Driving the Lamborghini Aventador, a $498,258 supercar

We’ve entered the twilight of combustion-engine cars, but Lamborghini is heading all in on the gasoline-burning tech in the variety of its Aventador supercar, the LP 780-4 Ultimae, with its naturally aspirated, non-electric powered-assisted V12 engine. 

Decoded, the title “LP 780-4 Ultimae” implies “Longitudinale Posteriore,” which signifies that the motor is located longways and mounted guiding the driver. The “780” is the car’s metric horsepower rating, and the “-4” represents its all-wheel push. “Ultimae” is self-apparent as “final,” even to people of us who did not spend significantly time in Latin class, indicating that this Aventador is the previous in the line.

The Aventador is the flagship Lamborghini V12 mid-motor missile, descended from the sultry 1966 Miura, via the menacing 1974 Countach, the oft-missed 1990 Diablo, and the stupendous 2001 Murcielago. The template for this model obtained flip-up scissor doorways with the Countach, and the engine has gotten progressively more substantial over the many years, virtually doubling in sizing from the Miura’s 3.9 liters and 430 horsepower to 6.5 liters and 770 hp.

Lamborghini’s V12 product received all-wheel travel with the Diablo VT in 1993 to support place the V12’s electric power to the highway. The 2017 Aventador S debuted 4-wheel steering to assist the agility of the car or truck, which has gotten even larger and heavier about the many years.

For the Ultimae version, the Aventador’s 6.5-liter V12 gains 10 horsepower, bringing the car’s final peak output to 770 the natural way aspirated, non-electrically assisted horsepower. At comprehensive throttle, the engine’s song is absolutely nothing less than correctly thunderous. This is the theater that potential buyers are shelling out for when they buy this sort of an overt device, and the Aventador delivers.

On the other hand, when driven carefully, the motor can loosen up and move into the qualifications a little bit, letting the driver burble all-around city on its 531 lb.-ft. of torque. In blend with the electric power steering and 4-wheel steering (which aids the capability to maneuver via targeted traffic) the Aventador Ultimae is surprisingly docile when pushed like an normal motor vehicle.

Shifting gears

This vehicle functions a classic solitary-clutch Graziano 7-velocity transmission that the auto shifts mechanically. It also operates the clutch, so the Aventador has no clutch pedal. However, single-clutch transmissions require the engine’s electrical power to be interrupted for equipment changes. With a standard handbook transmission, drivers become proficient at easing off the accelerator ahead of a shift and easing back into it, to smooth the shift approach somewhat than lurching the vehicle’s occupants.

Driving the Aventador like a common computerized transmission vehicle, keeping the accelerator pedal continuous for the duration of acceleration as you’d generally do, makes apparent driver’s-ed lurches as the pc disengages the clutch, improvements gears, and re-engages it. 

This appears to be most pronounced in everyday driving using the car’s Strada (Street) method, right until the driver masters the art of collaborating in equipment adjustments as they would even though driving a guide transmission automobile (mainly because this really is 1) and eases off the gasoline prior to the automated shift and eases again into it following. Activity manner driving is similar.

I’ve found when driving Aventadors on the keep track of in Corsa (“Race”) mode that the dilemma mostly disappears since the shifts take place generally at whole throttle and are blazing quickly at 50 millisecond. For road driving, the Aventador requests some involvement for most effective outcomes.

A tug on the right-facet steering column-mounted change paddle engages 1st equipment. A contact of throttle application and I’m underway on V12 ability, with the Avendator’s wonderous exhaust note emanating from the anachronistic engine behind my appropriate shoulder. Half an hour later on, the Ultimae is slicing its way by the mountain roads outside the house Bologna, the engine’s energy seeming to flatten the steepness of the mountain and the four-wheel steering is straightening switchbacks that glimpse much too limited for the Aventador to carve in just one check out.

On a racetrack, the Ultimae rips to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and then keeps on heading all the way to a best speed of 220 mph. At elevated speeds, the rear-wheel steering technique gives improved balance somewhat than agility by reversing its operate and steering the rear wheels in parallel with the fronts. 

Behind the wheel of the thunderous Lamborghini Aventador
Carbon fiber is sturdy and light-weight, but can be a hard product with which to work. Lamborghini

Doing work with carbon fiber

The Aventador’s light-weight carbon fiber chassis will help the car accomplish its optimum performance, and its strength should enable preserve occupants harmless at the car’s terminal velocity. 

Lamborghini enable me participate in a hands-on carbon fiber workshop so I can recognize just how tricky the labor-intense method of generating carbon fiber areas truly is. Verdict: incredibly!

The 1st action is to don protecting devices. That implies lower-resistant Kevlar gloves and a Kevlar sleeve on your non-dominant arm (simply because the knife will be in your other hand), and some rubber gloves topping the Kevlar gloves for protection from the resin in the carbon fiber.

Lamborghini specialists lay out molds on a table for us to make different sections. I operate on a basic tray and a additional advanced vent. Each element is built of pre-cut sections of carbon fiber material that is pre-impregnated with resin and held refrigerated. These sections are lower to the appropriate condition by a personal computer-managed fabric cutter that functions sort of like a plotter, but alternatively than drawing a defined sample on the product, it cuts the content into that shape.

Just after peeling the backing paper off, I press the carbon fiber pattern items one particular at a time into their right positions in the mildew working with a white plastic software. Their resin adheres them in spot, and I trim absent any extra with a razor knife. Soon after I imagine I’m concluded, a technician makes an attempt to correct my most egregious blunders to get the cloth into the most effective attainable placement.

Then, I wrap the whole challenge in blue launch plastic that serves as a layer involving the carbon fiber and the white batting cloth that goes on top rated up coming. This is named “breather” because it facilitates the elimination of air about the carbon fiber.

I slide this full assembly into a vacuum bag, bleeding trapped air out via the vent valve. When I’m carried out, I hook up a vacuum pump to the valve, and soon after about 20 minutes the sloppy mess has contracted down to a good-looking item about the shape of the intended ultimate products. This is what will go into the autoclave for curing at superior temperature and tension to produce the last part.

The Aventador’s chassis tub is built this way, along with almost all of the parts bolted on to it. Metallic elements are rather substantially restricted to powertrain, suspension, brakes, and a few impact constructions. The relaxation of the car’s components are produced working with this laborious procedure, leaving me to marvel not at how costly the Ultimae is (at $498,258 for the tested coupe), but at the fact that it does not value more. Lamborghini is developing 350 Aventador Ultimae coupes and 250 of the $546,847 roadster convertibles.

The light weight of the carbon fiber areas contributes to the Aventador’s stunning velocity. The relaxation comes from the means of the V12 to extract electrical power from exploded gasoline with out the aid of turbocharging or electric powered motors.

Hybrids are the subsequent step for hypercars, as Lamborghini seeks to protect the standard character of its cars right until we ultimately convert entirely to electricity by electrons alternatively than hydrocarbons. It could be a required alter, but we’ll have the Ultimae to remind us of the combustion-motor theatrics that came before.