by Michael Butler
Lamborghinis have always enjoyed the privilege of prime real estate on the walls of young gearheads across the globe, the latest to continue the tradition being this, the Lamborghini Aventador. Officially titled the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the successor to the Murcielago carries familiar angular styling, a brand new 6.5-liter V12 developing 691 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and a top speed of 217 mph. Lambo doors are standard here, as is an aggressive exterior design that wouldn't look out of place in a Transformers film. It continues a long line of poster-car styled Lambos in fine style, with few genuine rivals on the market. The Ferrari F12berlinetta, perhaps, or even the Pagani Zonda, but the truth is, this raging bull is a special breed of its own and is an all-wheel-drive supercar that can make you soil your pants at a whim.
The Aventador was released back in 2011 to much fanfare, as it was to replace the then-decade-old Murcielago as the new flagship model. The Murcielago, which was the follow up on Lamborghini's cult-car, the Diablo, was powered by a 6.2-liter V12, later growing to 6.5 liters, and was pushing 660 hp in LP 670-4 SV guise. The Aventador clings on to the traditional naturally aspirated V12, which is the first all-new design since the original Bizzarini unit (first appearing in 1963); but, it now delivers 700 metric hp and has been developed to deliver improved aerodynamics, handling performance and weighs less than the outgoing flagship model. Top-spec Aventador cars come with a standard interactive TFT LCD display, and available ambient LED interior lighting - things you wouldn't see on the outgoing Murcielago.
The 2017 Lambo Aventador was the final year model of the initial production run. During 2017, it was replaced by a heavily revised model called the Aventador S.
After continual minor updates and special editions in preceding years, the Aventador remains unchanged for 2016.
Announced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Aventador SuperVeloce joined the roster. As a more powerful variant with substantial changes, we review this version of the 2015 Lambo Aventador separately.
Unveiled in December of 2014, the LP700-4 Pirelli Edition celebrates a 50-year partnership with the tire manufacturer. Several bespoke color schemes mimic that of Pirelli with slender red pinstripes running over the roof.
After debuting as a 2012 model, the 2013 Aventador didn't receive much attention. While the Roadster was revealed, the only change for the standard coupe was the availability of carbon fiber exterior accessories. The front spoiler, side air intakes, engine cover, and rear decklid could all be specified in woven carbon. Celebrating fifty years of Automobili Lamborghini, the LP 720-4 50th Anniversario was also revealed. 100 of the coupes were built with exclusive Giallo Maggio paint, two-tone side sills, and aggressive rear-end styling. The interior was also treated to several trim enhancements, including a forged carbon 50th-anniversary emblem. The LP720-4 denomination indicates 720 metric horsepower - 710 in the USA - and all-wheel-drive.
Launched in 2011, the 2012 Lambo Aventador arrived as the replacement for the Murcielago. Dubbed the Aventador LP700-4, the 6.5-liter V12 engine produces 700 cv, or 691 hp American, sending outputs to all four wheels. In true Lamborghini halo tradition, 'Lambo doors' are standard, as are sharp styling and an aggressive engine note.
The Aventador sits at the top of the Lamborghini lineup, which is quite an accolade by itself, but it's there for a good reason. Replacing the Murcielago as Lamborghini’s halo car, the Aventador has more or less stuck with the classic Lambo recipe: a sleek body, scissor doors, a mid-engined layout, and a massive V12 engine stuck in the back, just the way US buyers like it. Tech features such as all-wheel steering, optional carbon-ceramic brakes, active aero, and adaptive suspension mean the Aventador can get down and boogie despite its considerable bulk. Comfort features include heated power seats, cruise control, and keyless entry, and Lamborghini gives new owners a large list of exterior color and interior material options that makes each and every Aventador a unique-looking creature. The Aventador can be yours for a starting price just under $400k excluding options.
The Aventador LP700-4 is one of Lamborghini’s meanest production cars to date, and deservedly so: powered by the much-loved 6.5-liter V12 with specs to die for, the Aventador punches out 691 hp and 507 lb-ft, and will scream past 8,000 rpm with a grin on its face. High-performance features such as a carbon-fiber monocoque shell, carbon-ceramic brakes, and active front and rear aero give the Aventador the ability to accelerate to sixty in under three seconds, sail past 210 mph and stop with enough force to end a fragile person’s life. The interior gets basic features such as heated power seats wrapped in leather, keyless entry, and cruise control.
