By KBB.com Editors
Introduced last year, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 rides into the new year as one of the most desirable high-performance driving machines in the world. Steeped in the Italian tradition of wrapping speed and maneuverability in stunningly seductive sheet metal, Lamborghini excels in transforming modern transportation into a rolling art form. In truth, the "sheet metal" we speak of is largely aluminum and carbon fiber, the latter ensuring maximum strength and minimal weight. Coupled with a 691-horsepower V12 engine and all-wheel drive, the Aventador can propel its occupants to 60 mph in under three seconds and continue up to an astonishing 217 mph terminal velocity. At nearly $400,000, the Aventador travels in a small, impressive cadre of cars, including the Ferrari 458 and the McLaren MP4-12C.
In the world of exotic super cars, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador has it all. Visually intoxicating, the Aventador is fast, furious and more exclusive than any Ferrari, Lexus or Aston Martin.
The Aventador is all about making a lasting impression both on and off the track. But, it's not designed for long term driving comfort. If you want something thrilling to drive that also has a refined side, we suggest the 510 horsepower Aston Martin DBS might be a better fit.
The Aventador for 2013 gains start/stop technology and cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. The springs and shocks are stiffened this year, and a new roadster joins the coupe.
Driving Impressions There is nothing subtle about the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador and that description includes the ride. Underpinned by a Formula One-style racing suspension, the Aventador's shock absorbers are rock hard, so...despite excellent, form-fitting seats, drivers will get jostled around on all but glass-smooth pavement. Ultra-wide tires give tremendous grip and huge, ceramic anti-lock disc brakes deliver jaw-dropping stopping power. Stability control keeps this rear-biased, mid-engine supercar from swapping ends due to injudicious brake application or throttle lifting mid-corner. A driver-selectable Drive Mode Select system with Strada (road), Sport (sporty road) and Corsa (track) settings varies transmission shift firmness, steering effort, throttle response and stability-control responsiveness. Choose the Strada setting for date night and save Corsa for channeling your inner bull fighter.
START/STOP IGNITION BUTTON
Reinforcing the jet-fighter jockey theme, the engine starts and stops by pushing a very prominent console-mounted button under a guarded, red door reminiscent of a missile-launch control panel.
These say you've got a tricked-out ride every time you get into or out of your Lambo. They swivel up cockpit-style instead of out and if you're clumsy you can bang your head or pinch a finger. With scissors doors your Aventador won't fit into some garages, but if you can afford this car, you can afford a bigger garage.
A perfect complement to the Aventador's aggressive exterior is its modern and inviting interior. Lamborghini parent Volkswagen/Audi has done a good job of taming the bull inside with a mix of warm Italian leathers, bright and attractive LCD gauges, and up-to-date convenience features like automatic temperature control. A pair of beautifully sculpted and supportive bucket seats flank a prominent center console housing a navigation screen and Audi-like multimedia system controlling iPod, traffic data and Bluetooth interface. Outward visibility is poor, but as they say in Italy, what's behind you doesn't matter.Exterior
If the Department of Defense commissioned a radar-evading supercar, the 2013 Aventador might just be it. Low, wide and stealthy-looking, the Aventador's highly angular and multifaceted cab-forward body is well-populated with scoops, vents and ducts. The rear spoiler and side air intakes electronically deploy as required. From its menacing low prow, to the sleek double-domed roof, foot-wide rear Pirelli PZero tires, upswept rear diffuser, arrow-sharp LED taillights and large-bore center exhaust, the Aventador LP700-4 is unmistakably Lamborghini.
As you would expect of the range-topping Lamborghini, the Aventador comes well-equipped with such standard equipment as power-adjustable leather seating, voice-activated wireless phone and navigation controls, smart-key door locking, a full set of front, side and knee airbags, and much more. One interesting standard item is a lifting feature for the front shock absorbers that allows the front of the car to be raised 40mm (about 1-1/2 inches) to clear steep driveway ramps without scraping that road-hugging nose.
Aside from special Ad Personum (personalization) colors and trims, park assist, a backup camera and a premium audio system, there is very little left to the optional equipment list on this $390K supercar. One neat optional touch, however, is a clear plastic cover for the engine compartment of the 3-foot-long, beautifully sculpted V12 engine – the automotive equivalent of Michelangelo's David under glass.
The task of moving the 3,472-pound Lamborghini Aventador from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds falls to its V12 engine pumping nearly 700 horsepower. Smart all-wheel drive delivers the power to the wheels based on available traction, and electronic front and mechanical rear limited-slip differentials hook up the massive Pirelli PZero tires. Gearchanges are accomplished via a 7-speed paddle-shifted automated manual transmission with several different driver-selectable "emotional" settings. The gearbox can deliver lazy shifts in Strada-auto mode, or respond with crisper shifting in Sport-auto mode. Select the manually-shifted Corsa mode for downright violent, tire-chirping, head-banging, bull-snorting gearchanges at wide-open throttle with full Launch Control. Fuel economy, though not a great concern of most buyers, is improved this year with the addition of cylinder deactivation (shuts down one bank of six cylinders) and stop/start technology that shuts down the engine when stopped.
691 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm
509 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18 mpg
Taking its place at the top of the Lamborghini food chain, the nearly $400,000 Aventador LP700-4 is the ultimate expression of the Italian supercar, as is its roadster counterpart coming in at nearly $450,000. As such, value considerations aren't as important as emotional ones. The Aventador buyer is more likely to be concerned about color combinations and availability on the handful of cars shipped to the U.S. than he is to quibble over a few thousand dollars of Fair Purchase Price. Going forward, relative scarcity and brand reputation should help ensure good resale value.