Tomorrow McLaren will unveil its new McLaren P1, ditto Ferrari its Enzo successor, but on the eve of the 2013 Geneva motor show Lamborghini has just tried to trump the pair with the Veneno. The P1 is priced at £866k, the Ferrari will likely cost just as much, but you'll need £3m for a Veneno...
£3m?! So the Lamborghini Veneno must be pretty special then...
The Veneno is another of Lamborghini's ultra-exclusive supercars: the first was the Reventon, a rebodied Murcielago, of which just 20 were built; then there were just 15 Revention Roadsters; and at 2012's Geneva motor show there was the one-off Aventador J, which previewed the Aventador Roadster and sold for nearly £2m.
The Veneno isn't quite as exclusive as the Aventador J (though with just three being built you'll likely never see one) but it's more pricey: a cool €3m, plus tax. Call that £3.1m...
The Geneva show car (pictured) is painted grey, with accents in the Italian flag's green, white and red, but the three cars sold to customers will be wholly green, white or red. As for the Veneno name, Lambo says it's a famous fighting bull, which 'became popular in 1914 when it gored to death José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda’s'. Lovely animal...
What is the Veneno then?
Designed as a track-ready ‘racing prototype’, the Veneno is an exclusive street legal supercar reserved for the uber-rich. Only three will be built and all have already been sold.
Based on the Aventador LP700-4, the Veneno sources power from a mid-mounted 6.5-litre V12 tuned to generate 740bhp. That's 59bhp more than the Aventador, and Lamborghini says it’s increased power through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rev limit, and an exhaust system with lower back pressure. A seven-speed ISR automated manual transmission with five driving modes is charged with delivering that power to all four wheels.
Though official torque figures have yet to be released, it’s probably safe to expect a figure upwards of the LP700’s 591lb ft. There's no 0-62mph time either, but the Veneno should at least match the Aventador's 2.9 seconds – rich customers might get annoyed otherwise. The top speed is definitely up though, from 217 to 222mph
There's more power, but what else?
A unique carbonfibre body inspired by the Sesto Elemento concept. There are taut surfaces and razor sharp creases, and the Veneno’s design is typical of Lamborghini and accentuates its purposeful proportions. The body has been specifically crafted to optimise aerodynamics, each one of the Veneno’s many orifices providing function to the form. The front end acts as a large aerodynamic wing, providing downforce by channelling air through the bonnet-mounted outlets and over the windscreen, and the visually separated front wings take a cue from racing prototypes optimising airflow over the car.
The Veneno’s flat underbody guides air towards its large rear diffuser nestled between the quad exhausts, further improving its aerodynamic attributes while providing ventilation for the mid-mounted V12. Six wedge-shaped openings are charged with dissipating heat from the engine while a large central fin and an adjustable rear wing enhance stability.
The 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels haven’t been overlooked either – they include a carbonfibre ring which works like a turbine to cool the carbon-ceramic brake discs.
What’s it like inside?
Though photos of the interior have yet to emerge, Lamborghini says it features forged composite bucket seats – first seen on the one-piece monocoque of the Sesto Elemento – and CarbonSkin, a lightweight fabric made of carbonfibre which made its debut on the Aventador J. This patented material, used to clad the entire cockpit, part of the seats and the headliner, is made by soaking woven carbon fibres in a special epoxy. It is significantly lighter than traditional leather but equally soft.
Though it’s little more than an Aventador cloaked in a new aerodynamic dress, the Veneno shows Sant'Agata’s clear intent to battle Ferrari in the exclusive supercar realm. Don't think of the Veneno as a rival for the new Enzo (or the McLaren P1), rather a much more exclusive (and pricey) rival for Ferrari's One-Off programme and McLaren's MSO operation that built the X-1. This is a market far above the P1, Porsche 918, etc, where clients have unique cars built just for them. Thankfully, we can only expect Lamborghini to continue to up the ante.