The new Lamborghini Aventador S is designed to appeal not just to customers’ need for speed, but to one other thing as well: their ego.
SEPANG, MALAYSIA — It takes deep pockets to drive a Lamborghini, but something else would help, too: an ego. “This is what we expect from our customers and our fans,” says Davide Sfrecola, an area sales manager for Lamborghini in Southeast Asia. “We want you to dare your ego, and we want to give you the tools to do so.”
Those tools reside in the new Aventador S, the $1.5m jewel in the Lamborghini crown — $1,498,000 to be precise, though that’s without Certificate of Entitlement
The “S” signals that the car is an evolution of the Aventador, which has been the brand’s flagship car since 2011.
A new Aventador S would be just the thing for your ego, says Davide Sfrecola
Mind you, the Aventador itself would be entitled to a pretty big ego. Sfrecola says it’s a legendary car within Lamborghini, thanks to the fact that it’s been the brand’s bestselling V12 model, ever. In fact, the Audi-owned sportscar maker sold as many Aventadors in five years as it did in 10 with its immediate predecessor, the Murcielago.
Its success has helped Lamborghini more than double its sales in four years, to a record 3,457 cars in 2016.
That gives the Aventador S a tough act to follow, but Sfrecola says it’s been enhanced in vital areas. To the casual observer, it doesn’t look particularly new, but it’s been given a facelift that plays up some of the more aggressive of its styling. The Aventador was inspired by predatory animals like snakes for example, and the front now incorporates fang-like elements in the air intakes.
More to the point, the Aventador’s striking bodywork has been resculpted to make better use of the air passing over it and under it. It generates 130 percent more downforce to make the car more stable at high speed, and both the brakes and engine receive more air for cooling.
The engine, an immense 6.5 litres in capacity with a dozen cylinders, gains 40 horsepower for a total of 740hp — that makes it nearly seven times more powerful than the average family car here. It’s more revvy than before, with a redline at 8,500rpm, and gives the driver 690Nm of torque at 5,500rpm.
Sfercola says the seven-speed transmission has been reworked to give faster gearchanges in the car’s sporty driving mode, and smoother shifts in the Strada mode that’s used for everyday trips to the shops.
Engineers have worked to give the exhaust a deeper, more aggressive sound, too. It’s the kind of thing that enables the Lamborghini to offer a more emotional experience, says Sfrecola.
A new four-wheel steering system, akin to the one used by BMW, Porsche and Ferrari, enables the rear wheels to either turn with the front wheels (which make the Lamborghini more stable at high speeds) or against them (to increase agility at lower speeds). For the same reason, the steering system itself has a new variable-ratio setup too, so the front wheels respond more to how much you turn the wheel to low speeds, and react less at high speeds.
The S model also has new, active suspension dampers that can electronically vary their firmness in a matter of milliseconds.
While the original Aventador had three driving modes so it could be tailored to different situations, a new setting called “Ego” has been added. “Why Ego? Because it revolves and is built around the driver,” says Sfrecola. It’s essentially a button that lets the driver choose how he or she wants the engine, steering and suspension to be tuned, and makes up to 24 combinations of all three available.
Lamborghini seems keen for drivers to experience those changes. It organises regular events at closed circuits around the region for customers and prospective buyers to try out the Aventador S, alongside its lower-powered Huracan range of models. This year alone more than 500 people from our part of the world will get seat time in the Lamborghini range, to help them decide if the cars suit their fancy. And their ego.