Celebrating a 50-year partnership with the Italian tire manufacturer, Pirelli, the Lambo Aventador was featured in a special Pirelli Edition. Power and torque remained unchanged, retaining the standard car’s LP700-4 denomination, but the special edition received bespoke styling. This included six exterior paint colors - Giallo Spica, Rosso Mars, Bianco Isis, Nero Aldebaran, Grigio Liqueo, and Grigio Ater - paired with a matte or gloss black roof, the latter paired with one of four matte paint finishes: Bianco Canopus, Nero Nemesis, Grigio Adamas, and Grigio Titans. The finishing touch is a pair of red pinstripes that run over the top of the roof and engine bay lid with a Pirelli logo on each. Black Alcantara upholstery is finished with detailing matched to the exterior, with Pirelli badges spread liberally throughout the cabin.
The 2013 Lambo Aventador availed itself in a special 50th Anniversario edition, celebrating the automaker’s 50th birthday. To do so, a unique engine calibration allowed the 6.5-liter V12 to develop 710 hp and a new denomination - LP720-4. Just 100 coupes and 100 roadsters were built, each with a freshly redesigned front end, new rear-end styling tweaks, and a model-exclusive yellow paint called Giallo Maggio, or ‘May Yellow’ in Italian, creating one of the prettiest pictures around. The front bumpers and side sills are finished in matte black. Inside the cabin, semi-aniline leather in Nero Ade received Terra Emilia accents, while an optional Q-Citura diamond quilt pattern is optional in Giallo Quercus. A special forged carbon 50th-anniversary badge further sets it apart.
If there was ever an exterior worth talking about, this is it. The Aventador doesn't hold anything back and is still one of the most radical-looking creations on American roads today. Whereas the Murcielago had a modicum of moderate styling (as far as supercars go), the Aventador sticks two fingers in the air and takes things to the extreme. Lamborghini is proud to showcase the Aventador's aerodynamic and design improvements: the redesigned front bumper allows for improved airflow through the hood of the car, and the lower lip is fitted with active aero tech for more downforce. The stunning hood now features a "Y" design, and the side intakes are larger than ever, which helps cool that raucous V12 lurking in the back. Possibly the most important exterior feature of the Aventador is its scissor doors; would it even be a real Lamborghini without them?
The Aventador isn't your average sports car; it takes up space and demands attention. Total length comes in at 188.9 inches, which is significantly longer than the Huracan at 175.6 inches, and almost seven inches longer than the Murcielago it replaces. Excluding the wing mirrors, the Aventador sits 79.9 inches wide, and is seriously low, at only 44.7 inches in height. All that aero adds greatly to the length of the car, but the wheelbase comes in at only 106.3 inches. Lamborghini is notorious for building fast but heavy cars, and nothing has really changed. The Aventador weighs in with a dry weight of 3,472 pounds, climbing to a heavy 3,816 pounds with fluids. Still, that's almost 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor, but rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GT weigh in at a maximum curb weight of 3,627 pounds. Weight distribution favors the rear of the car at 43/57 front/rear.
A Lamborghini isn't a true Lamborgini if it's not covered in some obnoxious luminous paint job, well at least the modern ones; we'd hate to see a Miura painted in lumo green and would much rather see a shade of demure white. As of going to print, the Aventador is available in a total of 41 vibrant colors with exotic-sounding Italian names such as Arancio Atlas - a shade of orange - and Nero Pegaso. Lamborghini has dedicated no less than five categories to their paint selection and new owners will be able to select between solid, metallic, special metallic, pearl, and matte. In the solid category, we love Verde Scandal, a modern-classic green that shouts Lamborghini almost as loud as the Aventador's exhaust bark, and under the metallic section, we'd go for the menacing Grigio Lynx, a stunning charcoal gray. Moving on to the special metallics, the Rosso Bia and Blu Nila are stunners. For the highest impact, we'd go with Viola Pasifae, a gorgeous purple in a pearl finish.
The Aventador only knows how to do big: big wings, big air intakes, big price and big performance numbers. Filling the shoes of the intimidating Murcielago was always going to be a strenuous task, but the Aventador went above and beyond. The naturally-aspirated V12 haunched behind the louvered engine cover is a middle finger to the rest of the supercar field who are moving towards turbocharged power in bigger numbers every day. Lamborghini is not shy to showcase the Aventador's capabilities, and proudly boasts a 0 to 62 mph time of 2.9 seconds, a zero to 124 mph time of 8.8 seconds, and a zero to 186 mph sprint of just 24.2 seconds. 0-60 would be a fraction quicker, placing the Aventador in truly elite company. At full tilt, the Lamborghini Aventador will reach a top speed of 217 mph. Around town, the Aventador offers a beautifully linear powerband that won't surprise you with any hidden turbo lag, so modulating the throttle returns a predictable response from the engine. Out on the highway, the Aventador turns into a bullet train and will reach 150 mph faster than you can say "yeah, I'm planning on turbocharging it."
