First Drive: 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce

Charlie Magee

It costs about $450,000 and delivers a monstrous 670 hp, but the meanest Lamborghini since the legendary Miura SV must do without such modern conveniences as direct injection, a dual-clutch transmission, bixenon adaptive headlights, active differentials, a starter button, a radio, and stability control. Lamborghini engineers even considered eliminating four-wheel drive, which would have shaved another hundred pounds off the grand total. But in the end, they refrained from creating an even more radical rear-wheel-drive Murciélago, which might have made the 42/58 percent weight distribution unwieldy in the wet.

Even with all-wheel drive, the Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce's rear-biased torque split lights up the rear tires with stability-threatening urgency. The only available electronic antidote is traction control, which cuts in too early and hangs in longer than necessary. You can switch it off, but if you do, be prepared, because the Murciélago fights the road, the driver, and its own idiosyncrasies in one of the noisiest, angriest, and most expressive supercar performances ever.

Although the 3604-pound SV undercuts the stock Murciélago LP640-4 by 220 pounds, it is by no means a Spartan track-day special. Quite the contrary: the suede-and-leather-trimmed cockpit looks almost as lavish as the one in the silly-money Reventón. The one-size-fits-some carbon-fiber bucket seats feature contrasting bright orange accents as well as substantial six-point shoulder harnesses, the nav screen doubles as a monitor for the useful rearview camera, and you can choose between manual or automated E-gear transmissions at no extra cost. You also get a front-axle lift system to protect the low-slung nose and a Corsa button that triggers launch control or particularly aggressive throttle and damper settings. Unique to the SuperVeloce are a rear diffuser that some F1 teams would kill for; the world's biggest exhaust outlet; larger rear brake-cooling ducts; a new engine cover made of hexagonal polycarbonate panes inspired by the wild, huge-windowed 1967 Marzal show car; and, of course, an outrageous rear wing.

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