Are you depressed? Has the economy got you down? Or maybe your favorite sports team just got run over! Well, when it happens to us, we don’t reach for a pill. We go for a therapy that guarantees success; a few hot laps in a Lamborghini! Now when used as directed, even your doctor will be impressed with our road course cure.
Today’s automotive therapy session is being held at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, Georgia. And our delivery method will be this 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4.
Turning laps in a Lamborghini is a rare treat even for us here at MotorWeek. And one not to be wasted by tooling around at parade lap speeds. So, we went all in and started treating this Lambo like it was meant to be treated.
First observations? Well, there’s certainly plenty of power, enough to get you out of shape faster than you can say Accidenti [ah-chee-DEN-ti], but traction control is there to help, as part of a Drive Select System with settings for Sport, Strada for street, and Corsa for track.
Reading down this car’s spec. sheet is like taking inventory of an F1 shop. Pushrod spring and damper suspension… check. Forged alloy components… check. Carbon-fiber tub… check. Carbon-fiber ceramic brakes… check.
The 4 in 700-4 refers to all-wheel-drive of course, and its electronically controlled Haldex Gen-4 coupling works in conjunction with a locking rear diff. to make sure power gets to where it can be most effective.
We’re not sure how it was being deployed off the line, only that there was a lot of it and it shot us to 60 in 3.0-seconds flat. And, that’s on an icy cold January track! There’s launch control, naturally, which does the bulk of the heavy lifting, managing the propulsion as we slammed through a sub 11-second quarter mile at 133 miles-per-hour.
The Independent Shifting Rods transmission, or ISR, is more robotic than automatic. And while it uses just a single clutch, that didn’t seem to hold it back any on the track, as shifts are tremendously quick, if not as smooth as the best multi-clutch units. Oh yeah, brakes are phenomenal and this car sounds freakin’ terrific!
Mixing the air and fuel and exploding all of that power is a 691-horsepower double overhead cam, aluminum alloy, 6.5-liter, V12 monster located amidships just behind the driver. At full song, spinning up all of its 509 lb-ft. of torque, not only do you get that great sound, but you can feel this thing working its combustion magic right behind you. La dolce vita.
And, while on the street we also found our 2012 Aventador to be much friendlier than Lambos of old, it still retains enough of a jagged edge. Much like its bull namesake, it can go from sedate to steaming with just a sharp stab of the throttle. The suspension on 2013 models get a bit more of that edge massaged out, plus up to 20% better fuel economy with new automatic stop-start and cylinder deactivation.
What can you say about exterior design other than the Aventador appears more like sculpture than something you drive, as its many lines and creases look chiseled from granite. Most of them are functional of course, with aerodynamic treatments throughout. Including a rear spoiler that doesn’t just deploy automatically, but adjusts for high and mid-range speeds as well.
It’s one low and wide car that of course, carries on the Countach tradition of upward opening, scissor doors. Though they are counterbalanced far more precisely here on the Aventador. Even with extensive use of carbon fiber, including in its monoccoque chassis, the Aventador still has a 3,500 pound dry weight.
And it does look truly massive from the rear with big air extractors giving it a 3-dimensional persona, highlighted by y-shaped LED tail lights. 19-inch wheels do the turning up front, while 20’s in the rear try to stay in line with the 335 Pirelli rubber.
Inside, the Aventador is purposeful, but with enough of a soft edge to let you know that Audi is now calling the shots in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Controls are useful, consisting mostly of Audi parts, including a nicely disguised version of their MMI central controller. But, there are plenty of unique items, as well. And it’s hard not to enjoy hitting the start switch after flipping up the cover. You’re ready for launch!
Ergonomics are vastly superior to all previous Lambos. Fit and finish are luxury-car worthy and seats are comfortable enough for hitting the road for extended periods of time.
One tradition hasn’t changed however, and that’s a lack of storage space, so try your best to leave your baggage, and maladies, behind.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that only the super-rich get to purchase super-cars, and the Aventador’s base price of $389,995 is no joke.
The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is first and foremost still a Lamborghini. But, it’s a much more “together” one. And those fortunate enough to park one on their property will not only get a truly amazing supercar, but a mobile therapy session than can be used as needed for alleviation of the daily grind. It’s a great car, and even better medicine.
Engine: 6.5-liter, V12
Torque: 509 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3 seconds
1/4 mile: 11 seconds @ 133 mph