The replacements: Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari FF (photos)
Two of the hottest Italian automakers bring their newest models to the Geneva auto show, replacing existing models in their lineups. In one corner is Lamborghini's newest supercar, the Aventador, which takes over where the Murcielago left off. Opposite sits the Ferrari FF, a four-seater replacing the 612 Scaglietti.
Lamborghini's Murcielago has been due for a replacement, and here it is, the all-new Aventador. This new model shows cues from recent Lamborghini concept cars, such as the angular styling initially unleashed with the Reventon. Although not a four-door, it shares the long, low look of the Estoque.
Lamborghini gives the Aventador a thoroughly modern interior with an LCD instrument panel. Those familiar with Audi infotainment systems will instantly recognize the cabin tech interface, a hand-me-down from parent company Volkswagen.
Like its predecessor, the Aventador has four-wheel drive, and ceramic brakes are visible here. The driver can choose among Strada, Sport, and Corsa settings, changing the car's throttle, traction control, and steering response at the push of a button.
Lamborghini says 0 to 60 mph comes in at 2.9 seconds, and top speed is 217 mph, but those are likely conservative numbers. Thanks to a lightweight chassis and modern engine, it gets 20 percent better fuel economy and less CO2 emissions than the outgoing Murcielago.
The engine and transmission are works of art in themselves, worthy of the separate display on the Lamborghini stand. This all-new 6.5-liter V-12 produces 690 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission promises shifts faster than any current road-going car.
Ferrari has been very good lately about not letting models get stale, so it was definitely time to replace the 612 Scaglietti. As the family car in Ferrari's lineup, this model had four seats and an executive trimmed interior. The FF model replacing it uses the same configuration, but has a radically different look.
The FF fits the classic Shooting Brake style, although it could comfortably be called a hatchback. The roofline holds its height, leaving headroom for rear-seat passengers. The front-engine layout allows luggage room in back.
The FF enjoys the distinction of being the first four-wheel-drive Ferrari. This unique system biases torque toward the rear, but can shift it to either front wheel independently, allowing for front axle torque vectoring. Ferrari also brags that the four-wheel-drive system weighs less than others on the market.
Ferrari engines are masterpieces of craftsmanship. This new direct injection 6.3-liter V-12 pumps out 651 horsepower with 504 pound-feet of torque. This engine emits 25 percent less CO2 than Ferrari's previous V-12. It also uses a start/stop system, although we would miss the lovely rumble of the engine, even when waiting at a red light.