Lamborghini Reventon (2007) review

Published:04 December 2007

Lamborghini Reventon (2007) review
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You’re driving Darth Vader’s car!

Yes, Lamborghini’s outrageous Reventon is unlike anything else we’ve seen. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month, the Reventon is about the meanest, baddest and most aggressive sports car ever conceived.

It’s based on the sensationally proportioned LP640 Coupe, but has been dressed up by Satan’s personal tailor in a military hue. The Reventon is the ultimate limited edition Lamborghini – just 20 will be built, at a cost of €1,000,000 each, and all have already been snapped up. Eleven cars go to America, seven stay in Europe, one will be dispatched to Japan and one to Dubai.

It’s an amazing piece of automotive sculpture.

Designed in-house, the sinister Reventon is a breath-taking mix of Star Wars and Hot Wheels. Every edge is chiseled to perfection, each line is carved with total precision, and all the angles fit in a network of long, strong muscular cords.

And it’s beautifully detailed, too. Drink in those piercing LED headlamps, the bright yellow pinhead indicators and the red arrow taillights. Also new are the black alloy rims complete with carbonfibre blades for enhanced cooling – not to mention just looking cool – a machined-from-solid filler cap and air intakes that are both bigger and more geometric than those on the LP.

As with all Lamborghini’s current models, the Reventon is bull-related – it’s the name of a famous black bull, which dominated the Spanish corridas in the late 1930s. The fiercesome beast killed the famous torero Felix Guzman in 1943 before meeting its own grisly end. 

Is it as fast as it looks?

Yes and no. Because each Reventon costs €1,000,000, Lamborghini was somewhat reluctant to hand one over to us without some form of insurance cover. But rather than make us sign away our lives, they decided to limit our Reventon’s top speed to 81mph.

Frustration with a very large F – particularly when trying to overtake an arthritic Fiat Ritmo in the face of fast-approaching oncoming traffic. Of course, those deep-pocketed buyers will get the full power treatment. And the Reventon has plenty of power. It uses the same bellowing mid-mounted 6.5-litre V12 as the LP640 but power has climbed from 631 to 641bhp. 

How is that power hike achieved?

If you’re hoping we're about to plunge into a high-tech engineering world of direct-injection, constantly variable valve timing and variable compression to explain the power hike, you’re in for a disappointment.

Lamborghini’s engineers simply checked its LP640 engines for tolerance. Those that ran at the upper bhp limit or beyond were put aside for the Reventon. Still, with a top speed of 212mph and a 3.4 second bolt to 60mph, the Reventon is hardly sluggish. 

 

I’m guessing it’s a formidable drive, limited speed aside?

The Reventon is one of the most fascinating sports cars (a lot of) money will buy. Its presence is second to none, its twelve-cylinder is an old-school monster motor and its chassis remains untamed despite all-wheel drive. With its uprated suspension and low-profile 245-front and 335-rear Pirellis rubber, the Reventon’s ride quality is jarringly firm – it fights every pothole, every transverse ridge and every tramlining groove.

Although all-paw drive and traction control do help, there is no ESP, something that becomes immediately apparent even at these low speeds through downhill corners and in the wake of late lift-off actions. 

Is that E-Gear still a disappointment?

Yes – it’s arguably this Reventon’s Achilles heel. It may work in the Gallardo, but it was a constant source of aggro in the Reventon. Take-off is jud-der-der-ingly embarrassing and reluctant, there is too much pulsating wind-up through tight radii corners, the throttle response is haphazard, uphill driving manoeuvres tend to be a nightmare, and you need to dial in Sport to properly speed up the gearchanges. And with the paddleshift box, there was no way the test car would hit 60mph in under four seconds. Still, at least the Reventon now comes with some superb carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. 

The interior looks very Star Fighter…

The Reventon’s cabin is a weird combination of handcrafted leather and digital instruments. Although redone from scratch, the instrumentation - there are two displays to chose from – harks back to the early days of the Casio pocket calculator and the Atari video console. Illegibility aside, they reinforce the impression that the Reventon is not a sports car but a UFO that has just landed from an alien planet. 

Verdict

Not being able to fully exploit that fabulous powerplant and being lumbered by a slow-witted transmission did little to diminish the sheer spectacle and ceremony of driving the outrageous Reventon. In today’s guilt-laden and green-obsessed motoring landscape, Lamborghini’s limited edition is an utterly irrelevant trinket.

But viewed in context of the supercar arena and the kind of people who can afford them, it reinforces Lamborghini’s position as the maker of the most extreme and ostentatious cars in the world. And that, you could argue is exactly what a supercar maker should be about.

Specs

Price when new: £0
On sale in the UK: Sold out (see text)
Engine: 6500cc 48v V12, 641bhp @ 8000rpm, 487lb ft @ 6000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed paddleshift, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 3.4sec 0-62mph, 210mph. 13.2mpg, 495g/km
Weight / material: Steel and carbonfibre
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 400/2058/1135

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