by Deiondre van der Merwe
Some of us are content to live life simply, and some of us revel in pure excess. The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster wouldn't have come into being without those who relate to the latter. Lamborghini has those rich with fame and infinite bank accounts knocking down its door, and if those ever run out, millions of enthusiasts waiting for the day they can afford one. Lamborghini's most expensive and powerful roadster resorts to a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine that produces 759 horsepower and 531 lb-ft. It's an unadulterated sports car that exudes confidence wherever it goes, and with production limited to 800 units internationally, it'll be a collector's item in the near future. Rarity aside, the Aventador SVJ proudly holds the second-fastest lap time on the Nurburgring, an achievement envied by automakers globally.
Introduced to the world at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, the Aventador SVJ Roadster boasts the same power and performance as its coupe stablemate, but adds its own special touch to the mix - the ability to get rid of its roof.
|LP770-4 SVJ Roadster||
6.5L V12 Gas
The design of the Aventador is akin to that of a ridiculously attractive spaceship, but the Roadster adds a bit of fighter jet to the mix. It's an unmistakable Lamborghini design that relies on the latest version of Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva, which is just Italian grandeur for the automaker's patented active aerodynamics system. It's separated from the coupe by a removable high-pressure TRM carbon fiber roof that can be stored in the frunk, but don't make the mistake of leaving it behind in the garage. Imagine the insurance claim on a six-figure supercar's Alacantara-clad cabin, and you'll be less likely to forget.
The Aventador SVJ Roadster doesn't come with compact dimensions, and measures 194.6 inches from front to back, and, thanks to its substantially wide haunches, a width measurement of 89.5 inches with the mirrors included. It's as low as it is wide and hunkers down to the ground with a height of just 44.7 inches. Lamborghini claims a dry weight of 3,472 pounds, which is 110 pounds heavier than the fixed-roof SVJ.
The Aventador SVJ is without any kind of supercharger or turbo, and relies on new intake runners, titanium valves and new cylinder head ports to improve performance. The naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 produces 759 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, effectively making the SVJ home to Lamborghini's most powerful V12 ever put into a production car. The outrageous mill is hooked up to a single-clutch seven-speed transmission and the marriage results in a 2.7-second run from 0-60 mph, if Lamborghini's claims are to be believed. The claim is two-tenths of a second behind the Porsche 918 Spyder's achievement.
The crown jewel in Lamborghini's arsenal for the SVJ Roadster is its excellent handling capability, and it owes its road manners to its expertly engineered aerodynamics. When necessary, the ALA system flaps activate in around half a second, and when the system is off, the fixed carbon fiber wing delivers traditional downforce for cornering at high speeds and full braking. The airflow over the roof carries on uninterrupted with or without the roof and the result of that is 40% more downforce than its SV stablemate. The Roadster is guided by incredibly precise steering that doesn't sacrifice natural feeling. Controlling it all through the corners, a magnetorheological suspension improves anti-roll bar stiffness. Summed up, it's mostly a delight both on everyday roads and the track, but the old-tech single-clutch transmission can feel unrefined at times. It also has the tendency to be a little clunky in slower speed maneuvers compared to its rivals.
It's a blessing in disguise that the EPA chooses not to list the SVJ's gas-guzzling tendencies, so the absence of solid figures is a good enough reason to pretend you aren't aware of its drinking problem. If you have to know, independent testing rates the regular Aventador at 9/15/11 mpg city/highway/combined, but the reality is that you aren't likely to have a light foot, so it's best to assume that they'll be much worse. If we base total range on the theoretical figures, the total range offered will be around 240 miles, but we doubt that number will be reached by the average driver.
True to its supercar nature, the inside of the SVJ Roadster is cramped and while it won't massacre the comfort of six-footers, it's certainly a task to even get into the cabin. The good news is that taller occupants have the freedom of an open top to turn to on warmer days. Seating is swathed in Alcantara and firmly embraces occupants in and out of the bends, which is all that you can really ask for from a car like this. Still, the seats are surprisingly comfortable.
Unless you're going alone, a getaway that's planned to last longer than two days is out of the question. You could make it work with a partner, as long as you don't plan on packing anything but a toothbrush and deodorant. The frunk allows for 4.9 cubes, favoring malleable duffel bags over any unsquashable luggage to carry your belongings. It's not a real downfall when you consider what the car was made for.
