Successor to the Murcielago, the all-new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is one of the undisputed showstoppers in Geneva. Named in honor of a particularly courageous fighting bull, this high-tech mid-engine/all-wheel drive exercise reflects Lambo’s increasing commitment to mass-minimizing composite construction previewed in the Sesto Elemento one-off displayed last summer in Paris. Set to take its place as Lamborghini’s new range-topper, the Aventador LP700-4 also incorporates the Italian automaker’s latest powertrain and suspension technologies.

>See more new cars unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show

Sharpening its carryover Murcielago cues while adding influences from the limited-production Reventon, the Aventador LP700-4 wraps all-new composite body panels around a featherweight (325-pound) carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque tub that provides a far stronger and stiffer foundation point. It serves as the ideal anchor for a new generation of suspension, steering and stopping systems. Each wheel on the Aventador is precisely controlled by an F1-style double-wishbone/pushrod setup while directional control gets handled by a Servotronic hydraulic power-steering system abetted by suitably tweaked stability and traction controls. Staggered-size wheel/tire fitments -- 19-inch forged alloys with 225/35s up front and 20-inch rims wrapped in 335/30 rubber out back -- ensure incredible cornering grip while huge carbon-ceramic disc brakes are fitted to haul the car down from its 217 mph top speed with outstanding power and consistency.

Nestled behind its passenger compartment, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 carries an all-new, all-aluminum 6.5-liter V12. Built at the factory in Sant’Agata, Bolognese, it makes 690 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque and is positioned lower in the chassis than the V12 in the Murcielago to improve the center of gravity. It’s matched with an all-new Graziano-sourced seven-speed single-clutch ISR (Independent Shifting Rods) automated manual transmission that can changes cogs in just 50 milliseconds, 40 percent quicker than the e-gear transmission used in the Gallardo. Working in consort with an electronically controlled Haldex all-wheel drive system, that combo is capable of sending the 3,472-pound Aventador from 0-62 mph in just 2.9 seconds. Other trick tech touches include a driver-selectable tri-mode integrated command system that links the car’s throttle response, shift programming and the Servotronic steering maps as well as a Hill Holder feature and a computer-controlled pop-up/tri-position rear spoiler and side air intakes.

While extreme performance is its forte, the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 will come with an impressive assortment of creature comforts. Highlighting the roster of standards in its leather-lined cabin are TFT type LCD gauges and a 7.0-inch multimedia central display, on-board computer, navigation system, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, iPod/USB ports, and keyless entry/starting. On the functional front, the Aventador also gets bi-xenon HID headlamps, LED running lights and a front-end lifting system to help it negotiate driveway aprons without damaging its low-slung nose.

Pricing for the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is expected to start around $375,000 when it goes on sale here later this year.

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