The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 coupe was launched at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the automaker's Murciélago flagship. But unlike its predecessor, which was built around a steel frame chassis with double-wishbone suspension, the all-new Aventador boasted a full carbon-fiber monocoque occupant cell and advanced push-rod suspension.
As expected, the exterior of the Aventador is also significantly altered in the transformation from coupe to roadster. Even though the fixed roof is gone, Lamborghini's signature scissor doors remain (complete with hinge brackets that automatically break free to allow easy exit if the vehicle is overturned). To increase the safety margin, Lamborghini has also added twin pop-up rollover posts that quickly extend just behind the passengers to further protect craniums if things accidentally go topsy-turvey.
Inside the cabin, one of the most noticeable additions is a small, power-operated retractable rear window located just aft of the passenger's ears. When raised, it blocks the wind and acts as an effective acoustic barrier between the engine compartment and cabin. When retracted, the breezes resume and the full fury of the twelve-cylinder is more audibly enjoyed.
At the heart of the Aventador is a naturally aspirated dry sump 6.5-liter V12 that's mid-mounted in the chassis in an aluminum subframe. With variable valve timing, the 60-degree 12-cylinder delivers 700 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque, making it about the most powerful naturally aspirated engine on the consumer market. Despite its massive displacement, the engine's redline is a stratospheric 8,500 rpm - angels can't even sing that high.
New for 2013, Lamborghini has configured the engine with cylinder deactivation. At speeds below 84 mph, and during light throttle, one bank of cylinders will lose their fuel supply and the powerplant becomes a smooth-running inline-six. The process is seamless, and it reportedly adds one mpg to the Lamborghini's EPA highway rating. The new Roadster also features start-stop, meaning 6.5-liters of goodness comes to a halt when the vehicle is stopped for more than a few seconds. No worries, says the automaker, as it will relight faster than you can move your foot off the brake and back to the accelerator.
The powerplant, mounted backwards with its output shaft pointing forward (as it has been since the Countach era), is mated to a seven-speed single-clutch automated gearbox (Lamborghini calls it the ISR, for Independent Shifting Rod). Power is sent to all four wheels through an electronically controlled fourth-generation Haldex clutch that varies torque from zero to 60 percent, based on speed and available grip. Using launch control, the 3,582-pound Aventador Roadster - slightly more than 100 pounds heavier than the coupe - will shatter the 60 mph benchmark in about 2.8 seconds as it is propelled towards a maximum velocity of 217 mph.
Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster Technical Specifications