Lambo un­leashes world’s fastest road car AT A GLANCE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - JOHN CAREY

In the cen­tre of Lam­borgh­ini’s shield-shaped badge is a charg­ing bull. It looks en­raged, but it’s nowhere near as an­gry as the lat­est car from the Ital­ian brand. The new Aven­ta­dor SVJ is ab­so­lutely fu­ri­ous. And fast... Pow­ered by the most pow­er­ful V12 en­gine ever bolted into a road-le­gal Lam­borgh­ini, the Aven­ta­dor SVJ is the cur­rent Nur­bur­gring pro­duc­tion car lap record holder. Back in July it lapped the leg­endary Ger­man cir­cuit in a frac­tion un­der 6 min­utes 45 sec­onds, more than two sec­onds faster than the then-reign­ing champ, Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS.

In Lambo lingo “SVJ” means track-wor­thy. The letters stand for Su­per Ve­loce, Ital­ian for su­per fast, plus Jota, Span­ish for ‘J’, and a ref­er­ence to the sec­tion of the in­ter­na­tional mo­tor rac­ing rule book defin­ing race car cat­e­gories. Sim­pler to think of it as the mad­dest ver­sion of the bad­dest car Lam­borgh­ini makes. It’s also likely to be the full stop at the end of the Aven­ta­dor story.

The two-seater with a car­bon-fi­bre chas­sis and racer-style pushrod sus­pen­sion first ap­peared back in 2011. Since then, Lam­borgh­ini has reg­u­larly re­leased ver­sions with more power, im­proved han­dling and al­tered looks. The Aven­ta­dor SVJ has all of these.

Lam­borgh­ini has sold more than 8000 Aven­ta­dors so far, but will build only 900 ex­am­ples of the SVJ. The com­pany will de­cide how many will go to each mar­ket around the world in late Septem­ber or early Oc­to­ber, so it’s not yet known how many will make it here.

What is cer­tain is that Aus­tralian buy­ers will pay about $1 mil­lion to put an Aven­ta­dor SVJ in their garage. The list price is $949,640, not in­clud­ing on-road costs.


SAFETY EN­GINE THIRST SPARE 0-100KM/H Aven­ta­dor has al­ways been the ul­ti­mate ac­ces­sory for some­one who be­lieves not nearly enough peo­ple are star­ing at them.

With the SVJ, Lam­borgh­ini’s de­sign depart­ment has made the Aven­ta­dor even harder to ig­nore. The car’s wedge-shaped body and scis­sor doors have al­ways de­liv­ered vis­ual drama. The SVJ adds a new rear wing and a pair of mas­sive, knee-height ex­haust pipes. They’re not just for show...

The pipes are a hint Lam­borgh­ini’s engi­neers have given the Aven­ta­dor’s high-revving V12 a big up­grade. The cylin­der heads of the non­turbo 6.5-litre en­gine have been re­designed and the ex­haust sys­tem made more com­pact. De­liv­er­ing 566kW at 8500rpm, the SVJ is 10 per cent more pow­er­ful than the orig­i­nal Aven­ta­dor.

The wing fea­tures Lam­borgh­ini’s patented ALA (Aero­d­i­nam­ica Lam­borgh­ini At­tiva) sys­tem, which presses down on the slip-prone rear tyre on the in­side of the curve, but not on the out­side tyre. Lam­borgh­ini en­gi­neer­ing chief Mau­r­izio Reg­giani cal­cu­lates ALA ap­plies an ex­tra 20kg or so.

Ac­cord­ing to Reg­giani, com­puter sim­u­la­tions show this tech cuts tenths of a sec­ond from the Aven­ta­dor’s Nur­bur­gring lap time. With­out it, in other words, the car wouldn’t have been able to break through the 6 minute 45 sec­ond bar­rier.

Lam­borgh­ini pre­sented the Aven­ta­dor SVJ to me­dia at the Au­to­dromo do Es­to­ril near Lis­bon in Por­tu­gal. Wise choice. A race­track is the place to find out what it can do.

Choos­ing Corsa mode pre­pares the en­gine, its seven-speed au­to­mated gear­box, all-wheeldrive sys­tem and chas­sis for cir­cuit ac­tion, mak­ing ev­ery­thing more re­spon­sive. There are also Strada, Sport and pick’n’mix Ego modes.

The SVJ’s stan­dard car­bon-ce­ramic brakes are fierce enough to al­most leave seatbelt bruises on your chest. The steer­ing is su­per- pre­cise and pro­vides a great sense of con­nec­tion with the track.

Cor­ner­ing presses you hard into the deep­dished, racer car-style seat. But bends also de­mand a del­i­cate touch on the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal to keep the car neatly bal­anced. Too much power too early and the Lam­borgh­ini’s sticky rub­ber will be­gin to slip.

The best part of each lap be­gins with the right-han­der onto Es­to­ril’s long straight. It’s taken in third, with the V12 wail­ing at 7000rpm. Once the steer­ing wheel is straight it’s time to press the pedal all the way to the car­bon fi­bre. The sound rises to a scream as the revs soar. It’s time to tap the right-hand pad­dle shifter.

Bam! The gear­box slams into fourth and the driver feels a vi­o­lent slap in the back. Soon, with the grand­stand blur­ring by at over 200km/h, it’s time for an­other whack as fifth gear is en­gaged.

It’s as sub­tle as a bull ride, which is just the way Lam­borgh­ini buy­ers like it.


What is Aero­d­i­nam­ica Lam­borgh­ini At­tiva?The se­cret to the Aven­ta­dor SVJ’s rear wing is a two-piece flap­per valve be­neath the cover of its rear-mounted en­gine. Here speed pushes air into a for­ward-fac­ing, mesh-mouthed duct. With the valves open, this air rushes through the rear spoiler’s cen­tre pil­lar, then is guided to slots cut in the wing’s un­der­side. This air­flow re­duces the ef­fect of the spoiler, cut­ting aero drag and so in­creas­ing top speed. For cor­ners, ALA opens only one side of the two-piece valve, cre­at­ing pres­sure on the tyre on the in­side of the curve, but not the out­side tyre.

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