Driving the Lamborghini Aventador, a $498,258 supercar

We’ve entered the twilight of combustion-motor cars, but Lamborghini is heading all in on the fuel-burning tech in the type of its Aventador supercar, the LP 780-4 Ultimae, with its normally aspirated, non-electric-assisted V12 motor. 

Decoded, the title “LP 780-4 Ultimae” means “Longitudinale Posteriore,” which implies that the engine is situated longways and mounted at the rear of the driver. The “780” is the car’s metric horsepower ranking, and the “-4” represents its all-wheel travel. “Ultimae” is self-evident as “final,” even to individuals of us who did not spend a lot time in Latin class, indicating that this Aventador is the very last in the line.

The Aventador is the flagship Lamborghini V12 mid-motor missile, descended from the sultry 1966 Miura, by the menacing 1974 Countach, the oft-overlooked 1990 Diablo, and the stupendous 2001 Murcielago. The template for this design acquired flip-up scissor doorways with the Countach, and the engine has gotten progressively bigger over the a long time, approximately doubling in sizing from the Miura’s 3.9 liters and 430 horsepower to 6.5 liters and 770 hp.

Lamborghini’s V12 design attained all-wheel drive with the Diablo VT in 1993 to enable place the V12’s electric power to the road. The 2017 Aventador S debuted 4-wheel steering to assist the agility of the car, which has gotten bigger and heavier over the decades.

For the Ultimae edition, the Aventador’s 6.5-liter V12 gains 10 horsepower, bringing the car’s ultimate peak output to 770 the natural way aspirated, non-electrically assisted horsepower. At complete throttle, the engine’s music is nothing at all a lot less than properly thunderous. This is the theater that potential buyers are having to pay for when they obtain such an overt device, and the Aventador delivers.

Even so, when pushed gently, the engine can take it easy and phase into the qualifications a little bit, letting the driver burble all-around town on its 531 lb.-ft. of torque. In combination with the electric power steering and four-wheel steering (which aids the ability to maneuver by way of site visitors) the Aventador Ultimae is surprisingly docile when pushed like an regular vehicle.

Shifting gears

This vehicle features a standard solitary-clutch Graziano 7-pace transmission that the car shifts instantly. It also operates the clutch, so the Aventador has no clutch pedal. Nevertheless, single-clutch transmissions demand the engine’s power to be interrupted for gear changes. With a standard manual transmission, motorists turn into proficient at easing off the accelerator just before a change and easing back into it, to smooth the shift method alternatively than lurching the vehicle’s occupants.

Driving the Aventador like a regular automatic transmission automobile, holding the accelerator pedal continual all through acceleration as you’d commonly do, makes visible driver’s-ed lurches as the personal computer disengages the clutch, adjustments gears, and re-engages it. 

This appears to be to be most pronounced in relaxed driving applying the car’s Strada (Street) manner, right up until the driver masters the artwork of taking part in equipment changes as they would though driving a handbook transmission vehicle (since this in fact is just one) and eases off the gasoline in advance of the automated change and eases again into it soon after. Activity mode driving is comparable.

I’ve recognized when driving Aventadors on the monitor in Corsa (“Race”) manner that the problem typically disappears since the shifts come about primarily at complete throttle and are blazing speedy at 50 millisecond. For street driving, the Aventador requests some involvement for ideal success.

A tug on the right-side steering column-mounted change paddle engages first equipment. A touch of throttle software and I’m underway on V12 ability, with the Avendator’s wonderous exhaust notice emanating from the anachronistic motor powering my suitable shoulder. 50 % an hour later, the Ultimae is slicing its way through the mountain roadways outdoors Bologna, the engine’s power seeming to flatten the steepness of the mountain and the four-wheel steering is straightening switchbacks that appear also limited for the Aventador to carve in a person check out.

On a racetrack, the Ultimae rips to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and then retains on heading all the way to a top velocity of 220 mph. At elevated speeds, the rear-wheel steering program provides improved stability fairly than agility by reversing its perform and steering the rear wheels in parallel with the fronts. 

Behind the wheel of the thunderous Lamborghini Aventador
Carbon fiber is robust and mild, but can be a demanding substance with which to get the job done. Lamborghini

Functioning with carbon fiber

The Aventador’s lightweight carbon fiber chassis can help the motor vehicle obtain its optimum overall performance, and its strength really should support maintain occupants safe and sound at the car’s terminal velocity. 

Lamborghini allow me take part in a palms-on carbon fiber workshop so I can take pleasure in just how tricky the labor-intense course of action of building carbon fiber pieces actually is. Verdict: extremely!

The initially action is to don protecting gear. That means cut-resistant Kevlar gloves and a Kevlar sleeve on your non-dominant arm (due to the fact the knife will be in your other hand), and some rubber gloves topping the Kevlar gloves for security from the resin in the carbon fiber.

Lamborghini professionals lay out molds on a table for us to make various parts. I operate on a simple tray and a extra complex vent. Every element is produced of pre-lower sections of carbon fiber material that is pre-impregnated with resin and held refrigerated. These sections are lower to the suitable form by a computer-controlled fabric cutter that will work form of like a plotter, but alternatively than drawing a described pattern on the content, it cuts the substance into that form.

Soon after peeling the backing paper off, I push the carbon fiber sample pieces one particular at a time into their correct positions in the mildew making use of a white plastic device. Their resin adheres them in area, and I trim absent any surplus with a razor knife. Immediately after I think I’m concluded, a technician tries to accurate my most egregious blunders to get the cloth into the ideal achievable posture.

Then, I wrap the total undertaking in blue launch plastic that serves as a layer concerning the carbon fiber and the white batting cloth that goes on top next. This is referred to as “breather” since it facilitates the removal of air all over the carbon fiber.

I slide this total assembly into a vacuum bag, bleeding trapped air out by the vent valve. When I’m finished, I hook up a vacuum pump to the valve, and just after about 20 minutes the sloppy mess has contracted down to a sensible-looking object about the shape of the meant last product. This is what will go into the autoclave for curing at higher temperature and tension to create the closing element.

The Aventador’s chassis tub is created this way, together with approximately all of the sections bolted on to it. Metallic pieces are pretty considerably restricted to powertrain, suspension, brakes, and a handful of impression constructions. The relaxation of the car’s components are produced using this laborious process, leaving me to marvel not at how high-priced the Ultimae is (at $498,258 for the examined coupe), but at the actuality that it doesn’t price tag much more. Lamborghini is building 350 Aventador Ultimae coupes and 250 of the $546,847 roadster convertibles.

The light body weight of the carbon fiber elements contributes to the Aventador’s surprising pace. The relaxation will come from the potential of the V12 to extract power from exploded gasoline without the help of turbocharging or electric motors.

Hybrids are the future stage for hypercars, as Lamborghini seeks to maintain the conventional character of its autos until finally we eventually transform completely to power by electrons rather than hydrocarbons. It may perhaps be a needed modify, but we’ll have the Ultimae to remind us of the combustion-engine theatrics that came ahead of.