Sunday, March 6, 2011

2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 | Auto-Moto

Lambo's latest flagship makes it's official debut.

The 691-hp V-12 replacement for the MurciĆ©lago is all-new. From it's carbon fiber interior shell to the 7-speed automated manual transmission.  With a starting price tag of just under $380,000 - or a small 2 bedroom house in the Bay Area.

Overall, the Aventador is nearly 7 inches longer then it's predecessor coming in at 188.2 inches from stem to stern, while maintaining height at a crazy low 44.7 inches and a slightly narrower width of 79.9 inches at it's girth.  You'll still get from a stand still to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and run a quarter mile around 11 seconds flat out at 130 mph, but show me a public road in the U.S. straight enough and I'll show you a vehicle that can hit 217 as a top speed.

Now the peice-de-resistance for me is the carbon fiber shell that encases it's occupants.  Weighing as much as aluminium but as strong as steel, the carbon fiber tub is design to replace the previous incarnations all steel unibody design.  From this modular tub design, building and future repair cost is said to stay relatively low while keeping the vehicle's curb weight under 3800 lbs.

Aluminum upper and lower control arms support the body. To centralize and lower the mass as well as reduce un-sprung weight, the Aventador uses inboard coil-over shocks laid horizontally and actuated by pushrods. The front units are at the base of the windscreen, the rears lie just aft of the engine.

Lamborghini says the rigid mounting of the shocks to the body also allows engineers to dial back spring rates for a more livable ride. A pushbutton jacking system on the front axle allows the driver to raise the nose by a crucial 1.6 inches for speed bumps or steeper driveways.

The steering has hydraulic assist with three boost modes tied into the driver-configurable stability and shift controls. The 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rears are encased in 255/35 Pirelli P Zeros up front and huge 335/30 rubbers in back. The carbon-ceramic discs measure 15.7 inches in front, 15.0 inches in back, with six-piston calipers doing the clamping at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear.

The 6498-cc V-12, known internally as the L539, carries over several key aspects of the MurciĆ©lago’s engine. They include its 60-degree V angle, port fuel injection, chain-driven four cams, quad-throttle-body intake, dry-sump lubrication, and backwards mounting. With a compression ratio of 11.8:1, you’ll definitely want to spring for premium fuel, especially to reach the 691-hp power peak at a frantic 8250 rpm. The torque crests at 509 lb-ft at 5500 rpm.

In order to get all of that power to the ground, there's the seven-speed paddle-shifted automated manual dubbed the ISR (Independent Shifting Rod). ISR uses four hydraulically actuated shift forks to hasten gear changes by overlapping the motions of the forks of successive gears during shifts, a technique that has already been embraced by Ferrari in its single-clutch gearboxes.

Standard manual is no longer offered, but the Aventador’s transmission also operates as a full automatic. As with the stability control, the shift profile can be altered by the driver depending on whether he or she selects the “Strada” (street) or “Sport” modes. There is also a “Corsa” (track) setting, which is manual-only and includes launch control for maximum acceleration from a standing start.

As denoted by the 4 in its name, the Aventador is all-wheel drive. Power transmits to the front axle via an electronically controlled Haldex clutch; zero to 60 percent of available torque is sent forward depending on the surface conditions and speed.

Now if I could only dig up $400k to get one

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