At the heart of this Italian beast rests a 6.5-liter V12 engine, unburdened by forced induction, and so ferocious that most who experience it believe that it should be relegated to the race track. Motor journalists and gearheads around the world have applauded Lamborghini for sticking to its roots and not selling out by fitting a smaller turbocharged engine. The 6.5-liter unit boasts a compression ratio of 11,8:1, a dry-sump oil system, and a multi-point fuel injection to produce a staggering 691 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and 507 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm. Listening to the Aventador chasing its rev limit is a truly spiritual experience. Lamborghini has employed a seven-speed automated manual transmission with independent shifting rods, which sends its power to an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system (Haldex gen. IV) with rear mechanical self-locking differential. Despite the mountains of power on tap, the Aventador's four-wheel-drive system has no problem putting down the power, and to say that the Aventador's acceleration is brutal, is an understatement.
The Aventador makes use of a completely different handling strategy to that of its competitors; instead of relying on lightweight and artificial intelligence traction control systems, the Aventador will bend your face from sheer g-force thanks to tons of mechanical grip, and miles of tire contact with the black stuff. The monocoque carbon fiber chassis stiffens things up dramatically, and the trick pushrod magnetorheological active front and rear suspension with horizontal dampers and springs keep the massive 255/30 ZR20 front, and 355/25 ZR21 rear tires in contact with even seriously undulating back roads. Steering is direct and responsive, and we appreciate Lamborghini's use of a traditional hydraulic power steering system, which gives better feedback and doesn't feel as overly assisted as most modern electric systems. Throw the Aventador around a high-speed corner, and you'll be stupefied at just how much grip this car has to offer. The same goes for the sharper stuff, but the Aventador can get a bit squirmy when pushing hard through the exit. The four-wheel steering can be felt working when pushing hard into corners and steers the rear axle in the opposite direction of the front, creating a simulated reduction in the wheelbase for a more nimble and dynamic driving experience. Changing driving modes from Strada to Corsa sharpens up the suspension and livens up the throttle response. Despite the Aventador featuring adaptive suspension, this car is still hard as nails on city roads. Getting the Aventador to a halt is a set of carbon-ceramic discs with six front and four rear pistons. Stopping power is tremendous, and brake fade is mitigated via cross-drilling of the disks, and massive amounts of air being pushed through the dedicated front air vents.
A new Honda Fit will touch the 40 mpg mark thanks to a puny four-pot engine and a curb weight that's almost 1,000 pounds less than the Aventador. It will also provide practical cargo space, good safety, and will place you in a deep coma for the entirety of ownership. The Aventador is the polar opposite: it's 6.5-liter high-compression V12 engine literally spits flames and creates images of raging bonfires when antagonized, and chugs down gas faster than a horde of spring breakers can murder a keg. The EPA rates the Lamborghini Aventador's mpg at a stunning 11/17/13 mpg city/highway/combined, and those mileage numbers were most likely achieved with a modicum of responsibility. In the hands of any warm-blooded human, those numbers should drop comfortably into the single digits. A generous 23.7-gallon fuel tank gives the Aventador a maximum range of 308.1 miles.
Pass through the iconic scissor doors, and the interior of the Lamborghini Aventador greets you in a manner that could never be mistaken for anything but a Lamborghini. It must be said that the interior design and layout reminds us of supercars of old, and is starting to show its age, especially in the era where supercars such as the Audi R8 and Ferrari 488 sport sleek interiors that look more fiction than fact. Lamborghini does offer a wide range of materials and other interior options to hide its aged look. New owners can choose between a grippy steering wheel wrapped in suede, or perforated leather. Interior features include optional illuminated side sills, a digital TFT cluster that proudly displays a rev counter with a limit of 8,200 rpm, and also integrates the reverse-view camera. Heated and power-adjustable seats hug the occupants, and a two-zone climate control system keeps things temperate. The fit and finish of the interior is good, thanks to a helping hand from the Germans, and we found no major squeaks or rattles.
