► Lighter, more powerful Aventador
► 740bhp, 217mph, 0-62mph in 2.8sec
► 500 cars will be built, at £320k each
Regular Aventador not fast, powerful or manly enough for you? Lamborghini’s spectacular new SV version has already ripped a 6.59 at the Nurburgring on its first go and bosses reckon the Porsche 918’s 6.57 is easy meat.
Let’s recap: what’s the lowdown on the standard Aventador, and what’s CAR’s take?
On paper the £286k Aventador LP700-4 seems to tick every supercar ‘box. It’s got a carbon chassis, pushrod suspension, is lower than a daschund’s beer gut and packs a storming 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 kicking out the best part of 700bhp. But it’s also rides horribly, feels disappointingly understeery on track and the single-clutch gearbox is slower than human evolution. In short, it’s an epic experience, but can’t hold a candle to Ferrari’s F12.
And what’s new for the SV?
It’s a tried and tested package of less weight (by 50kg, for a 1625kg total), more aero (up 170%, largely due to that manually adjustable three-position wing), and an engine optimised to hit harder at the top end, where it delivers 740bhp. Zero to 62mph takes 2.8sec and the top speed is electronically limited to 217mph (350kmh).
The tyres are bespoke sticky Pirellis wrapped around centre-lock wheels, the pushrod suspension gets adaptive dampers for the first time and there’s twirl-reducing electrically-assisted variable-ratio Dynamic Steering as standard. Inside, there’s exposed carbon, grippy racing buckets and flashes of the special carbon upholstery lightweight leather alternative Lamborghini first showed on the Aventador J concept a couple of years back.
Dynamic steering? Isn’t that the same steering that’s not very good in the Huracan?
It’s way better in this application, feeling entirely natural, accurate and full of feel. This is still a big car. Get on the gas too early, and too clumsily, and you can still understeer wide of your apex. But treat them right and the bespoke Pirelli tyres offer huge grip, and the promise of sustaining that grip lap after lap.
Refreshingly though, this car isn’t just about the front end, but the back too. And we’re not talking about its ability to pull of huge smokey slides, though that seems entirely possible, but about the way you can set the car up for each corner to ever-so-slightly oversteer, understeer or stay plain neutral as you wish. You can even change tack mid corner, using the right pedal to trim your line, although throttle sensitivity in Corsa mode makes that harder than it should be. In short, this is the most fun we’ve had in a Lambo in years because it feels like Lamborghini has engineered it to give even ordinary drivers the feeling that they’re tapping into the good stuff. Why can’t the Huracan feel a bit more like this?
Anything not to like?
Gearchanges in Corsa mode are brutally uncomfortable and those huge arching A-pillars aren’t great for visibility. It’s like driving the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And while the new full-width digital display looks incredibly cool, its a little bit disappointing that it can’t be configured in different ways like the regular car’s, or the Huracan’s.
What about that Nurburgring lap time - pretty incredible stuff!
Lambo’s own computations estimated it would do a 7min 10sec run and they were pretty pleased with that, so the eventual 6.59.73 sent them crazy. Exclusive time at the ’Ring is so expensive that the actual time was achieved with just one flying lap. R&D boss Reggiani reckons that you can see the test driver making a couple of errors during the lap and that a clean run could cleave another three or four seconds off the total. That would make it quicker than a 918 Spyder, and I can't see that going down well at sister company Porsche.
So how much, and how many?
You’ll pay £321,723 for one of the 500 SVs, which, in the lost-all-grip-on-reality world of supercar prices, isn’t that horrific. The £35k premium over a regular Aventador buys a much better car, with little loss of usability (the standard car’s got nothing to lose, let’s face it). The junior supercars a rung below aren’t much cheaper these days, and far less exclusive, while you’ll need to double your money to step up to something like a Koenigsegg or Pagani, never mind a £1m+ McLaren P1.
This is the best Lamborghini we’ve driven for ages, quite possibly the best ever. Not because it’s the fastest, or the most powerful, but because it’s so inclusive (if you’ve got £321k, at least). It’s a scary old-school supercar that’s actually happy to open up to anybody, no matter what level of driver they are.
Click here to read CAR's coverage of the Lamborghini Aventador SV's unveil at Geneva 2015.