2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

Sure, the 700 horsepower Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is fast, but it's also loud, large, and dramatic.

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Long and low

The drama starts on the approach. The roadster is wide and low-slung. With an overall length of 188 inches, it's a lot of car for just two seats.

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Fighter jet

The Aventador is pointy and angular. The supercar's design reminds me of stealth bomber or fighter jet.

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Lambo doors

The doors pop out and up in the trademark scissor style that you associate with Lamborghini cars.

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Hexagonal lights

Most of the exterior illumination uses LEDs with a hexagonal honeycomb motif that's repeated throughout the car's design.

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Engine cover

The Aventador's body is largely aluminum panels over a carbon fiber monocoque. The engine bonnet is composed of carbon fiber with clear plastic, ahem, composite panels to view the power-plant below.

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6.5-liter, V-12

Under the hood is a 6.5-liter V-12 engine that outputs 700 horsepower and 507 pound-feet of torque. The engine uses port fuel injection, predating the Huracan's IDS direct injection system.

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7-speed ISR transmission

The rear-amidships mounted engine sits behind a seven-speed ISR automated manual transmission. Like a DCT but with a single clutch, gear changes are like lightning strikes under power, but shifts are jerky and rough at more moderate speeds.

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All-wheel drive

From the gearbox, torque is split between the four corners via an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system developed by Haldex.

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Italian invasion

The Aventador is a much sexier ride than the other Italian in the Car Tech garage this week, the 2014 Fiat 500L.

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Zero to 62

Zero to 62 mph (100 kph) happens in just 3 seconds flat, according to Lambo. The Aventador has a top speed of 217 mph (350 kph).

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Cacophony

At a full boil, the Aventador's cabin is filled with a terrifying cacophony. The engine screams from just behind the cockpit while the transmission and all-wheel drive system make all sorts of mechanical noise.

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Acceleration

Acceleration is, for want of a better term, brutal. But that's what you sign up for when strapping into the cockpit of a 700-horsepower supercar.

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Dramatic even when parked

Even when parked and motionless, the Aventador projects an ostentatious air.

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Wheels and tires

The wheels are staggered in size: 19-inch wheels shod in 255/35 tires fill the front wells, while 20-inchers shod in 335/30s roll out back.

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Brakes

15.75-inch (400mm) front brakes are gripped by 6-piston calipers.

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Wide car

It's 16.6 inches wider than a Nissan 370Z, so the Aventador takes up a lot of space in the lane and can be difficult to park.

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Wide stance

That also means that the low supercar has a nice, wide stance that helps it stick in the corners.

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Wing mirrors

The wing mirrors are as sharp as the rest of the car. Rear visibility is, frankly, abysmal.

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Motorized suspension

At the touch of a button, the front suspension raises to help the bumper and front spoiler to clear speed bumps and steep driveways.

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Hexagonal headlamps

Most of the exterior illumination uses LEDs and with a hexagonal honeycomb motif that is repeated throughout the car's design.

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Aventador

It's a Lamborghini tradition to name its models after bulls. The Aventador was a Spanish fighting bull that fought valiantly in the ring of Zaragoza, Spain in 1993.

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Fuel filler

Even the fuel filler cap is sculpted and hexagonal. The devil is, of course, in the details.

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Pushrod suspension

The suspension, front and rear, makes use of horizontally opposed monotube dampers that connect to the wheels via a pushrod system.

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Cockpit

The cockpit is a bit cramped. There's not much space for people on either side of the wide, high center tunnel, to say nothing of cargo.

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Steering wheel

The steering wheel is simple, without many controls. Just behind the wheel are large, column-mounted paddle shifters that control the transmission.

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TFT instrumentation

The TFT digital instrument cluster certainly looks cool, but the design is cluttered and puts almost too much information ahead of the driver.

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Srada, Sport, Corsa

Just above the bright red cover for the Engine Start button are the rocker buttons to toggle between the three driving modes: Strada, Sport, and Corsa or Street, Sport, and Track.

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This looks familiar

Infotainment for the Aventador was pulled straight from the Audi parts bin using an older generation, slightly re-skinned version of the MMI interface.

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Too many toggles

A bank of toggles beneath the screen control a variety of functions from the power windows, to raising the front suspension, to toggling the electronic stability control.

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MMI controller

Below the red start button is the MMI physical controller, a knob surrounded by four buttons coresponding to the four different infotainment modes.

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Form over function

We wish there were more rhyme and reason to the Aventador's center stack. As it is, the buttons are organized in a way that looks cool, but it can be difficult to find the function that you need at speed.

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Smart key

Even the smart transponder key looks and feels like an Audi part with a charging bull badge.

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Cockpit

The cockpit is cramped. There's not much space for people on either side of the wide, high center tunnel, to say nothing of cargo.

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Roadster

This example is an Aventador Roadster. The roof removes in two hexagonal pieces that store under the hood in the front truck. With the roof open, the Aventador's meager storage is reduced to nil.

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Jerky ride

When tooling around town, the Aventador's shifts are jerky and a little annoying. Though snappy upshifts and downshifts at speed are a joy, each gear change at moderate and legal speeds met with a neck-snapping lurch.

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Side scoops

Large scoops ahead of the rear wheels feed the radiators, cooling the 700-horsepower beast. Just aft of the side glass are intakes for the engine. At speed these intakes enlarge, helping the power-plant to breathe easier.

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Radiator flow

The large mesh grills below the tail lights is where hot air exits after flowing through the radiators located in the rear haunches.

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Active aerodynamics

A motorized spoiler hides in the ducktail-shaped rear end. At mid-to-high speeds, it lifts to increase downforce, settling the rear end and increasing grip.

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Firm ride

The Aventador's ride is, no surprise, a stiff one. The pushrod setup is firm and transfers a good deal of road noise and bumps into the cabin. The Aventador will jostle you quite a bit, but thankfully the firm ride isn't necessarily a punishing one.

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Central exhaust

A central exhaust merges four pipes into one and is a nice visual touch.

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2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

On one hand, there are the head-turner looks, the ridiculous speed, and the brutal acceleration. On the other hand, visibility is poor, the tech is awkward, and the ride is rough and jerky.

The Aventador is a drama queen and your relationship with her will be a tumultuous and passionate one.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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