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On the road: Lamborghini Aventador: CNET On Cars

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CNET On Cars: On the road: Lamborghini Aventador

6:43 /

Brian Cooley drives the 12-cylinder, 690-horsepower Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and checks the tech.

[MUSIC]. A single word describes Aventador driving, Capable. Of any road maneuver you can imagine, and a number you can. [MUSIC] The Aventador is the top of the stack for Lamborghini at least in terms of production cars leaving out things like the Venino and some special models. The overall format of the car is pretty simple. It's a two seater with the engine mid-rear. A V 12 carbon fiber tub, of which you almost can't say too much. The carbine fiber tub was only about 325 pounds. It's incredibly stiff and everything else is anchored to it. Including aluminum sub-frames, front and rear, for suspension and engine mounting. On top of all of that, we have the roadster. That means you've got a pair of removable carbon roof panels, that also are gonna earn you some non-removal stares of envy in public. [NOISE] [MUSIC] And the end to the course is out back in the backyard, carbon fiber lid with these plexiglass clear louvres, and underneath there is quite a work of art. [NOISE]. The V12 six and a half liters, but after that the technology doesn't get too modern. Turbo, no. Supercharger, no. Direct injection, no. This is pretty traditional engine, do it the old fashioned way by being big, and. Money. Aside from being a B 12 the core trait of this engine is also its over square. That means its cylinders are short and wide. It's a trait of high revving engines. They have a higher ratio of valve opening in the roof of the cylinder compared to the total volume of the cylinder. In other words they rev like hell and breathe well. [NOISE] Now what's interesting about Lamborghini's is the engine and transmission layout. All wheel drive of course in this car. You've got the engine sitting with the transmission ahead of it. The tail piece goes toward the passenger compartment. And then power is transferred back through drive shafts. To the rear end. And of course forward to the front wheels. The transmission is a single clutch automated manual, with a numerous four independent shift rods to carry up seven gears. The end result being those extremely fast shifts. And, Lamborghini says, less weight due to having just one clutch pack. Some numbers. 690 horsepower. 510 foot pounds of torque. A car that weighs not that little, actually. Almost 3,500 pounds in roadster form. The roadster has got 110 pounds on the coupe. Still, it's not hurting anything. Zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. Oh, and get to know that little door over there in the corner. That's where the gas goes. Lots of it. [MUSIC] 1016 is your rated MPG. Despite the fact this car has some MPG technologies, like automatic start stop. Which is exotically powered by capacitors, not the usual lead acid battery. And even cylinder deactivation now, when you're barely on the throttle it'll turn into an inline six, and retire one bank and after two minutes it'll refire the other one so it'll wear evenly. [NOISE]. Like you're gonna mosey that long in this car. [MUSIC] Now inside the Aventador it's not technology like we're normally used to, CNet style. For example, this is a basically last generation Audi head unit. Not a bad head unit, but it's nothing cutting edge in terms of connectivity or the way that it works. And you recognize these controls down here from an Audi prod if you've been watching our videos for long. All LCD gauge pack in front of me, including a. Massive digital tachometer, and then built in there, just barely visible, is the speedometer. Your four ancillary gauges are around it, then you've got some partner info gauges on the side, and that brings us to these three drive controllers here in the center of the console. Strata is street. That's basic driving. Sports gonna tighten up the speed of shifts, and how hard the RPM's are run up. Also make the accelerator mapping more aggressive, open those exhaust valves, or baffles, and dial back some stability control. Go one more, and you're in the full red blooded Corso, or track mode, manual only, everything is at its sharpest. The quickest shifts [INAUDIBLE] [NOISE] [MUSIC] You still got your wide open exhaust baffle and the stability control is dialed back to just the bare minimum to hang on [NOISE] to your car. Oh, by the way, if you wanna hear more of that music from behind your seat, check this out. That little transom glass right there, if I run this switch on the dash, goes up and down so you can hear the whole mechanical noise of the valve train and the intake sucking sound. [NOISE] I always feel a little silly giving you impressions of a super-car. They're all amazing. And this one makes almost everything else on the road feel like a moving van. Yet, I prefer to leave the breathless love letters to other outlets. The difference between strada, sport and corsa is like the difference between hitting a 10, 20, or $50 million lotto. [MUSIC] The center differential sends anything from a high of 30 to a low of 10% of total output power to the front wheels, as you work your way toward more aggressive drive modes. And while the steering ratio remains the same all the time, the amount of assist drops off as you move to [UNKNOWN]. I did find the single clutch ISR gearbox to sound the only occasional false note. When you've got your foot in it, it's fast and tight, but around town it can balk a shift once in a while. and leave you and your passenger with your heads bobbing. It did so seldom enough to be memorable, however, which I guess means don't let up. In no cases did a cutting edge tech machine in the cabin by our standards. But that's not the point. You buy it because you like it. Not for any rational reason. And, of course, you'll need to like it a lot. Base price with destination and gas guzzler tax is nearly $450,000. I definitely top 7500 for the transparent engine cover. 4200 gets you upgraded Lamborgini audio. And multifunction controls on the steering wheel are about 1500 more. And we're just getting started. That will sound absurd to most of us, but remember when David E. Davis told 60 Minutes about Lamborginis decades ago. I firmly believe that everyone who is worth anything at all should own a 12 cylinder car before they die. Because there's nothing else like it. It's just one of the great operatic experiences of all time. That's a real noise, and there's nothing else like it. It'll take your breath away.

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