The low and wide-body design, coupled with a set of scissor doors, means that chiropractors will smile upon the Aventador, while six-foot-plus occupants will rue the day they ever considered getting into this exotic beast. Upon entering the Aventador, you'll notice its wide door sill design, which is thankfully slung low to the floor for easier access, but you'll still have to contend with a roofline that sits slightly more than 40 inches off the ground. Inside, the interior space can be described as snug, and if you're anything over six feet tall, you'll feel claustrophobic after spending a few minutes behind the wheel. The standard seats are beautifully sculpted and offer good support, especially when the Aventador starts tugging at your bones through the corners.
The interior of the Aventador is just as eccentric as its flared and winged exterior, and there are countless upholstery, insert, and color scheme combinations to choose from. Starting with the interior upholstery trim options, you can have your Aventador in unicolor, Sportivo black and white, Elegante beige-brown, Black Alcantara, or Sportivo Alcantara, and you even get a carbon-fiber skin option. The steering wheel can be wrapped in either suede or perforated leather. In terms of cabin insert materials, Lamborghini offers a shiny piano black effect or carbon-fiber. With such a wide range of material and color options, it's easy to create a completely unique interior.
The Aventador is more of an experience than an actual piece of transportation equipment, and for that exact reason, it doesn't offer much in the way of trunk and cargo storage space. Since the Aventador is a mid-engined supercar, the rear of the car, which would traditionally house the trunk, instead houses the 6.5-liter V12 engine. You'll have to move to the front, where you'll find a frunk with a minuscule 3.8 cubic feet of space. That's enough space for a few bottles of champagne or a couple of Paris Hilton style handbag doggos. Inside the cabin, you get a small center console storage bin.
It's important to recognize that the Aventador is a purpose-built supercar, and not a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. What this means is that you get the basics in terms of comfort and practicality, with most of the notable features being of the performance variety, and boy, does the Aventador have a bunch of cool ones. The AWD system features a four-wheel steering system, and behind the massive 20-inch front and 21-inch rear alloy wheels hide a set of optional six-piston front and four-piston rear carbon-ceramic brakes that will destroy your guts and burst your lungs with its stopping power, but the standard slotted units are more than capable themselves. All this is housed in a super-stiff carbon monocoque shell. You also get heated power mirrors and an active aero system that controls the front splitter as well as the rear spoiler, which boasts three settings. Inside the cabin, it's not all that bad: you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry, and cruise control, and you're cradled by heated and power-adjustable seats. Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps you comfortable, even as that V12 engine pumps heat into the cabin.
Lamborghini isn't exactly renowned for its cutting edge infotainment systems, and the system found in the Aventador cements that perception. The Audi-derived system in the Aventador feels aged and clumsy when compared to the system you get in modern McLarens, and detracts from the day to day driving experience of the car. It should restate that the Aventador is more of a driving experience than a form of actual daily transport, so we can forgive it for not being the most practical; but every now and again, you'll want to swap out the sound of that gorgeous V12 for some soothing ABBA. Due to the tight dimensions within the cabin, the sound system does a commendable job of pumping the jams.
Modern supercars bristle with advanced technology that, in a lot of cases, truly belongs on the race track. What this means is that they can be prone to mechanical issues, and Italian supercars are notoriously sensitive and prone to leaking fluids and shorting circuits, so how reliable is the Aventador? Well, since way back in 2012, there have been a handful of recalls. 2012-2018 Aventadors were recalled for a fuel leak issue and possible stalling issues at low rpm. Still, the Aventador has proven to be a solid bet mechanically. The folks over at Lamborghini will back the Aventador with a three-year/unlimited-mile basic warranty.
There is no way in hell that the NHTSA or IIHS would destroy a six-figure piece of Italian art just for the sake of seeing if it will keep a human alive in the event of a serious accident - we're living in the height of free-market capitalism after all. As such, there are no safety ratings available for the Aventador. Lamborghini is quite conscious about the fact that they've built a car that can sail past the 200 mph mark without breaking a sweat, and if you're traveling at those speeds, you should understand the risks involved. That being said, the Aventador was designed with driver safety in mind as well, and the carbon fiber monocoque alone offers incredible structural integrity.
You won't find any airy-fairy safety tech such as adaptive cruise control or lane-keep assist in the Aventador. Lamborghini offers the very essentials, but the nature of the car lends itself to a safe driving experience. Occupants are nestled within an ultra-strong carbon-fiber monocoque, which will stand up to even the most severe crashes, and the driver and passenger front, side, and knee airbags will cushion any serious blows. As with most high-performance cars, the Aventador's engine is designed to separate from the car in the case of a serious accident to prevent any fire hazard. Optional carbon-ceramic brakes and a highly advanced traction control system, mated to an AWD drivetrain, gives extra peace of mind.
