Supercar makers these days are caught in a bind. As ever-tighter emissions regulations close in, they've been forced to re-evaluate what they do and how they do it. Lamborghini is no different. With its new Lamborghini LP700-4 Aventador, the crew in Sant' Agata has pulled off a car that's still as outrageous as anything Lamborghini has ever done, while also employing a host of advanced techniques designed to improve the newest Raging Bull's overall efficiency.
The Aventador follows the traditions of the Countach, first produced in 1974. The body is sculpted around the passenger compartment, with the longitudinally mounted 6.5-liter 690-horsepower naturally aspirated V-12 situated in the middle. The look is modern and aerodynamic, but still purely Lamborghini. Driver and passenger enter through scissor doors and the optional clear engine cover allows owners to show off the heart of the beast. The roofline is sculpted to allow for maximum headroom for passengers while tying in the character lines on the hood and minimizing the aerodynamic frontal area. Mechanically operated side intakes are carried over from the Murcielago, allowing air flow to be adjusted based on the engine's current needs.
6.5-Liter 12-Piston Heart
The heavy-breathing V-12 is a brand-new design for the Aventador. The most powerful version of the Murcielago was the 670-4 Super Veloce with 661-horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. Lamborghini has topped that with the 690 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque in the Aventador. Not only is there more power, but it is more usable at lower RPMs. The big news is that it does these stratospheric numbers while using 20% less fuel, translating into 20% fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
The clean sheet, aluminum block V-12 features port injection, variable valve timing, four individual throttle bodies, dry sump lubrication, and an 11.8:1 compression ratio. The big engine has a screaming high 8250 RPM redline accomplished using lightweight internal components and a high bore-to-stroke ratio of 95mm and 76.4mm respectively. Maximum piston speeds have been reduced from almost 24 m/s at 8000 RPM, the Murcielago's redline, compared to 21 m/s at 8250 RPM at the Aventador's redline, resulting in fewer frictional losses. It also uses a new dry sump lubrication system that requires less power, provides better oil scavenging under high cornering loads, and decreases the size of the oil pan. The new system also allows the 518-pound engine to sit 2.36 inches lower in the car, reducing the center of gravity height.