Ego is not a dirty word

Lam­borgh­ini adds a ma­ni­a­cal mode to the com­ing $800K Aven­ta­dor S

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - PRESTIGE - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR joshua.dowl­

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.

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