While it may seem ridiculous that a supercar with 700 horsepower should leave the average red-blooded enthusiast wanting more, this can in fact happen. Just consider whatever version of the Bugatti Veyron may be the topic of conversation – it has upwards of 1,000 horsepower, but it’s usefulness as a daily driver or a track machine is very much in doubt.
The Lamborghini Aventador has, perhaps, a slightly more versatile nature than the Veyron, but the criticisms are familiar: The thing has way too much power for our restrictive roads and certain qualities that don’t make it ideal for track duty, either. (Example: A colleague complained that his Aventador always bottomed out on the uphill entrance to 5A at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; he’s since traded the Lamborghini in on a Porsche 911 GT3 R.)
But the 2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce is a different beast than the base model – a limited edition version with more power, more high-speed composure and better all-around performance.
First, the limited part: Only 600 examples are being produced for the global market. In terms of power… well, the name alone gives a big hint: The naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 develops 50 additional horsepower compared to the stock Aventador due to changes to the variable valve timing and variable intake system. A lightweight exhaust system with reduced backpressure and a more aggressive sound has also been added. These changes have resulted in a richer torque curve and a redline that has been lifted to 8,500 rpm, although torque is unchanged at 507 lb-ft.
The Aventador SV also boasts significant improvements in terms of weight reduction and downforce creation – it’s 50 kilograms lighter than the base coupe, an improvement reached by using lightweight forged alloy wheels, as well as carbon fibre for the door panels, rocker panels, fixed air intakes and rear wing. Inside, carbon fibre seats and door panels slash more poundage, while the carpet, extra sound insulation and infotainment system have been removed with the same goal in mind.
On the aerodynamic front, the front has been completely redesigned to include larger air intakes for better brake cooling and two separate wings, one in carbon fibre and one painted in the colour of the car. At the back, the look is also different as well; the exposed rear diffuser with vertical fins incorporates carbon fibre to reduce weight. The manually adjustable rear wing features three settings; the most diverse settings alter the aerodynamic balance of the car by as much as 15 percent. All told, the new touches create 150 percent more aerodynamic efficiency and 170 percent more downforce than the standard Aventador coupe.
Aventador SV also features changes to the steering and suspension systems. For the first time ever, Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS), an electromechanical system with ratios that vary according to speed and drive mode, has been employed. The suspension signals another first – it’s the familiar pushrod system but with magneto-rheological adaptive dampers now added.
For the launch of the car, the plan was simple in its brilliance: Four laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya per session, four sessions per participant. No public roads, no speed bumps, no radar traps and no traffic – well, except the traffic on track.
Of course, the Aventador SV is wickedly fast. The sprint from 0-100 km/h rockets along in just 2.8 seconds; 200 km/h appears on the dial in 8.6 seconds. Top speed was not nailed down by Lamborghini, except to that it’s north of 350 km/h. Catalunya doesn’t have the longest straights in existence, but there were at least three points on the track where the full force of the V12 could be felt.
The Aventador SV continues on with the ISR seven-speed transmission. Described as being “the fastest automated manual gearbox in the world,” the ISR shifts in as little as 50 milliseconds and gives the car the feel of an overgrown shifter kart – violent but fast.
As impressive as the acceleration is, though, the biggest difference between the regular Aventador and the SV is in the handling, steering and braking.
The extra downforce and changes to the suspension give the car a connected feel that easily eclipses that of the base version. The understeer that was present whenever you weren’t patient with the throttle coming out corners has been dialed way back. In faster corners, the SV can be steered with the throttle alone, something that’s difficult with the Aventador. The car also feels light on its feet in quick transitions; the steering is racy and precise.
The braking system, which was criticized on the base Aventador, has been reborn here. All of the hardware is exactly the same, including the carbon ceramic disks, calipers and brake pads. The ABS has been reprogrammed, but the bigger change comes down to the revised brake cooling and the lighter weight of the SV. The feel of the brakes was vague on initial pedal application when coming down from high speeds, but they ultimately held fast.
One final fact about the 2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV: It’s posted a time of 6:59.73 around the Nordschleife. This is the fourth-fastest production car lap in history and stands just two seconds off the pace set by the Porsche 918 Spyder. So, while the Aventador SV may not be the best daily driver, it is most definitely a track car.
BY THE NUMBERS
$705.24 /HP (CALCULATED W/ ESTIMATED BASE MSRP)
16.0 L/100 KM (AUTO – COMBINED)
2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce
BASE PRICE: $528,927
ENGINE: 6.5L V-12
HORSEPOWER: 750 hp @ 8,400 rpm
TORQUE: 507 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
CONFIGURATION: Rear-engine / all-wheel drive
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed ISR automatic
DRY WEIGHT: 1,525 kg
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS (CITY / HWY. / COMB.): 24.7 / 10.7 / 16.0 L/100 km
WARRANTY (MOS. / KM): TBA
ALTERNATIVES: Bentley Continental GT3-R, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, McLaren 675LT, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S