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The Lamborghini Aventador: History, Photos, Generations, Specifications

A brief history of the Aventador, along with some fun facts, buying tips, FAQs, and more.

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Lamborghini Aventador Essential History

Of all of the supercars to come and go throughout the past several decades, nothing holds court quite like the "Big Lambo." That designation is reserved for the range-topping, mid-engine V-12 patriarch of the Lamborghini lineup, a role that can trace its lineage back through the Lamborghini Aventador, Murcielago, Diablo, Countach—and of course the Miura, the grand-daddy of all modern mid-engine supercars.

Since 2011, the Lamborghini Aventador wears the Big Lambo crown, inherited from the Murcielago and picking up right where it left off. The introduction of the new Aventador also signaled the departure of the Bizzarrini-designed V-12 that powered every V-12 Lambo since Day One back in 1963, with Audi and Lamborghini developing an all-new, 6.5-liter V-12 for the Aventador's launch.

Power from this engine is prodigious. For the regular Aventador LP700-4, that 6.5-liter screams out 690 horsepower and 507 lb-ft of torque to all-four wheels through a single-clutch "ISR" semi-automatic transmission. At the time of the Aventador's development, no nameplate under the Volkswagen Group's purview, save Bugatti, had a dual-clutch stout enough for the Aventador's incredible power, and the Veyron's 'box was likely far too expensive even for Lamborghini, and that explanation assumes it would even work on the Lambo's platform.

The Aventador visually is very much an evolution of the hyper-angular design previewed by the wild Reventon from between 2007-09. Over the course of its eight model years, Lamborghini adorned the Aventador's missile-like profile with all manner of wings, splitters, and diffusers in the name of downforce and performance, but the same fighter-jet aesthetic remains no matter the color, special-edition model, or configuration.

Following the Aventador coupe's debut for the 2012 model year, a roadster variant arrived in 2013, with 500 units of the hopped-up Aventador LP750-4 SV launching for 2015. As you might expect, the SV improved on pretty much every aspect of the standard Aventador, incorporating revised suspension, brakes, transmission, aero effects, aesthetics, and power; the SV upped the 6.5-liter V-12 to a wild 740 hp and an unchanged 507 lb-ft. Of course, the SV Roadster followed in 2016.

In 2017, Lamborghini updated the Aventador family with the new Aventador S (LP740-4), bringing a raft of refinements and changes to the base Aventador and replacing the prior LP700-4. Power is up in the S, rated at 730 hp, managed by an updated transmission, all-wheel drive, and rear-wheel steering. The Aventador S Roadster launched for the 2018 model year.

The year 2018 also saw the reveal of the incredible Aventador SVJ, which picks up where the older SV left off as the stripped out, roided-up, track-hungry monster of the Aventador family. The 6.5-liter now spins out 759 hp and 531 lb-ft, enough for a 0-60-mph blitz of around 2.6 seconds, 0-124 mph in 8.6 seconds, and a top speed of 219 mph. Elsewhere, the aero, suspension, brakes, active-chassis systems, and tires received a large enough shot in the arm that the SVJ broke the Nürburgring lap record at an incredible 6 minutes, 44.97 seconds, taking the title from the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. For those who just can't get enough of that sound, the SVJ Roadster arrived in 2019.

As of this writing, the Aventador is still in production as it enters the 2021 model year. Expect the aging supercar's replacement to arrive sometime later in 2021 or even in 2022.

Lamborghini Aventador Highlights

Public opinion surrounding the modern "Big Lambos" seems to follow a pattern: Just like the updated, late-model Diablo and the Murcielago that followed it, the Aventador was labeled as as a big, lumbering Audi, with an around-town personality on-par with the Audi TT. Some reviewers claimed the Audification of the new Big Lambo shed too much of the preceding car's excitement and slightly terrifying character in pursuit of a more user-friendly experience.

Then, opinions seem to switch midway, somewhere around the model refresh. In the Murcielago's case, it was the LP640-4, and for the Aventador, it was the new S model in 2017. Now, people will praise the update for making the car even easier and smoother to drive, nothing like the old brute of a car!

For all of this oscillating verbal diarrhea, the Lamborghini Aventador stands as one of the most visceral and undeniably thrilling supercars you can buy today, used or new. No matter which variant you get your hands on, it's guaranteed to still be one of the quickest and fastest things on four wheels, especially if you manage to swing an Aventador S, SV, or SVJ. The intoxicating mixture of a naturally aspirated V-12 howling behind your head with drop-everything hypercar drama makes the Lamborghini Aventador a fan favorite among the crowds lining either the ritzy shopping area you frequent or your nearest cars and coffee. Everyone loves a Big Lambo, and it's going to be a cold day when Lamborghini finally puts an end to the thirsty V-12.

Lamborghini Aventador Buying Tips

Buying a Lamborghini—used or new—is much less of a hassle than it used to be. Since the Gallardo and Murcielago arrived on the scene in the early 2000s, Lambos are mostly straightforward to have serviced, checked, and inspected before a purchase. All parts are still supplied for cars produced under the Audi regime, and many are still racing around streets with comparably high miles as far as supercars are concerned.

The Aventador is no different, though it still has its share of problems commonly associated with the Italian marque. Aside from an easily worn clutch and wonky headlights, there was a significant recall for early-production Aventadors to fix a potential fuel leak that led to more than a few crispy cars.

If you do your due diligence, though, you should be OK. If you buy used, try to purchase a car directly from a Lamborghini dealer's inventory. If you can't find one up to your spec, a pre-purchase inspection is one of the easiest ways to prevent a massive financial catastrophe down the line.

Lamborghini Aventador Stories on Automobile

Lamborghini Aventador Quick Facts  

  • First year of production: 2012
  • Base price: $417,826 (Aventador S)
  • One of the most thrilling ways to drop $500K
  • The 6.5-liter V-12 is among the best sounding engines of all time
  • Not as smooth or easy to drive quickly as the Ferrari 812 or even Lamborghini Huracan, but it takes the cake in visual and aural drama
  • Its replacement is just over the horizon

 

Lamborghini Aventador FAQ

You have questions about the Lamborghini Aventador, Automobile has the answers. Here are the responses to some of the most frequently asked Lamborghini Aventador queries.

What does "Aventador?" mean?

Like many Lamborghinis throughout history, the Aventador is named after a famous prize-winning Spanish bull that participated in bullfights.

How many LamborghinI Aventadors are there in the world?

As the Aventador is still in production, there's not a lot of up-to-date info on how many Aventadors have been made so far, but in 2018, the automaker announced it had built the 8,000th example. So, two years on, it's reasonable to figure there are more than 9,000 Aventadors in the wild. Of course, that doesn't account for the examples of those cars that have crashed or burned.

What is the price of a Lamborghini Aventador?

If you stick with a new base Aventador S coupe, expect to pay no less than $417,826.

What engine does the Lamborghini Aventador have?

Every Lamborghini Aventador is powered by a naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter V-12

carrozzeria 004
2020 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster Specifications
ON SALE Now
PRICE $577,661 (base)
ENGINE 6.5L DOHC 48-valve V-12/759 hp @ 8,500 rpm, 531 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm
TRANSMISSION 7-speed single-clutch automatic
LAYOUT 2-door, 2-passenger, mid-engine, AWD roadster
EPA MILEAGE 9/15 mpg (city/hwy) (est)
L x W x H 194.6 x 82.6 x 44.7 in
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
WEIGHT 3,725 lb
0-60 MPH 2.8 sec (est)
TOP SPEED 217 mph