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Lamborghini Aventador J, Future Sports Car Possibilities: An Interview With Stephan Winkelmann

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The Geneva Motor Show is now open to the public, and though the frenzy has died down, what went on there will continue to affect the industry--in terms of product and plans--for years to come. While we were there, we sat down for a one-on-one talk with Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann.

As you'd expect, the topic of the day was the new Aventador J roadster, the one-off, completely minimalist hypercar built merely as a statement of the brand's performance capabilities--an homage to the performance that underlies its performance cars, if you will, even if it's masked with a healthy dressing of luxury and convenience. So what did we learn about the car?

Hand-built, truly unique

Beyond the fact that the 2.1-million-euro car will never see even limited production (yes, it will remain a true one-off), Winkelmann also stated that the styling cues and unique aspects of the J will never be echoed in a production car, to keep it all the more unique. After all, says Winkelmann, the Aventador J "isn't about sales, but to prove what Lamborghini is about." It's an engineering showcase--evidenced in the extensive use of carbon fiber in new and innovative ways--and an investment in the brand.

Some elements, like the liquid-metal-based paint, couldn't even be serialized if Lamborghini wanted to--it's simply too complex, too delicate for production. That's a shame because it looks absolutely stunning, and all the more so in person, like a pool of candied lava. Other elements, like the new (and patented) "Carbonskin" carbon fiber cloth will find their way into production cars, but not in any way that would identify with the Aventador J.

The Aventador J also took a surprisingly short eight weeks to build, despite all of the work being done by hand. That eight weeks involves an undisclosed number of man-hours, however.

We also confirmed that the Aventador J wasn't commissioned, but rather built as a project by Lamborghini of its own initiative, and then offered to a handful of Lamborghini insiders--to remain nameless, including the buyer.

Race-inspired performance possible

But the Aventador J wasn't the only topic of conversation. While poking around to see if, perhaps, something like the Aventador J--more hardcore, more focused, more race-inspired--might make its way to production, we asked if something like Porsche's direction with the GT3 RS might be possible for Lamborghini.

Yes, the brand already offers the Superleggera and the Super Trofeo Stradale, but by GT3 RS standards, they're nearly loaded. They also have dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, and other conveniences, not to mention actual interior door handles. At any rate, according to Winkelmann, it's possible, if not quite probable. Or as Winkelmann put it, "Never say never..."

Lamborghini has the racing basis to draw from for such a car, after all, with its participation in various forms of GT-class racing across the globe, including the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo one-make series.

We certainly like the idea of a highly-focused, even lighter-weight Gallardo (or Gallardo replacement, when it arrives). The current Gallardo Superleggera LP570-4 weighs in at a mere 2,954 pounds and packs 570 horsepower. That's 70 horsepower stronger, 44 pounds lighter, 0.4 seconds quicker to 60 mph, and 1.8 seconds quicker to 124 mph than the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0.

An even more hardcore Lamborghini, with truly track-worthy kit, pared down to its essence? Yeah, we'd like to see that.

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