Available in coupe or new roadster form, the Aventador LP 700-4 is the latest exotic sports car from Italy's Lamborghini. The "Aventador" name comes from a tenacious bull that squared off against bullfighters in the early 1990s. The LP stands for longitudinale posteriore, which describes the longitudinally mounted rear engine (technically mid-engine) in Italian. That engine is a 691-horsepower, 6.5-liter V-12 that sends power to all four wheels.
Starting at nearly $400,000, the two-seat Aventador competes with cars like the Ferrari F12berlinetta. According to Lamborghini, the Aventador can go zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 217 mph.
New for 2013
A new roadster version joins the Aventador lineup. It features a two-piece removable top made of carbon fiber. Other roadster-specific features include a different cover for the V-12 engine and unique forged-aluminum wheels.
New fuel-saving features include stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation. Other changes include a retuned suspension and newly available exterior and interior carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic trim.
Built of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic with aluminum subframes, the Aventador combines Lamborghini's signature deft combination of curves and hard edges, and upward-opening scissor doors are present. A powered rear spoiler tucks seamlessly into the tail and emerges only as speeds build. A tiered transparent cover that shows off the engine is optional.
The Aventador's interior is high-tech in look but refreshingly conventional in the location and function of its various displays and controls. The sharp-angled design theme continues inside, and neat touches include a covered, or guarded, start button and a main circular gauge that employs an LCD but looks like a conventional analog instrument.
There's no button shortage, but some features are controlled via a centralized display screen and the Human-Machine Interface, a multifunction controller-knob system borrowed from Audi, which shares Lamborghini's parent company, Volkswagen.
Typical of high-priced cars, the Aventador provides as options some features that are standard on lesser cars, like a backup camera.
Under the Hood
The Aventador is powered by a 6.5-liter V-12 engine that delivers its peak 691 hp at 8,250 rpm and its 508 pounds-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. It drives all four wheels through a seven-speed automated-manual transmission. Unlike many competing models, the Lambo transmission is a single- rather than a dual-clutch design, which the company says is lighter and has been updated to shift faster than previous versions. Manual-shift paddles are mounted to the steering column.
The Drive Select Mode system provides different driving modes for Corsa (track), Strada (road) and Sport, which is also for the road. It varies throttle progression, transmission behavior, steering assist and stability system responsiveness.
The Formula One-inspired chassis uses a double-wishbone suspension, front and rear, vented carbon-ceramic brake rotors and six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. The front/rear weight distribution is 43/57 percent.
The Aventador comes standard with antilock disc brakes and an electronic stability system. It has front, side-impact and knee airbags for both occupants.