventador?s lightweight ISR box just isn?t as good. And that?s a shame.

Also, I?m not sure how Lamborghini this Lambo is. It might just be me, but when I think of cars from Sant?Agata I think of full-blown, all out, psychopathic bat guano. But the Aventador just didn?t light my chest hair on fire. In more than one way, it reminded me of a big Audi. Smooth, refined, but ultimately just too German. Let me give you an example. Photographer Mike Shaffer reported that from outside the car, the bull-tastic V-12 sounded like outright insanity. But from inside? Well, It was pretty quiet. Not quiet like your mamma?s Lexus RX350 is quiet, but did I mention the lack of flaming chest hair? In my opinion, Lamborghinis should shriek like they?re trying to fight off the Rapture, at all times, everywhere. I want cacophony, dammit! Personally, I?m saving my near-half million duckets for the convertible.

Or am I? Obviously, I need another crack at the Aventador. A single hour battling Honda Pilots and Ferrari FFs (did I mention it was Pebble Beach weekend?) on a tight, two-laner isn?t fair to the car, let alone me. This monster needs room to run, room to breathe, room to stab. A place where there?s no short-shifting or oncoming traffic. I?m picturing a closed-off runway somewhere in the desert where our test crew can begin to probe the LP700-4?s limits. And a road course where I can lamely attempt to do the same. Until then, I?ll just say that given the choice between the latest Lamborghini and the similarly priced Lexus LFA, I?ll take two Aventadors. Also, fast.
 

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I love the Aventador. It?s epic. And I don?t even care how good (or not) it is on a track. The looks and the sound say it all for me. X-factor? This has X?-Factor. Best looking supercar on the market today.
 

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I love the Aventador. It?s epic. And I don?t even care how good (or not) it is on a track. The looks and the sound say it all for me. X-factor? This has X?-Factor. Best looking supercar on the market today.
I agree, and i'll be in my bunk!
 
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