The 2012 Geneva Motor Show saw the long awaited release of the Lamborghini’s latest hypercar, the Aventador, affectionately known as the LP700-4.
I have had a soft spot for Lamborghini’s radical design ethos ever since I was a child and had the iconic poster of a white Countach proudly displayed on my bedroom wall. While certain other supercar manufacturers, or as we like to say these days – hypercar manufacturers, have produced more practical variations of their fastest cars, the one thing that you can say about Lamborghini is that they’ve tended to steer clear of such thoughts and keep their cars as close to ridiculous as possible.
The Aventador follows this trend and feels a little like it’s been designed by a ten year old boy in his bedroom who was watching sci-fi on TV and was only allowed to style the car using a ruler. I mean that in a good way as the Aventador is every bit as overstated and glorious as a hypercar should be. Such cars should have (by law) the air of childish excitement about them and be the sort of car so stunning and unique that a generation of children will have posters of it on their walls and dream of one day owning one. A good hypercar should be able to reduce an adult to the mentality of an eight year old boy in a millisecond. If it doesn’t then it’s failed in my opinion.
Few other manufacturers, if any, have consistently made such sinister and menacing car designs as Lamborghini and the Aventador is yet another extreme step forward for Lambo. Yes I know the Miura was a beautiful car as well as being years ahead of Ferrari, with the Miura being the first full production mid-engined sports car, but let’s face it – everything the car marque has produced since has been far meaner looking. While I was initially unsure about the design of the Aventador it has grown on me day by day and made me realise that only Lamborghini have the ability to throw a car design out there that can really force you to re-think everything you think you know about cars. While I’m no longer a child (at least physically) I’d proudly display a poster of the Aventador on my wall.
It’s when you get underneath the angular styling and into the guts of the machine that you realise what a beast this car is. It’s certainly not just about the looks. Sitting within the carbon fibre monocoque chassis sits a 6.5 litre V12 engine capable of pushing out 700 HP. It is the first completely new Lambourghini V12 engine produced since the 3.5 litre lump in the Miura. A 7 speed gearbox, 4 wheel drive system and some pretty hefty wheels (19″ x 9J front & 20″ x 12J rear) take the immense power from the engine and place it on the road for you, giving the car a top speed of 217 mph and a staggering 0 – 62mph time of 2.9 seconds. It has the highest power to weight ratio of any car in it’s class. Steven Winkelmann, the President and CEO of Lamborghini states, “The Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology… Overall, the dynamics and technical excellence of the Aventador LP 700-4 makes it unrivalled in the worldwide super sports car arena.”
So at this point you, like me, are no doubt thinking to yourself, “What could be better than the new Aventador?” What could possibly be done to improve such an awesome and uniquely styled piece of engineering? Well, as it turns out Oakley Design have already got their hands on one and are planning a limited edition run of 5 models all of which will have been, erm, upgraded. “Upgraded? Upgraded how exactly?” I hear you all scream at once. Who would be sitting at 217 mph a few inches off the ground and think to themselves, “Damn, I wish this was quicker.” The answer quite simply is Jon Oakley from Oakley Design. You may remember Oakley Design’s treatment of the Ferrari 458 Italia which swamped the press upon its release. For those who are unfamiliar with the car it can be seen in action by clicking here.
Oakley Design took a car that already bordered upon perfection and quite simply made it better in just about every way. They now plan to follow up this success by applying similar treatment to the Aventador. The first modified car is currently in production so no one has a full set of statistics as yet but Motor-Vision will be there to film the first test of the car at secret test facility in France. The cars will have 27 separate modified parts added or replaced to increase the already ferocious speed achievable in the standard Lambo. A lot of standard parts will have carbon fibre replacements in order to reduce weight and make some alterations to the airflow around the car. The Oakley Designed signature titanium exhaust system with it’s style conscious burned blue tips will also serve a practical function and save 35kg from hanging over the back end of the car. Further weight is reduced with the replacement wheels which will save 5kg per wheel. The ECU remap will push the 700 HP output up to 783 HP.
The electronically adjustable rear spoiler has been written out of the electronics and replaced with a fixed manually adjustable spoiler which can be altered for down-force or for speed runs thus reducing weight further and boosting directional stability at high speeds. Lamborghini themselves employed a similar system on the Murciélago SuperVeloce with the Aeropack wing.
The Oakley Designed car will sit on a slightly bigger footprint with wheel sizes widened by half an inch at the front and an inch at the back. Several suspension upgrades are being made by engineering partner Intrax to make sure the car handles correctly following the modifications.
One of the biggest modifications is the removal of the 4 wheel drive system which lightens the car by a further 130kg and also, obviously, forces all of the power out via the rear wheels. I’ve been told that the carbon fibre monocoque chassis can easily handle the modification though. As the rear wheel drive version is really for what Oakley Design call “Hard-core clients” there will be an option to order the car with the 4WD system still in place for people more like myself.
The question that we’re all asking in the office at the moment is, “How fast is it going to go?” I don’t yet have the answer to that. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you take a car capable of 0 – 62mph in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph, make it much lighter, more aerodynamic, with less drag, and add more power which you put through the rear wheels instead of all four of them that the acceleration and top speed of the car are going to be significantly increased. The far more expensive Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with it’s 8 litre W16 engine currently holds all the records for the speed and acceleration of a production car with a 0 -62 mph time of 2.46 seconds and a top speed of 268 mph. I have a feeling that the Oakley Design Aventador, while it will almost certainly not be quicker, could be snapping at the heels of the Bugatti. Head to head around a race track, I may well be placing my money on the Oakley Design Modified Aventador. The other nice thing about the Oakley Design car when compared to the Veyron Super Sport is that you could buy 3 of the Oakley cars for the same price as a single Super Sport and that would mean that you and two of your mates could all have fun together, whereas that’s more people than can even fit into a Veyron.
Motor-Vision will be at the initial testing runs of the Oakley Design Lamborghini Aventador at a secret location in France to see how quick it really is. We will be filming, photographing, questioning, and bringing you the latest news. So if you want to know how good the Aventador can be, you need only watch this space.
If you want to see the Aventador in the flesh it will be on show at Auto Italia’s Italian Car Day at Brooklands Museum on the 5th of May. You can even win free tickets – simply click here and “like” our Facebook post. The winner will be selected at random at 12pm on Friday 4th May 2012.
The official Lamborghini promotional video can be seen here (and I must say it is one of the most beautifully filmed car promo video’s I’ve ever seen)