LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR S
Italian thoroughbred’s unusual set-up has its pros and cons
IN SOME WAYS, THE AVENTADOR IS ideally configured for the addition of drive to the front axle. Since the Countach, Lamborghini has used the unusual layout of having the V12 mid-mounted, but rather than having the gearbox beyond it at the very rear of the car, it is in front, poking into the transmission tunnel.
This has its pros: masses are more centrally located, and the manual gearshift – when there was one – went directly into the gearbox rather than by remote linkage. There are cons too: mechanical complexity, additional hardware and weight. There is an extra pro, though: you can very easily take a propshaft off the end of the gearbox to take drive to the front wheels.
In the earliest all-wheel-drive Lamborghini (not counting the LM001), the Diablo VT, torque was delivered to the front differential via a viscous coupling, a device that began working only when slip was detected. The Aventador has permanent, constantly variable four-wheel drive, the front: rear torque split based on what’s happening at the wheels and which drive mode is selected. The fitment of rear-steering to the S, helping to rotate the car into turns, has helped increase the torque capacity of the rear axle, so the split can be more rear-biased than before.
The chosen drive mode alters the default torque split to suit the sort of driving and roads that the selected mode is likely to be used for. In Strada (street), the suspension is compliant and the all-wheel drive at its most front-biased – 40:60, front:rear. Sport mode, intended for enthusiastic road driving, gives the greatest agility, using a firmer damper set-up, rear-steer and a maximum of 90 per cent of torque to the rear to deliver agility and even a little oversteer before stability control intervention.
Perhaps unexpectedly, more drive goes to the front wheels in Corsa (track) mode than in Sport, the assumption being that on a circuit the driver will want the fastest lap times and thus maximum traction. The dampers are wound up, the stability control is backed off more, and the V12’s torque output is split 20:80 front:rear.
Engine V12, 6498cc Power 730bhp @ 8400rpm Torque 509lb ft @ 5500rpm 0-62mph 2.9sec (claimed) Top speed 217mph (claimed) Weight (dry) 1575kg (471bhp/ ton) Basic price £271,146 evo rating