Most of the Aventador's features are aimed at making it more suitable for the track, but notably, nearly every single piece of the interior can be opted for in leather or Alcantara. It's totally up to the man or woman behind the check. An Alcantara-clad multifunction steering wheel and electrically-adjustable heated seats form part of the standard list, and the doors can be closed from the inside via red straps. Climate control and push-button start round off the list. The more important features contribute to its fierce attitude on track and include an impossibly light carbon fiber chassis, an expertly designed aerodynamics system, and carbon ceramic brakes.
Infotainment wasn't in the limelight when Lamborghini put the SVJ Roadster together, a fact made apparent by the outdated infotainment system. Still, it offers more than other supercars that put this much effort into being a track-ready demon. The screen allows for Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth streaming at the very least, and navigation leads the way as a standard tech feature. A four-speaker sound system is optionally available, but if you're seriously considering listening to throwback hits of the nineties over the heavenly melody sung by the unassisted V12 - get out, because you don't belong in an SVJ.
So far, the SVJ Roadster hasn't been recalled, but certain Aventador models were recalled two years ago for issues with stalling in lower rev ranges. Lamborghini offers a three-year, unlimited mileage basic, corrosion, and drivetrain warranty.
No safety rating agency would dare to crash the SVJ Roadster for a simple rating out of five stars, so you're going to have to rely on its massive brakes and solid chassis for safety. While it doesn't offer the convenient driver assists found on something even as basic as a Honda Fit, it comes with track-focused systems that are more likely to protect you from any serious accidents. The carbon fiber chassis acts as a protective cage, and those large carbon ceramic brakes bring the SVJ to a halt in record time. Front and rear parking sensors are also available with a rearview camera.
Only the elite keep an assassin of the Nurburgring in their garage, and we all envy them. The Aventador SVJ Roadster is one of the most undiluted supercars on the planet, and considering that it manages to do this with the added offering of open-air driving is maddening. It's home to a barbaric V12 engine that isn't shared with any of its corporate relations like Porsche or Bugatti, and the 759 hp mill does a fine job of stealing the heart of a true performance enthusiast. Paired with its rock-solid carbon fiber chassis and physics-defying aerodynamics, the SVJ is an automotive wonder. The heavenly tone that is pushed out of the dual-exhaust system is on par with Luciano Pavarotti's greatest hits, if not better. The SVJ is a fine example of a convertible supercar and deserves its spot among the greats.
While a starting MSRP of $573,966 may not be the easiest pill to swallow, the SVJ Roadster is more affordable than the Porsche 918 Spyder by a good couple of thousands, and it hikes the price up considerably in comparison to the Ferrari 812 GTS. The price can easily skyrocket with additional options. The price is mainly attributable to the limited number of 800 units.
With only one version to choose from, purchasers will have to turn to the options (and there are many) to personalize their Roadster. If we were behind the check worth over half a million dollars, we'd add a couple more thousands and opt for the Blue Nila exterior paint and the Leirion wheels in Bronze for the exterior, and we'd throw in paint protection film for extra longevity. Then we'd opt for the Blue Amon interior and the Carbon Skin Package. For tech, we'd opt for the Lamborghini Telemetry and if you're concerned about misjudging the wideness of the SVJ's glorious Italian rear, opt for the front and rear park sensors with the rearview camera.
You'll be paying close to a million dollars for the ownership papers to a 918 Spyder, and Porsche ensures that purchasers know they're looking at the successor to the Carrera GT, at least in spirit. At the core, these supercars have a very different ethos, while the Aventador sticks to a huge V12 without any fiddles, the Spyder turns to modern go-fast tech and enlists the help of two electric motors for its V8. The result? A run from 0-60 mph that is three-tenths of a second faster than the SVJ. On the inside, the Aventador is way more gaudy and flashy than the cabin of its German counterpart. The Porsche exudes a more refined elegance, while the Aventador looks you in the eye and asks you what your problem is.
While both of these convertibles turn to 6.5-liter V12 engines to get the wheels turning, the one out of Maranello produces 789 horsepower in comparison to the 759 horses produced by the Lambo. Still, the 812 GTS doesn't give off an outright-supercar feeling, but rather a powerful tourer. The GTS is undeniably attractive, but the SVJ's aggressive and futuristic styling is far more eye-catching. Another key difference between these two is that the Aventador is vastly more track-capable, but the GTS doesn't perform badly at all when the pedal is pushed all the way down. Refinement? GTS. Madness? SVJ.
Check out some informative Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster video reviews below.