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Lamborghini Aventador S LP740-4: Scintillating, stratospheric, swift, supercar

By Ghaith Madadha - Dec 28,2021 - Last updated at Dec 28,2021

One of the last few great combustion engine supercars as it reaches the end of its decade-long production run, the Lamborghini Aventador remains as thrilling and extrovert as when first launched in 2011. Updated in 2017 when it received a 40BHP power hike as the Aventador S LP740-4, the Italian manufacturer’s regular production flagship supercar also then gained four-wheel-steering. Instantly identifiable with the squat dimensions and sharply angular lines that have defined Lamborghini since the iconic 1970s Countach, the updated Aventador S, however, adopts a sharper, more assertive look than its pre-facelift predecessor.

A distinctively dramatic design that looks as fast as it goes, the low-slung mid-engine Aventador S is a feast of jutting sharp edges, angles and lines. With more palpable urgency, the revised Aventador S has greater horizontal emphasis with a more layered, jutting, pert and black rear fascia and more complex face with wider grille and intakes separated by gills and more prominent lower air splitter. It also receives revised vents and intakes, engine cover slats, slimmer upper heat extractors, more prominent air diffuser slats and hexagonal central exhaust port cluster.

Razor-sharp response

Lamborghini’s first all-new V12 engine developed under Audi ownership, and the brand’s second V12 since their original 1963-2011 Giotto Bizzarrini design, the Aventador’s viciously vocal naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre is among the world’s most viscerally charismatic engines and one of the few great naturally-aspirated engines in production. Bumped up to produce 730BHP at a stratospheric 8,400rpm since 2017, the Aventador S’ over-square engine design emphasises swift, searing high-end power over low-end torque. Nevertheless, it produces abundant 509lb/ft torque output at 5,500rpm, or at equivalent to most modern turbocharged engines’ peak power point.

Eager and free-revving throughout, and just as responsive winding down on lift-off, the Aventador S delivers razor-sharp throttle control for dialing in exacting increments of power for managing slip and grip through corners. Relentless, urgent and evocative, the massive mid-mounted V12 runs through a visceral medley from resonant and metallic staccato to intense buzz-saw like wail as its reaches its peak. Decidedly high-revving, the Aventador S’ V12, however, isn’t lacking at low-end, and digs deep to deliver a consistently progressive and urgently escalating torrent of power from idling to 8,500rpm redline.

Quick and charismatic

Versatile in mid-range and capable of pulling hard in high gear, the Aventador S is scintillatingly swift with a 350km/h top speed. Brutally quick from standstill with four-wheel-drive traction, it blasts through 0-100km/h in just 2.9-seconds, 0-200km/h in 8.8-seconds and 0-300km/h in 24.2-seconds. Channelling power through a single-clutch automated 7-speed gearbox with three escalating shift modes, the Aventador S may not ultimately match its Huracan junior supercar sister’s dual-clutch gearbox for swiftness or seamlessness. Nevertheless, gear changes are quick, charismatic and satisfyingly deliberate at higher speed, if slightly jerky at lower speeds. 

Built using a rigid yet lightweight carbon-fibre moncoque with front and rear aluminium frames and mixed material body, the Aventador S meanwhile rides on sophisticated double wishbone suspension with horizontal pushrod active magnetic dampers. Meanwhile, 255/30ZR20 front tyres allow good steering feel and huge low profile 355/25ZR21 rear tyres produce massive traction and grip. Undoubtedly sporting in character, the Aventador S is firm and buttoned down on road, if stiff over jagged bumps. However, its softest damper setting is sufficiently forgiving, while a wide footprint helps deliver impeccable motorway stability.

Crisp confidence

Confidently carrying high speeds, the Aventador S’s new four-wheel-steering meanwhile ensures improved lane-changing stability. Improved aerodynamics include 130 per cent more front downforce and a 3-position adjustable pop-up rear wing for alternately enhanced downforce or reduced air resistance. Road-hugging and buttoned down, with its low-mounted mid-engine engine allowing ideal 53 per cent within wheelbase rear weight bias, the Aventador drives through corners like it is riding on rails. Turning in with crisp immediacy, the Aventador S delivers a high degree of lateral body control and huge grip levels when reapplying power by a corner’s apex.

