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Lamborghini Aventador hands on

Built in Italy, owned by Germans and named after a Spaniard, the Aventador is exotic enough before you even consider its extreme performance and advanced engineering. We take an in-depth look at Lamborghini's latest raging bull.

Derek Fung
Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.
Derek Fung
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Say hello

Built in Italy, owned by Germans and named after a Spaniard, the Aventador is exotic enough before you even consider its extreme performance and advanced engineering. We take an in-depth look at Lamborghini's latest raging bull.

A new Lamborghini doesn't come along very often. The new Aventador is the company's latest V12 supercar and replaces the Murcielago that first burst onto the scene in 2002.

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Wide body

Supercars like the Aventador are many things, but they are not tall; it stands just 1.13m high. Mind you, it's a tick over 2m wide and almost 4.8m long. This leather and carbon fibre cocoon can propel two people to 100km/h in just 2.9 seconds and hit a mind-altering 350km/h top speed.

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Heart of the beast

Mounted in the middle of the car and hiding in plain sight underneath tinted louvres is the car's heart: a 6.5-litre V12 with 515kW of power and 650Nm of torque. Mathematics wizards out there will realise that 515kW translates into 700-metric horsepower, hence the "700" in the car's full title, Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. The "4", incidentally, indicates that this Aventador has four-wheel drive.

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Pushing it

Just visible below the engine are the springs attached to the car's almost horizontal pushrod suspension system.

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Fighter pilot

The dashboard, instruments and console are designed to resemble a plane cockpit. We're not sure, though, how many aeroplane cockpits are lined, and have their air suffused, with rich Italian leather.

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Control pad

On the steeply angled centre console the driver will find all the controls for the air con, entertainment, nav, transmission and safety systems.

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Ready, aim, fire!

Hiding behind a red rocker panel, which bears more than a passing resemblance to a weaponry switch, is the Aventador's start button. Below that are the controls for the nav and entertainment system. If these controls look a lot like those found on Audi's MMI system, it's not a coincidence, as Audi is Lamborghini's parent company.

The silver latch on the right-hand side is part of the internal door opening mechanism.

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Info pod

Ahead of the driver is an aircraft-style instrument panel. Traditional analog instruments are ditched in favour of a series of LCD screens that can display all manner of information, including speed, revs, trip computer and nav instructions.

Behind the steering wheel you can just see the flappy paddles that control the car's automated sequential Independent Shifting Rods (ISR) transmission. Each change between the unit's seven forward gears takes just 50 milliseconds — much faster than even the best humans can manage.

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Mix and match

Below the central 7-inch screen are controls for the electric windows, stability control, parking sensors and climate control air-con. There are also buttons for the Drive Select System's three modes (Strada or road, Sport and Corsa or track) that adjust the car's transmission, throttle, engine, power steering and stability control to suit.

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Swinger

As is now customary for a V12 Lamborghini, the doors swing upwards when opened.

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Feet and nostrils

The Aventador runs on 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inch items at the back. The massive air intakes aft of the doors feed air into the engine bay.

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Eyes on the night

The bi-xenon headlights are surrounded by the striking forms of the LED indicator and driving lights.

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Stop!

Even more dramatically shaped are the LED tail-lights.

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Backstroke of the west

Visibility rearwards through the small window in front of the engine bay is restricted and the louvres don't do anything to help. So, it's a good thing that the car comes with a reversing camera, located just below the Lamborghini badge.

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Hot air

The gaping holes below the tail-lights allow hot air from the engine bay to escape.

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Fight!

As is now tradition, the Aventador shares its name with a famous Spanish fighting bull.

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The incredible lightness of being

The Aventador's monocoque and much of its body are made from lightweight carbon fibre. Along with various other carbon fibre components, this allows the car to tip the scales at 1575kg. That's 75kg less than the Murcielago that preceded it and only 50kg more than the V10 Audi R8 GT.

The combination of extensive carbon fibre use, employment of skilled manual labour, complex engineering and, of course, Australia's luxury car tax explains the asking price of AU$789,000.

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