There are cars that get attention. And then there are Lamborghinis.
If you want every eye in the vicinity on you, the company, part of the Volkswagen Group, has a new product for you, the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster. The convertible version of the regular old Aventador, it’s the carmaker’s top-of-the-line offering. This automotive calling card should help qualify you as an international golden boy or girl.
But better to look over the criteria and make sure. Let’s start with -- the buy-in. Will your friends, some of whom recently dropped serious dough at Art Basel-Miami be impressed?
With its price of $445,300, perhaps. More competitive friends may scoff until you mention the options that push the tab past the half-million-dollar mark. Heated and electrically adjustable seats cost an extra $4,200, and the essential backup camera another $4,900.
But it’s the forged aluminum rims on the wheels that will gain you extra notice ($6,780) among the supercar crowds. You can also get an exterior carbon fiber package, which is all for show, but looks incredible. Swatches of the pricey black fiber wrap around intakes and window edges -- a killer detail.
Lamborghinis have always been known for avant-garde shapes, many of which look more like Buck Rogers flying machines than conventional cars. (The 1960s Miura is still a favorite of those with a keen architectural eye.)
The convertible Aventador is as radical as any road-going car in production. It looks stunning in photos, and in person it’s overwhelming. The car is wider than a barn, shorter than a Hobbit, with massive 20 and 21-inch wheels that could fit a tractor.
The Roadster has the general shape of the coupe, including the low roof line. The carbon-fiber roof must be removed manually (as in, you or your man servant will have to do it).
The engine isn’t located in the front like a conventional car. Rather, it is behind the cockpit, helping balance weight.
Both models have glass windows located in this area, allowing gawkers to actually see the engine. The roadster’s engine cover has been smartly reworked, using stacked glass panels. It’s a distinctly Lamborghini, “wow” design.
Speaking of the engine, it’s extraordinary. Just like the rest of the car’s specifications.
The engine is a 12-cylinder, 6.5-liter, naturally aspirated monster. It has 691 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque. You can explain to your fancy new friends in Jay-Z’s private skybox suite at the Barclays Center how truly impressive that is.
The Aventador is able to deactivate half of its engine cylinders when they’re not needed, helping to lessen C02 emissions. Still, depending whether you take glee in being politically incorrect, you can either make a point of its gas mileage (11 city, 17 highway) or gloss right over it saying it’s better for the environment than a Lear jet.
But, you know, is it fast? Oh, heavens, clearly. In fact, we should warn you that any passenger who had a recent $300 salon blow-out might become miffed after you accelerate from a stand-still to 100 kilometers per hour (62 MPH) with the top down in 3.2 seconds.
The car is also capable of a mind-bending 217 mph, with the roof up or down. In fact, we really should mention the drive.
It has a seven-speed automated manual transmission. When squiring about town, top down, and the roadster can be left in automatic. While it’s never exactly Sade smooth, it’s not buck wild, either.
Until you put it into sport or race modes. Then the engine note seems coarser, gear shifts become increasingly vicious and the suspension less forgiving.
Honestly you don’t buy a convertible Aventador to take it on the racetrack or even zing along narrow mountain roads (it’s just too wide for comfort).
You buy it to take the top off, tap the power for seconds at a time, and wow your passenger. Few will have ever experienced anything like it.
Besides, being able to buy a car like the Roadster means you’re into rarity. You will be noticed.
The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster at a Glance
Engine: 6.5-liter 12-cylinder with 691 hp and 509 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: Seven-speed automated manual.
Speed: 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds.
Gas mileage per gallon: 11 city; 17 highway.
Price as tested: $482,000.
Best feature: The eye-popping design.
Worst feature: Eye-popping price.
Target buyer: The man who has it all.
(Jason H. Harper writes about autos for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
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