It was bound to happen, despite the numerous images leaked during the past fortnight, and to ensure all eyes were on Lamborghini’s stand, the new Aventador LP700-4 was revealed last night at the VW Group pre-show party guaranteeing it the front-page position on Day 1 of the 81st Geneva Motorshow.

Lamborghini describes the Aventador LP 700-4 as “.. redefining the very pinnacle of the world super sports car market – brutal power, outstanding lightweight engineering and phenomenal handling precision are combined with peerless design and the very finest equipment to deliver an unparalleled driving experience.”

Those are pretty bold claims, but then few would argue that its predecessor, the Murciélago in LP 670-4 SuperVeloce guise was already the finest super sports car on the market, so if Lamborghini say they’ve now bettered that benchmark then we’re in for a very exciting ride.

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is quite unique in this sector. It is based on an innovative monocoque made from carbon-fibre that combines exceptional lightweight engineering with the highest levels of stiffness and safety. The new 6.5 litre twelve-cylinder engine produces 690 bhp together with astonishing low-end torque.

Thanks to a dry weight of only 1,575 kilograms (3,472 lb), the weight-to-power ratio stands at only 2.25 kilograms per hp (4.96 lb/hp). Even the 0-62 mph acceleration figure of just 2.9 seconds and the top speed of 217 mph do not fully describe the Aventador’s extreme performance. And yet, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are down by around 20 percent compared with its predecessor, despite the considerable increase in power (+8%).

The Aventador’s ISR transmission is unique among road-going vehicles, guaranteeing extremely fast shift times (only 50 milliseconds) combined with a highly emotional shift feel, while the lightweight chassis with pushrod suspension deliver handling precision and competition-level performance. The expressively-designed interior offers hi-tech features ranging from the TFT cockpit display with Drive Select Mode system.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 introduced by Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini

“With the Aventador LP 700-4, the future of the super sports car is now part of the present. Its exceptional package of innovative technologies is unique, its performance simply overwhelming,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “The Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology, it’s the result of an entirely new project, but at the same time it’s a direct and consistent continuation of Lamborghini’s brand values. It is extreme in its design and its performance, uncompromising in its standards and technology, and unmistakably Italian in its style and perfection. Overall, the dynamics and technical excellence of the Aventador LP 700-4 makes it unrivalled in the worldwide super sports car arena.”

The Aventador also evokes its immediate predecessor the Murciélago – electronically managed air intakes open depending on the outdoor temperature and the need for cooling air, ensuring maximum aerodynamic efficiency. And for those whishing to flaunt the heart of their Lamborghini, the optional transparent engine bonnet exhibits the twelve-cylinder engine like a technical work of art in a display case.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 at the VW Group pre-show party

Aventador – the most courageous of all bulls

According to its tradition, Lamborghini’s new flagship bears the name of a bull – naturally, a particularly courageous specimen from the world of the Spanish Corrida.

Murciélago was a Navarra fighting bull known for having survived a fight against the famous bullfighter, Rafael “El Lagartijo” Molina Sanchez, at the Coso de los califas bullring in Córdoba, Spain. Murciélago fought with such passion and spirit that the crowd called for his life to be spared, an honour which the matador bestowed. Its name means bat in Spanish.

Aventador was the name of a bull that entered into battle in October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena, earning the “Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera” for its outstanding courage.

The Lamborghini naming tradition continues, which stems all the way back to the Miura bulls which inspired Lamborghini’s very first ‘supercar’.

The heart of a true fighting Bull

Lamborghini are extremely proud of the new engine that powers the Aventador LP 700-4. The engineers in Lamborghini’s R&D Department developed a completely new high-performance V12 power unit – extremely powerful and high-revving (690 bhp at 8,250 rpm), but within a very compact power unit. At 235 kilograms (518 lb), it is also relatively lightweight.

Lamborghini's new V12 power unit is the heart of the Bull

Maximum torque delivered is 690 Newton meters (509 lb-ft) at 5,500 rpm, but within an extremely well-rounded torque curve, providing bull-like pulling power in every situation, but which is also finely modulated with the kind of spine-tingling acoustics which make this engine a memorable power plant in every situation.

Transmission and suspension

Engineers at Lamborghini have created the perfect mate for the new twelve-cylinder engine with their highly innovative ISR (Independent Shifting Rods) transmission. The development objective was clearly formulated – to build not only the fastest robotized gearbox, but also to create the world’s most emotional gear shift.

Compared with a dual-clutch transmission, not only is the ISR gearbox much lighter, it also has smaller dimensions than a conventional manual unit – both key elements in the field of lightweight engineering for super sports cars.

Another innovation on the Aventador is its sophisticated pushrod suspension. The pushrod spring and damper design was inspired by Formula 1 and tuned perfectly to meet the needs of a high-performance road-going vehicle. Together with aluminium double wishbone suspension and a carbon-fibre ceramic brake system, this lightweight chassis represents a further aspect of the new flagship’s unique technology approach.

As with the Murciélago before it, Lamborghini’s Aventador transmits its power through an all-wheel drive system, but as with other aspects of the Aventador Lamborghini have raised the game even further. In the driveline, an electronically controlled Haldex coupling distributes the forces between front and rear. In a matter of milliseconds, this coupling adapts the distribution of power to match the dynamic circumstance.

A self-blocking rear differential together with a front differential electronically controlled by ESP further optimise the Aventador’s handling. A new Drive Select Mode System enables the driver to choose vehicle characteristics (engine, transmission, differential, steering and dynamic control) from three settings – Strada (road), Sport and Corsa (track) – to suit their individual preferences.

When can you buy one?

Lamborghini are offering a vast range of options with the Aventador, there is a selection of 13 production paint colours to choose from, three of which are highly sophisticated matt tones.

A choice of two-tone interiors are offered with the “Sportivo” and “Elegante” versions, while a premium audio system and reversing camera are among the many technology options. And of course, the “Ad Personam” individualisation program knows no limits when it comes to the choice of colours and materials available.

The first customers will take delivery of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in late summer 2011

So now that you’ve decided you’d like one, how much will it cost? Well compared to Pagani’s new Huayra it’s an absolute steal – £201,900 in the UK excluding taxes (€ 255,000/$ 379,700) and it’s not that much more than a Ferrari 458 Italia or McLaren MP4-12C, so if you’re shopping around for a supercar in 2011 the decision just became a lot harder.

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Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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