Lamborghini Aventador SV

Harder, better, faster, stronger, meaner

STEPHEN CORBY

FIRST OVERSEAS DRIVE

YOU GET the feeling that if Lamborghini could make its cars actually explode, or at least shoot out fireworks Ė and possibly bullets Ė like in possibly bullets Ė like in the movies, it would.

But with this R-rated and highly violent version of the Aventador, the Superveloce LP750-4, it has made do with making the exhaust sound like a series of explosions.

And what an exhaust it is, replacing the rubbish bin-sized central single hole with four mean-looking downpipes and tuning the sound for extra meanness.

Itís not as if the original Aventador wasnít loud, but this one is louder and more like a race car. To hear four of these cars coming down the straight of the Circuit de Catalunya together is to go temporarily, delightfully deaf.

The place to be is inside the SV, though, because itís there you experience what 552kW (up a significant 37kW) and 690Nm of 6.5-litre V12 can do to a car that weighs just 1525kg (down by 50kg) and hear all that growling, earthshaking sound close up.

We were slightly slowed by a pace car on the main straight of the 4.6km circuit, but Iím pretty sure we could have cracked 300km/h if theyíd let us, a feat that takes the racyspec Aventador just 24 seconds.

They let us go flat-out on the shorter back straight and we exploded from 90km/h to more than 230km/h in the unblinking wideness of an eye.

The acceleration of this harder, faster SV is gut-wrenching with 0-100km/h coming up in 2.8 seconds, barely enough time to swear loudly.

You swear a lot more when you switch into Corsa (race) mode, where the gearchanges whipcrack your back, and make the whole car jump, in just 50 milliseconds. Combined with new bucket seats that seem to be made out of 98 percent carbonfibre, one percent padding and one percent Alcantara (or optional CarbonSkin, 60 percent lighter than leather and never before seen on a production car), the experience is bruising to the point of brutal. But youíre smiling too much to worry about something so trivial as comfort.

Your body needs the severe support offered by the seats because the newly refined aero package Ė most obvious in the form of that huge rear wing and the giant electric razor-looking rear diffuser Ė allows you to hold serious speeds through the Spanish F1 circuitís long bends.

The result is big g-forces, and more internal bruising, but with vertical downforce increased by a claimed 170 percent over the street-friendly Aventador, and overall aerodynamic efficiency up 150 percent, it feels almost easy to push this intoxicating supercar really hard.

As a track car, itís an absolute weapon, hard and fast as nails fired from a gun. The magneto pushrod suspension keeps you connected to the track and the new active steering system is precise and perfectly weighted; better, in fact, than the new Huracanís slight over-assistance.

We donít know what itís like on the road because they didnít let us try, but an educated guess is that it would be firm to the point of painful. The g-force and spineslapping pain the Aventador SV provides on the track is the fun kind, but on the road it might be less enjoyable.

The whole ridiculous acceleration thing might be a challenge on Aussie roads, too.

A few well-heeled Aussies have placed orders for this $882,650 work of automotive extremism.

With that kind of money to spare, they probably have other cars for driving to the shops.

Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce 6498cc V12 (60į), dohc, 48v 552kW @ 8400rpm 690Nm @ 5500rpm 7-speed sequential 1525kg 2.8sec (claimed) 16.0L/100km $882,650 October

PLUS & MINUS

Slightly absurd price; hard seats; race-car ride; too aggressive for some Styling; handling; sound; acceleration; everything about the V12

01 SKIN SUIT

CarbonSkin first featured on the dash of the 2012 Aventador J show car. Itís made by soaking woven carbon fibres in a special epoxy that stabilises the material but keeps it soft.

02 LEGS & LUNGS

Tweaked variable cam timing and inlet manifold work have extended things by 500rpm, accounting for that additional 37kW. Torque is unchanged but more readily available.

03 BULL RING

Pirelli test driver Marco Mapelli ran the Aventador Superveloce around the Nurburgring in under seven minutes, only a couple of seconds slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder.

Super heroes

THE Aventador follows a long line of V12 Superveloce models that have rolled through the gates at SantíAgata. The 1971 Miura SV set the template, squeezing another 13kW from the P400ís 3.9-litre V12. The SV designation surprisingly skipped the Countach generation, reappearing with the raw and brutal 380kW Diablo in 1995. Its successor might just be the most fun of the whole canon, the 2009 Murcielago LP670-SV managing to blend Audiinfluenced build quality with an old-school analogue feel. With 493kW on tap and better handling than any other Murcielago, itís a guaranteed future classic.

OR TRY THESE...

Ferrari F12 $690,745

LAMBORGHINI would insist it has no rivals, but the Ferrari F12 is a fairly obvious contender, if only because itís similarly V12-powered and awesome. Engine size and outputs are line-ball, but the 100kg-lighter Lambo is quicker.

McLaren 650S $441,500

IN A world of turbocharged engines, the atmo Aventador may well be the last of its kind, but in terms of performance, if not sound, the McLaren 650S would also be on your shopping list. Itís also half the price of the Lambo.