by Michael Butler
Lamborghini doesn't do middle ground, especially when it comes to the hardcore performance variations of its already crazy standard production cars. The Aventador SV Roadster is a shining example of how little it cares for practicality and user-friendliness. The fearsome 6.5-liter V12 found in the standard Aventador has been tweaked with a new exhaust system and other small tricks to push out 50 more horsepower, and it's also lighter thanks to the extensive use of carbon-fiber. We love the fact that Lamborghini offers this insanely fast car in a Roadster configuration: it makes it even less practical, but heaps more fun, and with a limited run of only 500, and an MSRP of over $500,000, only a very select few will ever get to enjoy the ridiculousness that is the SV Roadster.
The Aventador SV Roadster takes a further evolutionary step over the standard Aventador Roadster, which in turn replaced the Murcielago Spyder. While the mighty 6.5-liter V12 that lurks behind the louvered engine cover remains mostly unchanged, SV models gain an extra 49 hp thanks to a revised exhaust system, valve timing, and intakes. Total horsepower climbs to 740 hp at a screaming 8400 rpm, but torque remains the same at 507 lb-ft.
The SV Roadster shares a similar two-piece hardtop made from carbon fiber that features on the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster. This hardtop utilizes RTM and Forged Composite materials which weigh only a fraction more than 13 lbs per section, and contributes towards keeping the Aventador SV Roadster's weight down, and body rigidity up. The roof sections can be stowed in the luggage compartment. The SV shares the rest of its exterior features with the hardtop version, including its active aero system.
The SV Roadster is a large car. Total length comes in at 190.4 inches, which is over two inches longer than the standard Aventador Roadster, but both share the same 44.7-inch ride height and maximum width of 79.9 inches. The SV Roadster rolls on a 106.3-inch wheelbase and sits 4.1 inches off the ground. Thanks to some clever weight-saving techniques, this Lambo weighs 110 lbs less than the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster with a total weight of 3,472 lbs.
The SV Roadster makes use of the same 6.5-Liter V12 as used in the standard Aventador, but benefits from a reworked exhaust system, fine-tuned valve timing, and larger intakes to provide 50 more horses for a total of 740 hp at 8,400 rpm and 507 lb-ft at 5500 rpm. The extra 50 hp gained from those engine tweaks helps to hurry the SV Roadster to sixty-two miles per hour in only 2.9 seconds and continue on to an insane top speed of more than 217 mph. Most won't feel the extra power, but the sound of the newly developed exhaust system should add at least 200 hp on the butt dyno. The seven-speed automated manual transmission delivers every time and calms down nicely in daily traffic. This kind of performance is hard to appreciate on the road, but it's good to know that it's there.
You don't get a car this big to handle this well without the help of a few tricks. The SV Roadster not only benefits from a Haldex Generation IV 4WD system, which does an admirable job of putting down over 700 hp without much fanfare, but it also gets adaptive Magnetorheological Suspension, a pushrod damping system, and Lamborghini Dynamic rear-wheel steering, which translates into a car that grips harder, and pulls more G-force than most will be able to handle. In comfort mode, the SV Roadster delivers a compliant ride that borders on German sedan levels of comfort, which seems to be the standard for most hypercars these days, and in Corsa mode, it stiffens up just enough to inspire confidence around the bends. It's sharp, responsive, and has grip for days.
The EPA didn't bother to post the gas mileage figures for the Aventador SV Roadster, but it's less powerful, heavier sibling, the Aventador Roadster, will drain your wallet faster than you can say "more than you can afford, pal." Official numbers for the Aventador and Aventador Roadster come in at a shocking 9/15/11 mpg city/highway/combined. This isn't all that surprising when you consider the fact that the SV Roadster weighs around 3,500 pounds and is powered by a race car spec V12 engine running on high compression, which delivers 740 hp. With a 23.8-gallon fuel tank, the SV Roadster has a max range of only 261.8 miles.
There's enough space for two average-sized adults, nothing more. The interior of the SV Roadster is snug, which adds to the fighter-pilot appeal of the car, but if you're anything taller than six feet, it might become too snug. The same goes for people with size ten feet or larger; your feet will feel clumsy when trying to modulate throttle and braking. Removing the two-piece roof allows the taller ones to stretch their necks, at least.
If you thought that the hard-top Aventador SV was an impractical car, then guess again; the Roadster takes things to a whole other level. The SV Roadster gets the same 3.8 cubic feet of trunk (or frunk) space under the hood, which is enough space for a small picnic basket, two bottles of champagne, and a blanket - but that's only with the top-up. If you're planning on cruising topless, you'll either have to use up that space to fit the two carbon-fiber panels, or you'll have to leave them at home and brave mother nature without the convenience of a roof.
