First Look: Lamborghini Aventador J

The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is unquestionably one of the most amazing supercars ever produced, what with its ferocious 12-cylinder engine and menacing raging-bull design. So what would happen if the Sant'Agata Bolognese-based automaker threw away the rules and made an even more extreme car? The answer comes in the form of the Aventador J, a unique roadster making its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

To create the striking Aventador J, Lamborghini removed the roof and windshield from an Aventador coupe. Not surprisingly, its styling closely resembles the Aventador , though the J's highest points are the roll hoops behind each seat, and the rearview mirror that sits atop a pole protruding from the dashboard. The doors still open upward, but have only a tiny sliver of glass instead of the Aventador's power windows. Out back, the Aventador J features a race-inspired carbon-fiber wing supported by two curved mounts.

Lamborghini has shown a car in this vein before -- the Concept S appeared at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Based on the Gallardo coupe, the Concept S also was a speedster design; it essentially teased the production Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder that made its debut in 2006. The Aventador J takes the same basic stripped-out approach as the S, and looks more like a formula racer than a series production car.

To further improve performance, the Aventador J's front and rear bumpers get unique carbon-fiber flics to add aerodynamic downforce, and black mesh at the rear helps cool the giant engine. The carbon-fiber rear diffuser features four hexagonal exhaust tips. The Aventador J rides on new aluminum center-lock wheels measuring 20 inches in front and 21 inches rear with unique fan-shaped carbon-fiber inserts designed to help cool the brakes.

Because there are just two tiny wind deflectors in front of the seats and no roof, Lamborghini cautions that the driver and passenger must wear appropriate clothing -- which probably means a full-face helmet, as demonstrated in the press photos. The interior lacks a radio, navigation system, and climate-control system, so occupants can focus fully on the driving experience.

Most of the Aventador J's cabin materials are made from Forged Composite, Lamborghini's patented process for building strong but light structures from carbon fiber. The seat inserts, for instance, use a special type of flexible carbon fabric. To accent the black components, a painted red stripe that matches the bodywork runs from the dashboard, along the center console, and up the bulkhead between the seats.

12-Cylinder Symphony

The J shares everything under its skin with the regular Aventador, including the 6.5-liter V-12 engine, which offers 700 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque. It's shielded by a unique X-shaped carbon-fiber cover that leaves much of the engine on display -- "a truly stunning sight," the company claims. We concur. Lamborghini's seven-speed ISR automated manual transmission, pushrod suspension, and all-wheel-drive system also carry over. There are no performance estimates for the Aventador J, but the company says it will eclipse 186 mph, plenty fast but shy of the hardtop's 217-mph maximum velocity.

Undoubtedly the best part of this open-top Lamborghini is that the car's engine and exhaust note will be even more audible. The hardtop LP700-4 already sounds phenomenal as the V-12 shrieks toward its 8250-rpm power peak; a topless version will likely sound even more exhilarating.

Though the Aventador J is said to be fully drivable, Lamborghini describes it as an "absolute one-off" design study. Yet while this speedster-inspired Aventador will remain a show car, we believe it foreshadows a production convertible model, because Lamborghini has in recent years offered a convertible version of nearly all its cars. The previous V-12-powered Murcielago spawned a roadster version, so it would make sense for Lamborghini's new 12-cylinder Aventador to follow suit. Here's hoping the production car looks as stunning as the concept.

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