Rear-biased for alert and nimble handling, the Aventador S’ four-wheel-drive however automatically reapportions power where needed and ensures excellent road-holding through corners. But perhaps more significant is the Aventador S’ new four-wheel-steering. Turning rear wheels slightly in the same direction as front at higher speed for enhanced stability, but in the opposite direction at lower speeds to effectively shorten the wheelbase and improve agility, maneuverability and road-holding, four-wheel-steering exponentially improves the Aventador’s driving dynamic and allows it to send more power rearwards for a more balanced driving style and to virtually eliminate understeer.

Traditional charms

A defining supercar that wears its old school charm and machismo with pride, the Aventador S is a visceral indulgence for the senses, but is nevertheless underpinned by sophisticated modern technology, systems and development. At home on the track with its quick, direct steering and tirelessly effective and huge carbon ceramic brakes, driving the Aventador S is always an occasion. However, among its few concessions to practicality is that it can raise its front ride height from 115mm to 155mm to safely clear most ramps and bumps in the city.

As traditional to true supercars, the Aventador S isn’t particularly practical, but requires one to adjust and accept its idiosyncrasies, width and limited rear visibility. Entering through scissor doors, the Aventador driver sits in a focused position, while a huge centre console features numerous buttons, including a guarded firing button-like starter. Leather-bound, sportily luxurious and otherwise adequately spaced, its low cabin however requires tall drivers to hunker down for headroom and slouch for added visibility. Reversing visibility is meanwhile highly dependent on camera and sensors, or a more unorthodox driving position, traditionally employed by Countach drivers.

Lamborghini Aventador S LP740-4

  • Engine: 6.5-litre, mid-mounted, dry sump, V12-cylinders
  • Bore x stroke: 95 x 76.4mm
  • Compression ratio: 12:1
  • Valve-train: 48-valve, DOHC
  • Rev limit: 8,500rpm
  • Gearbox: 7-speed automated manual
  • Ratios: 1st 3.909; 2nd 2.438; 3rd 1,81; 4th 1.458; 5th 1.185; 6th 0.967; 7th 0.844; R 2.929
  • Final drive, F/R: 3.273/2.867 
  • Driveline: Four-wheel-drive, multi-plate clutch, limited-slip rear differential
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 730 (740) [544] @8,400rpm
  • Specific power: 112.3BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: 449.2BHP/ton
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 509 (690) @5,500rpm
  • Specific torque: 106.2Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: 424.6Nm/tonne
  • 0-100km/h: 2.9-seconds
  • 0-200km/h: 8.8-seconds
  • 0-300km/h: 24.2-seconds
  • Top speed: 350km/h
  • Fuel consumption, urban / extra-urban / combined: 26.2- / 11.6- / 16.9-litres/100km 
  • CO2 emissions, combined: 394g/km
  • Fuel capacity: 85-litres
  • Length: 4,797mm
  • Width: 2,030mm
  • Height: 1,136mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,700mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,720/1,680mm
  • Ground clearance, min/mx: 115/155mm
  • Dry weight: 1,575kg
  • Weight distribution, F/R: 43% / 57%
  • Cargo volume: 140-litres
  • Steering: Power-assisted rack & pinion, and rear-wheel-steering
  • Lock-to-lock, min/max: 2.1-/2.4-turns
  • Turning circle: 11.5-meters
  • Suspension: Double wishbones, horizontal pushrod active magnetic dampers
  • Brakes, F/R: Ventilated, carbon-ceramic discs 400 x 38mm / 380 x 38mm
  • Brake calipers, F/R: 6-/4-piston calipers
  • Braking distance, 100-0km/h: 31-meters
  • Tyres: 255/30ZR20 / 355/25ZR21
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