The SV takes a step back from the refinement offered in the standard Aventador and embraces a stripped-down look that feels more focused and track-ready. The SV gets hardcore carbon shell bucket seats, carbon door panels with leather straps for handles, reminiscent of the Ferrari F40, and you even get the option of removing the infotainment system for added weight savings. There's a flat-bottomed steering wheel that houses the paddle shifters, audio and cruise control buttons, and a rear power window that opens up to that V12 engine in the back. The list of interior features might be short, but the SV Roadster makes up for it with a list of impressive performance features such as carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive suspension, and a grippy 4WD system.
The infotainment system on the Aventador SV Roadster was an obvious afterthought, and it seems as if the folks at Lamborghini would rather have you skip out on it all together; who needs to listen to Post Malone when you can listen to that 6.5-liter V12, the best singer in the world? The SV Roadster borrows its infotainment system from Audi, and while it works well enough, it is clearly a dated setup and offers none of the modern conveniences we've come to expect from even mid-range family sedans, never mind half a million-dollar hypercars, and you won't even find basics such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The SV Roadster and Coupe were subject to a worrisome recall in 2018, which affected cars produced between 2015 and 2016. It turns out that these SV cars had a tendency to lose their wheels while driving. The NHTSA was quoted as saying that "continued driving with loose centering bolts may result in the wheel detaching." Lamborghini offers a basic three-year/unlimited-mile warranty on the SV Roadster that can be extended for up to 15 years.
At well over $500,000, no crash rating agency would dare to destroy one of these purebred Italian beasts, so there are no official safety statements available, but Lamborghini can't afford the bad publicity of some second-rate Hollywood actor perishing in a drug-fueled SV Roadster accident, so they've made some effort. The carbon-fiber monocoque shell not only provides excellent rigidity, but acts like a protective cocoon in case of an accident, and the advanced traction control and 4WD system will keep the SV planted even in the worst driving conditions. Standard safety equipment includes front, side and knee airbags.
The Aventador is a compromised car. Drive it on a race track or a quiet back road, and it all makes sense: the wind in your hair, the flat-bottomed steering wheel gripped firmly, and that 6.5-liter V12 howling at over 8000 rpm is one of the purest and most visceral driving experiences you'll ever get to enjoy... but it all goes downhill from there. In the real world, you'll be planning your trips from one gas station to the next, and you won't have enough space in the car for even the most basic of shopping trips. The interior is a big step up from the standard Aventador, but it strips out basic necessities such as door handles. And the aging infotainment system feels like a rip-off in a half a million-dollar car.
The Aventador SV Roadster is one of those cars you can't really put a price on, and if you need to ask, you can't afford it. Production of the roadster version is limited to 500, all of which will have been spoken for moments after its release, and Lamborghini has set the starting price at an eye-watering $530,075, which doesn't include the delivery fee in excess of $3,000. For that type of money, you could buy two Lamborghini Huracans and have enough change left to buy yourself a nice SUV. For over $200,000 less, McLaren sells the 720S Spider, a car that might not be as dramatic, but is faster, more capable, more practical, and will turn just about as many heads - but who are we kidding? If you can afford the SV Roadster, then you can afford to get something more practical, like a Porsche 911 for everyday driving, too.
|LP750-4 Superveloce Roadster||
6.5-liter V12 Gas
There are only 500 of these cars on planet Earth, and they've all been spoken for, so you'll have to wait for some Saudi Arabian oil sheik to kick the bucket before you can get your hands on one, and even then, it might not be in the exact specifications you wanted. When it comes to super-rare limited-edition supercars, beggars can't be choosers.
As if the stripped-down, lightweight SV wasn't enough, Lamborghini went ahead and built the SVJ Roadster, which features even more power, and a ton of glitz and glamour. SVJ stands for 'Super Veloce' for superfast and 'Jota' signifying the car's track focus. The coupe version of the SVJ Aventador set a Nürburgring-Nordschleife production car record lap-time of 6:44.97, beating the Porsche 911 GT2 RS by close to three seconds, and its smaller sibling the Huracan Performante by a hair over seven seconds. The SVJ Roadster shares its 6.5-liter engine with the SV but gets a power hike up to 759 hp and 537 lb-ft of torque. This allows the SVJ Roadster to accelerate to sixty-two in under three seconds, and go on to a top speed of over 217 mph. The SVJ enjoys active aero, a ton of carbon-fiber body parts, and an exterior design that looks more sci-fi than actual sci-fi. There are only 800 of these cars available to the public, and only 500 SV Roadsters, so good luck finding either.
The Huracan has been praised for its good looks, poised handling and general level of performance. The Performante spec car places the focus of this car firmly on the performance side of things, and the Roadster is just as hardcore as the coupe version. The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine produces 632 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. With 169.7 pounds worth of weight-saving, thanks to new forged carbon fiber tech, and 70% of maximum torque available from only 1,000 rpm, the Huracan Performante Spyder will dash to 62 mph in only 3.1 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 201 mph. The Huracan is the newer car, so you get a more modern interior, better infotainment and comfort features, and an all-round package that's easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. Out in the real world, it feels blisteringly quick, and most won't miss the SV's extra power. There's also a greater chance of you finding one for sale. Get the Huracan.