ENGINE 6498cc V12, DOHC, 48v / POWER 544kW @ 8400rpm / TORQUE 690Nm @ 5500rpm / WEIGHT 1575kg (dry) / 0-100KM/H 2.9sec (claimed) / PRICE $788,914
Epic engine, power, noise, looks
Jury still out on ride and handling; outdated gearbox THE LAMBORGHINI Aventador has always represented one of the most epic engines ever created, in one of the most jaw-dropping bodies you’ll ever lay eyes upon, with insane acceleration and top speed ability – and a noise that would have you taking every tunnel possible on the way to work. But when it comes to a twisty road, you’ve always had to man-handle what feels like an enormous car – one with amazing grip, but one that kinda doesn’t want to be driven fast around corners. Like straddling a large bull and trying to point it with a horn in each hand.
With a recent update of its now sixyear- old halo supercar, Lamborghini has tried to bring the big bull’s chassis up to the same level of its engine, sound and looks. While power is up 29kW to a prodigal 544kW – the 0-100km/h time still a brutal launchcontrol- assisted 2.9sec – Lambo has focused on revisiting the pushrod set-ups with magnetic dampers and, crucially, has bolted in the all-wheel steering from the SV.
It’s the same old story: at lower speeds, the rear wheels point ever so slightly in the opposite direction to the fronts, giving a sensation of a shorter wheelbase and extra agility. At higher speeds, the rear wheels gently point in the same direction as the fronts, for a longer wheelbase sensation and extra stability. Meanwhile the Aventador’s aerodynamics have been significantly improved, new front and rear bars improving downforce while reducing drag by up to a remarkable 400 per cent. (Did the old car deploy a drag chute when you weren’t looking, or something?)
We’d love to say all these changes turn the big, brutish Aventador from a rugby line-backer to a burly ballerina but unfortunately the jury is still out, rain cruelling our already-limited time on track at Phillip Island and making it tricky to notice any improvement.
The previous Aventador was also quite bumpy around town, and we’ll have to wait for an on-road drive before being able to comment on whether the new magnetic adaptive dampers make it a more daily-driveable proposition. We can say, though, the clunky roboticised shift-rod auto still has, err, as big a personality as ever.
All that said, the Aventador remains a special car, one we can’t help but forgive for its flaws. If its little, cheaper Huracan brother is probably the pick if you frequent tight, twisty roads – and track days – the Aventador is still the weapon of choice for the autobahn blast. It continues to be stupidly fast, a true Phillip Island kind of car, with a noise that’ll remain in your memory long after you’ve heard it. The interior is nicer with a cool TFT instrument display (a la SV). It has incredible presence on the road and no car turns heads like an Aventador does.
Basically, the S is a better Aventador for people who buy Aventadors.