By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
The 2016 Lamborghini Aventador exotic supercar now comes in two delectable flavors. The LP 700-4 is the more vanilla of the two, offering up a paltry 700 horsepower in a car so stunningly gorgeous it often draws longer stares than the models hired to show it off. The other is the LP 750-4 Superveloce that sheds 100 pounds but gains 40 horsepower. Both cars cost more than most homes, with the price tags for the coupe and roadster starting well north of $400,000. Stylistically, the Aventador may be a bit over the top, but those massive door vents are necessary to feed air to a V12 engine, and the ground effects help keep the Aventador planted as it blasts past the 200-mph mark.
If money flows your way like a bear to honey, and you’re all about speed, speed and oh, yeah, more speed, then Lamborghini’s Aventador LP 700-4 and LP 750-4 Superveloce exotic coupe and roadster for 2016 should scratch that itch quite nicely.
With 40 more horsepower, a serious reduction in weight and the addition of electronically dampened shocks and dynamic steering, the new 2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce is the ultimate Italian stallion.
While the 2016 Lamborghini Aventador is equipped with an automatic transmission, you’ll derive the most driving pleasure from this exotic if you shift for yourself. Of course, in the LP...
... 750-4, a combination of launch control and simply nailing the accelerator pedal to the floor is also equally satisfying. In our time with LP 700-4, we found placing the Drive Mode Select to the road setting delivered the most comfortable driving experience with the least aggressive shifts. Slip into Sport mode (or Corsa for track runs) and the Aventador roars to life sending a melodious growl down its exhaust pipes. Massively wide tires married to a Formula One-style suspension ensure maximum cohesion with the road. Acceleration from a standing start is jet-like, but thankfully a hefty set of ceramic anti-lock disc brakes is there to stop the car nearly as rapidly as it accelerates.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Italians love detail, which is why it’s the little things that make the 2016 Lamborghini Aventador so exquisite. From the beveled-edge side-window glass to the missile-launch-style red cover over the push-button start, Lamborghini design excels.
While the design may look ridiculous on a $50,000 customized Honda Civic, Lamborghini’s scissor-style swing-up doors seem almost mandatory on such flamboyant design. And they certainly make exiting and entry a bit easier.
Once you've inelegantly slipped into the Aventador's interior, you'll see how nice it really is. The soft leather, neatly arranged switchgear, and mostly intuitive controls seem out of place in a car that puts such an emphasis on blowing your mind. Of course, this is because this Italian superexotic is the brainchild of Germany's Volkswagen Group, so the nods to practicality make sense. The warm Italian leathers, bright and attractive LCD gauges, and up-to-date convenience features like automatic climate control and a repurposed Audi multimedia system complement the beautifully sculpted and supportive bucket seats and prominent center console.
Whoever penned Lamborghini’s 2016 Aventador supercar’s exterior had a visual love affair with the F-22 Raptor. It's everywhere, from the jagged edges around the air intakes to the sharply angled nose; we can't be sure, but the explosion of angles might let it evade radar. The Roadster version is barely distinguishable from the hardtop with the roof in place, and those panels remove and stow in the nose within a minute, once you've mastered the art. The sleek profile, foot-wide rear Pirelli PZero tires, upswept rear diffuser, arrow-sharp LED taillights and large-bore center exhaust are all unmistakably Lamborghini.
You'd expect a lot for your $400,000, and you'll get it. There are power-adjustable leather seats, voice-activated phone and navigation, airbags aplenty and the multiple driving settings. There are also clever Aventador-exclusives, like the button that lifts the front of the car about 1.5 inches (40 mm) to help the low, wedgy nose clear steep driveways without scraping that expensive bodywork. The Aventador's infotainment system is more or less a Lambo-ized version of Audi's MMI, for instance. The Superveloce loses some features in the name of weight savings, but you get an additional 40 horsepower for the added $90,000 premium.
There aren't many traditional options on the Lamborghini Aventador. A rearview camera, parking sensors, clear plastic cover for the engine, and a premium audio system are all available, although the best audio system comes from the car's four tailpipes. Beyond that, Lamborghini gives its well-heeled buyers ample room to customize their cars. Lamborghini leaves very little on the cutting-room floor when it comes to the Aventador. The Ad Personum option lets you customize the color, interior and pretty much anything else on the car. How far Lamborghini is willing to go depends on how much you're willing to spend.
Lamborghini quotes its 6.5-liter V12 engine as producing a solid 700 horsepower in the LP 700-4, and 740 ponies in the LP 750-4 Superveloce. Interestingly, this monster of an engine makes a subtle nod to fuel economy thanks to a cylinder-deactivation system that shuts off half the cylinders under light throttle, and a stop/start system that shuts it off entirely at stoplights. Both only work in the Strada mode. A 7-speed single-clutch automated manual transmission that Lamborghini calls "Independent Shift Rod" is the only way to get power to the wheels of this all-wheel-drive supercar. Put it all together, and the 3,472-pound Aventador LP 700-4 rockets from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds on its way to a 217-mph top speed.
700 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm
740 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm (Superveloce)
509 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2016 Lamborghini LP 700-4 Coupe and Roadster fall squarely into the "if you have to ask" price category; add $90,000 to that same question if it’s about the Superveloce. Your basic 2016 Aventador LP 700-4 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $407,000, with the roadster version adding another $45,000. If you add options like custom paint (up to $4,400) or carbon-fiber trim (about $13,000), the price climbs rapidly. Competition? Other cars from Ferrari maybe, but in reality buyers of this car have them already. Maybe a more realistic competitor is a nice resort condo, a private helicopter, maybe a race horse. The point is that quibbling over a few thousand here and there isn't going to happen, with a Fair Purchase Price and resale-value rating not really factors. The Aventador is a lasting investment, thanks to scarcity and brand reputation.