There are so many reasons why the Aventador isn't a good car. At all. For the price of one of these Italian behemoths, you could buy almost five Corvette Z06 coupes or a fleet of Mazda MX-5 Miatas, and still have some change left for a full tank of gas for each. It also gulps down gas like it's no one's business, and out in the real world, the Lambo Aventador will see mpg figures in the single-digit region.. Getting in and out of this scissor-door exotic is also a strenuous task that gets even more difficult if you've grown to six feet or taller. The interior isn't the best in its class, the infotainment system is woefully aged, and there's not a lot of comfort features to go around. That being said, the Aventador is one of the best cars ever made. The sound of its 6.5-liter V12 engine and the way it induces asthma attacks upon pinning the accelerator is representative of humanity itself: we strive for more as a species, and we'll sacrifice almost anything (such as the health and sustainability of our planet's atmosphere) to reach new levels. The Aventador is a visceral experience that won't soon be forgotten.
Can one really put a price on such a motoring icon? It turns out you can: the price of the Lamborghini Aventador starts at a cool $393,695, which does not include any cool options or a destination fee of $3,495. When the Murcielago was first launched, it had pricing starting at $354,000, and a fully optioned Murcielago SV sold for $382,400. Both these cars made the $203,674 Huracan look like a good deal. Fully-loaded, it will set you back closer to the mid four hundred grand mark, but finding a used one for sale will result in a substantial price decrease. Money talks and the Aventador is here to listen.
Lamborghini offers everything from exterior paint options and brake caliper colors, to interior materials and even engine cover styles. On the more practical side of things, you can get parking assistance and even a universal garage door opener, and those with no respect for themselves or their $400,000 supercar can opt for the smoker's package. The available telemetry package, first introduced in 2016, adds an IOS-based telemetry system that tracks lap times and can share your performances with your Ferrari-driving buddies. A few boring but worthy options include the anti-stone chipping transparent film and a four-year warranty extender. They all cost a pretty penny, however, but the price of a Lambo Aventador was never going to be considered an all-inclusive bargain.
Most people go for the Aventador simply because it's one of the ultimate incarnations of Italian sportscar heritage. If you're looking for an engaging driving experience, some would argue that it would be better to go for the lighter and less powerful Huracan. It's easy to compare numbers on paper, but once you're behind the wheel, it becomes almost impossible to tell the difference between a 2.9 and a 3.0 second zero to sixty time. We'd buy the Aventador because it doesn't pretend to be an absolutely obnoxious toy for the rich and famous, and because it sounds absolutely heavenly at full tilt.
The Lambo Aventador was designed and built to replace the Murcielago, a car that was in production for the better part of a decade, and one that was in its day designed and built to replace the legendary Diablo. See where this is going? Lamborghini's halo cars have always had big shoes to fill when replacing the previous generation, and the story of the Aventador and Murcielago is no different. The Murcielago, first released in 2001, was a massive step up from the analog Diablo and heralded in a new age for the Italian supercar brand. Powered by a newly-developed 6.5-liter V12, the Mercy, as some fans like to call it, was one of the fastest supercars on the market, and was also the first Lamborghini to be built under the stewardship of Audi, which meant improved mechanical reliability and a vastly superior interior. The Aventador is simply an evolution of the Murci, albeit a major one, and anyone with the means would be lucky to own one.
Huracan is Spanish for Hurricane, and once you've been for a ride in one, you'll understand just how apt that name is. The Huracan was introduced in 2014 and has since gained a massive following thanks to its blistering performance, good looks, and reasonably affordable asking price. Power is provided by a Lamborghini-developed ninety-degree V10 engine, which produces a healthy 573 hp at 8000 rpm, and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm in LP 580-2 guise, climbing to 602 hp and 412 lb-ft of torque in the LP 610-4. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed auto gearbox. Physically, the Huracan is a much smaller car and is over ten inches shorter than the Aventador. It's also much lighter, and could be considered economical when compared to the Aventador, with a fuel economy rating of 13/18/15 mpg city/highway/combined. The Huracan is a newer vehicle, and it shows it inside the cabin: it feels fresher and more in line with similar offerings from Audi, Ferrari and Acura. If you really enjoy driving, but also appreciate modern features such as Bluetooth and a fresher design language, then get yourself the Huracan.