Ego is not a dirty word
Lamborghini adds a maniacal mode to the coming $800K Aventador S
LAMBORGHINI has built a car for egomaniacs. In its latest version of the Aventador, the Italian maker has a new driving mode called “Ego”.
We are not making this up. Ego enables drivers to customise a driving profile, “selecting preferred criteria for traction, steering and suspension”. Presumably to suit the driver’s ego.
The new Aventador S promises to be the most capable Lamborghini to date, even if it is mainly famed for its “scissor” doors. There are new vents in the front and rear bumpers and an adjustable rear wing to help it slice through the air at speed, and create more downforce in corners. There is also a three - in-one exhaust outlet.
The shape of the rear wheel arches is said to be inspired by the classic Lamborghini Countach. Such changes are about art rather than function, not that many will complain.
The massive side air vents are now even larger, to give the fire-breathing 6.5-litre V12 better cooling. Power has been bumped up from an already impressive 515kW to 544kW.
It’s a screamer, too, with the rev limit increased from 8250rpm to a giddy 8500rpm.
All that power (backed by a mountainous 690Nm of torque) propels a low-slung aluminium and carbon-fibre body weighing not much more than a Toyota Camry, so it’s little wonder the Aventador S sprints from rest to 100km/h in j just 2.9 seconds.
There are new practical considerations, too. It has fourwheel steering for sharper cornering at speed and a tighter turning circle.
Apple CarPlay connectivity is standard, although Android Auto is not, because Lamborghini says most of its customers have iPhones.
Unlike Ferrari, there’s no hybrid variant of the updated Aventador. For nominal economy, it gets stop-start technology (essentially a bigger battery and starter motor) so it can sit silently in traffic.
This can be disabled, good news for those who prefer to make a grand entrance. (Unlike the starter button, which is fashioned after a fighter plane
bomb release switch, the stop-start toggle is a conventional switch.)
When full power is not required, one bank of six cylinders is temporarily deactivated. The V12 fires back to life as soon as the driver touches the accelerator.
The Aventador (named after a Spanish fighting bull) is able to get its vast power to the ground so effectively thanks to a sevenspeed robotised transmission (gear changes are processed in 50 milliseconds) and all-wheeldrive.
Once out of “strada” (street) mode and into “sport”, the V12 sends up to 90 per cent of its might to the rear wheels.
In “corsa” (track) mode, the newly developed active suspension comes into its own, promising to defy the laws of physics to keep the Aventador S flat in corners.
As for grip, Pirelli developed a new version of the highly regarded P Zero rubber (on 21-inch wheels at the rear, 20inchers at the front) for even better roadholding.
The carbon-ceramic brake discs (as used in Formula One) are the size of pizza trays — the fronts are 400mm in diameter, and the 380mm rears are larger than the front discs on most other supercars.
The new widescreen digital dashboard, borrowed from the Audi parts shelf, can be tailored to suit the driver’s mood (or mode).
On track days, the dashboard can be transformed into a giant timer at the press of a button, keeping lap times and recording corner speeds.
Of course, all this comes at a price. The current Aventador V12 is a cool $795,000 — and the updated Aventador S is expected to creep over the $800,000 threshold with all its extra technology, a touch more power and the all-important extra driving mode.
Will the price hike dent sales? Not likely. Lamborghini posted record tallies in Australia last year.
Expect an orderly queue for the new model, among those who want a car to go with their ego. And vice versa.