By Shereen Shabanam
With the hills of Tuscany as the backdrop and in the company of fellow supercar motoring enthusiasts from around the globe over a few days, I recently tested the new Lamborghini Aventador S which has a new aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and new driving dynamics.
The ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models and defines a new benchmark for the V12 Lamborghini and indicates the new Aventador generation, redesigned to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency while accenting the Aventador’s complex, muscular dynamism.
According to Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali, the Aventador S has a visionary design, cutting-edge technology with driving dynamics that elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level.
A more aggressive nose and longer front splitter redirect airflow for better aerodynamic efficiency, improved engine cooling and increased cooling to the radiators. Two air ducts in the side of the front bumper reduce aerodynamic interference from the front tires and optimize wake flow to the rear radiator.
The rear of the Aventador S is dominated by a black diffuser, available on request in carbon fiber, characterized by a number of vertical fins that amplify the airflow effects, reduce drag through pressure recovery and generate downforce. Three single exhaust outlets exit through the rear bumper.
During the drive, we learnt how the rear wing, movable in three positions depending on speed and drive select mode, optimizes the car’s improved overall balance, working with vortex generators created in the front and rear of the chassis’ underside that maximize air flow as well as assist in brake cooling.
With the Aventador S design, the front downforce has been improved by more than 130% over the previous Aventador coupé. When the wing is in its optimum position the overall efficiency at high downforce is improved by over 50%, and in low drag by more than 400% compared to the previous model.
The Aventador S is redeveloped around a ‘total control concept’ to provide a superior drive, ride and performance; every aspect of the car’s suspension and electronic control systems has been advanced, with the goal of particularly enhanced control and driving emotion.
Also interesting is the smart Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Attiva (LDVA) control unit that manage these systems in the car. LDVA is the new brain of the car, which receives real time and precise information on body motion via input from all sensors of the car and defines the best set-up of all active systems that guarantee the best vehicle dynamics in each situation.
The Aventador S is more agile with a reduced turning radius, ensuring higher performance in curves and making it easy to maneuver in town and at low speeds. On the tracks, I tried all four different driving modes: STRADA, SPORT, CORSA and the new EGO mode, which influence the behavior of the traction (engine, gearbox, 4WD), steering (LRS, LDS, Servotronic) and suspension (LMS).
STRADA stands for maximum comfort and daily use. SPORT provides a sporty, rear-wheel drive feel and CORSA is suitable for maximum track performance.
EGO is the new driving mode option. This provides several additional and individual set-up profiles, customizable by the driver’s preferred criteria for traction, steering and suspension within the STRADA, SPORT and CORSA settings.
In STRADA, the progressive damping is smoothed for better comfort and stability on rough roads. Torque is split 40/60 to the front and rear as standard: safe and stable with maximum adhesion, the car is easily driven and controlled.
In SPORT mode, the stabilizing effect of the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering allows up to 90% torque to the rear wheels for maximum sportiness and driving fun on curving roads. Driving precision and driver feedback is improved, while maintaining safety and without compromising on comfort.
While I drove mainly in SPORT mode, I tried the CORSA as well experiencing less intrusive dynamic and traction control intervention while maintaining driving precision and traction. In this mode, high levels of damping force maximize driver feeling and feedback from driver inputs including steering, braking and throttle.
Counter-phase steering is enhanced in high-performance situations and torque is balanced to both axles, with a maximum 20/80 split to front and rear for more neutral behavior and to maximize track-oriented performance.
The Lamborghini Aventador’s naturally aspirated twelve cylinder, 6.5 liter engine outputs an additional 40 hp over its predecessor, to a maximum 740 hp, with a 690 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is reached in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h. Transmission is provided by Lamborghini’s lightweight Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) 7-speed shifting system, providing robotized gear shifts in up to 50 milliseconds.
The Aventador S comes with new, specially developed set of Pirelli P Zero tires. Designed to optimize steering, traction, lane changes and braking efficiency, the tires are specifically designed to respond to the dynamic behavior induced by the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering, ensuring handling consistency and driver feedback.
With improved force generation from both front and rear tires, the Pirelli P Zero tires provide a higher lateral acceleration and reduce understeer characteristics. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard equipment for the Aventador S.
The training at the Mugello Circuit with the Aventador S enthralled the most seasoned supercar drivers and owners and the thrills on the tracks proved once again the brand’s superior road power that exudes only from a Lamborghini.