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Car Tech Video: Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

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Car Tech Video: Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

2:31 /

Lamborghini's high- tech replacement for the Murcielago.

Well, car shows and Lamborghini kinda go together and this is their replacement for the Murcielago. Look at the LP700-4. Well, let's come down to its level. Their cars are known for being rather low top to bottom. In fact, that roof's about the height of my belt line. This car is, to begin with, exceptionally light and exceptionally powerful. Now, here's a stripped down Aventador. This is the carbon fiber tub that is the center of the car. It only weighs 325 pounds. That's, I think, a little less than 10% of the overall weight of the vehicle. Pretty amazing for such a big piece but that's what carbon fiber gets you along with crazy stiffness. You can see through these portholes up here. The push rod suspension which works on the control arms, I think they still call them. That's strictly race car stuff, front and rear. Then, couple it with a monster motor--their L539, a 6-1/2 liter V12, 700 horsepower, 509 foot-pounds of torque. Zero to sixty in 2.9 seconds. Did I read that right? Lamborghini arrangement, in this class of car, has always been very unusual. They started this with the Countach. This is actually the rear. This is the front. They balanced it out by going this way and created the first layout of its kind and to this day, engines sit longitudinally backwards in these kind of Lamborghinis. Oh, by the way, this car has push rods. Not in the motor, in the transmission. They have a new gearbox here called an ISR, independent shifting rod apparatus. Now, it's a dual clutch, automated manual, but they say it's the fastest in the world with 50-millisecond shift times and emotional feel. On the instrument panel, it's all LCD now. The center round one, the sort of hexagonal ones on the side, no more real gauges. It almost makes this big center square one look prosaic by comparison. Love this array of switch gear right here, and this is my favorite touch. To light this thing up, you lift up the doomsday switch cover and then press the button. Good theater. Like the original Countach which debuted at this show 40 years ago, there's an awful lot of jet fighter in this thing. Now, if you're all lined up for an LP700-4, the good news is they've set pricing, US $380,000. Yep. I'll be there. And they'll be in showrooms late summer 2011. Probably not a lot of them though.

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