Mention the word supercar to anyone with a passion for automobiles, and sooner or later the conversation will gravitate towards Lamborghini and its current halo car, the Aventador. While not the first company to build road cars with an impressive power-to-weight ratio, Lamborghini has long enjoyed a reputation for cutting edge (some would say over-the-top) design, dating back to the Lamborghini Countach.
Even today, some 22 years after production ended, the Lamborghini Countach still manages to look futuristic, and that design torch has clearly been passed to the Aventador. Subtle it’s not, from it’s stealth-fighter aircraft looks to the sonorous 6.5-liter, 700-horsepower V-12 capable of propelling the car to a top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. The Aventador, then, is not a car you buy unless you crave both speed and exposure, since it’s impossible to be ignored behind the wheel.
Unlike the Countach, which asked drivers to sacrifice everything from rearward visibility to ventilation in the name of performance, the Aventador is a contemporary supercar that is fully capable of delivering thrills on the racetrack, then going out for a night on the town. Inside, it’s both exotic and carefully crafted, as you’d expect from a $400,000 automobile.
The Aventador uses several designs pulled from the world of racing in its construction. Underneath the car’s surrealistic carbon skin lies a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a pushrod suspension, just like you’d find in a purpose-built race car. Carbon composites, pioneered by Lamborghini, also factor heavily in the Aventador’s construction.
The real reason to buy an Aventador, however, sits directly behind the driver and passenger. The heart of this raging bull is its 700-horsepower V-12 engine, mated to a paddle shifted automatic transmission thats relatively tractable at keep-your-license speeds. That’s not to say its smooth or even remotely luxurious, since shifts are leisurely at legal speeds and abrupt when the car is pushed hard. Still, we doubt that many passengers will notice, especially when you roll into the throttle and the engine comes on song.
While the Aventador includes the ability to dial its electro-nannies back from Strada (street), to Sport, to Corsa (track), we’d advise most drivers to keep the car in Strada mode, unless the title is in your name and you have plenty of runoff room to work with. The Aventador is docile enough when you’re prudent with your right foot, but it builds speed quicker than you’d think possible when pressed hard. That’s a polite way of saying you can get in over your head quickly with the Aventador, but we’d expect nothing less from a range-topping Lamborghini model.
Perhaps we’re overstating the obvious here, but don’t expect anything resembling reasonable fuel economy from the Aventador. The EPA rates the car at 13 mpg combined, 17 mpg highway and 11 mpg city, and that assumes the driver doesn’t regularly tap the 700 horses on command. It’s also a given that no one will buy an Aventador as their primary transportation, so we’d say that fuel economy is a non-issue in the purchase decision.
What is a potential issue is the lack of onboard storage space, relegating the car to day-use only. While it’s theoretically possible to fit two small overnight bags in the Aventador’s trunk (if you’re carrying nothing else), only those accustomed to motorcycle touring will be able to pack that light.
As you’d expect from a car of the Aventador’s positioning, options for customization abound. As for of-the shelf options, buyers can choose from 13 colors (including three in matte finishes), two-tone leather interiors, premium audio and an absolutely-required rear view camera system.
For more details on the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador, see our comprehensive review on The Car Connection