Review: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Bowled over by its jet-fighter-style gadgetry, we find the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Coupe a worthy successor to the Murcielago

The challenge of replacing Lamborghini’s outrageous flagship Murcielago was never going to be easy. How would the designers and engineers at the home base in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy trump the sheer power and beauty of a classic while staying ahead of the competition in an increasingly crowded supercar market place? The answer: by spending seven years plotting and planning to develop a new king of the road.

The result is the awesome Aventador. The motoring masterpiece gets its moniker from a 1993 bullfight in Spain’s Zaragoza arena, where a bull of that name took on the local matador with enough courage and honor to earn the coveted ‘Trofeo de la Pena La Madonera’. This muscle-bound raging bull, with its bells and whistles and cutting-edge technology, snorts and paws the ground in frustration on congested roads. It has enough power to satisfy drivers capable of taming its raw potential, and enough manners and sophistication for the more conservative user. But the attention this sleek creation garners as it winds it way through traffic means the meek and the shy might prefer to consider less dramatic alternatives.

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Ride & Performance

Pressing the flip-up, jet-fighter-style start button on the central console invites a throaty roar from the naturally aspirated, mid-mounted 6.5 liter V12 visible beneath overlapping glass polygons. The unit delivers an eye-watering 700 brake horsepower as well as a thrill of anticipation both inside and outside the vehicle. Managing this power on the road is done through a Formula One race-developed double wishbone pushrod suspension and a four-wheel drive system that constantly adjusts the ride depending on driving styles and road conditions. Although the power delivery can be a little jumpy compared with dual-clutch systems, this edginess adds to, rather than detracts from, the driving experience.

With three electronic stability control performance settings available, twisting around tight bends in Corsa mode produces a fearsome growl as the slightest touch of the ceramic brakes scrubs off enough speed to keep the revs high. On straighter stretches, brutal acceleration propels the beast from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds en route to a potential maximum speed of 217 mph.

"The symbiosis of ridiculous good looks, brain-curdling thrust and manageability makes for a heady ego-boosting cocktail either in town or when the open road beckons."

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In the more nuanced Strada mode, town driving is smooth and painless. Though economy may not be the top priority of most owners, there is a stop/start system that can cut the engine when stationery, and the new Cylinder Deactivation System means that six cylinders automatically shut down under light loads or speeds of less than 84 mph.

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Body & Soul

Although designed from a clean slate, the visual assault of the uncompromising triangular and trapezoidal lines and aggressive overall styling are true to Lamborghini’s DNA. The body, which is built around a carbon-fiber monocoque occupant cell with aluminum front and rear frames, has electronically-managed air intakes. It goes beyond art to become a cross between a fighter jet, a stealth bomber, an intercontinental ballistic missile and science fiction fantasy. Its creator, head of Lamborghini’s design department Filippo Perini, says he also referenced shiny-green jagged-leg beetles. The harmonious lines lead the eye naturally to the four hexagonal exhaust tail pipes that add that final finishing flourish.

Climbing into the cockpit via the signature scissor doors is pure theatre, and when settled into the deeply cushioned, body-hugging leather seats passenger and driver are faced with an impressive Audi-based instrument cluster; high-quality graphics and colored modes highlight different settings. Everything is in perfect proportion and, on the whole, feels ergonomically sound.

Once inside holding the comfortable steering wheel, it is a real effort to leave, even at journey’s end. But leave one must, and a mere tug on the release button releases the doors which take up far less space than some imagine, making parking in tight spaces easier despite the car’s relatively wide profile.

The Verdict

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This chiselled Lamborghini is pure Italian motoring adrenalin. While testing the Aventador’s full potential may be restricted to getting it onto a race track in the hands of an expert, the sheer visual and aural pleasure of owning such a piece of exotica can be still be cherished at more modest speeds by mere mortals. 

It is a super sports car in every respect. The symbiosis of ridiculous good looks, brain-curdling thrust and manageability makes for a heady ego-boosting cocktail either in town or when the open road beckons. Owners will not only have to negotiate traffic but also the throngs of admiring onlookers jostling for a closer look or an impromptu photo opportunity.  

Despite the Aventador’s technological sophistication, it retains the genetic rawness of its less polished animalistic predecessors. This is a stunning car for a new age, with its core values firmly in a more exciting and unashamedly uncompromising past. It will surely stand the test of time.

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Technical Specifications

  • Engine: 60-degree V12 6.498-litre
  • Power @ rpm: 700 PS @ 8250 rpm
  • Torque @ rpm: 690 Nm @ 5500 rpm
  • 0-100km/h: 2.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 350 km/h
  • Transmission: Haldex four-wheel drive electronic control system
  • Gearbox: Seven-speed ISR
  • Suspension: Front and rear horizontal mono-tube damper with push-rod system
  • Brakes: Dual-hydraulic circuit with vacuum brake booster, front and rear CCB, six-cylinder brake calliper front and four-cylinder brake calliper rear

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