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Presented at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4: AWD, 700hp 6.5L V12
Carbon-fibre monocoque, 7-speed ISR and 0-100 in 2.9 sec

Doors open upward, a feature of the V12 Lamborghini models.

16 March 2011: As an innovative concept for a new super sports car performer, the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 brings its new technology package in a carbon-fibre monocoque, with a new 60° V12 engine (6.5-litre, 515 kW / 700 hp), a 7-speed ISR transmission (Independent Shifting Rods) with AWD system, pushrod suspension and brake discs made with carbon ceramic composite material (Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 specifications page).

Based on the Italian brand's tradition (owned by the VW group), Lamborghini’s new flagship bears the name of a bull, from the world of the Spanish Corrida. Aventador was the name of a bull that proved outstanding courage in its battle in October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena.

 Prices

Built in an all-new production facility in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, deliveries of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 will start in late summer 2011, at suggested retail prices ranging from GBP201,900 in the UK (taxes excluded), to €255,000 in other parts of Europe (also taxes excluded), USD 379.700 in the USA (GGT included), RMB 6,270,000 in China (taxes included) and YEN 39,690,000 in Japan (taxes included).

Thanks to a dry weight of 1,575 kilograms (3,472 lb), the weight-to-power ratio stands at 2.25 kilograms per hp (4.96 lb/hp). The 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration figure is just 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph). Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (see also the fuel autonomy with the 90-litre fuel tank) are down by around 20 percent compared with its predecessor, the Murciélago, despite the 8% increase in power (see also the net and specific output and specific torque figures).

€255,000 in Europe, before taxes.

The ISR transmission provides a shifting time of 50 milliseconds, while the lightweight chassis with pushrod suspension delivers handling precision and competition-level performance. The interior offers hi-tech features, including the TFT cockpit display with Drive Select Mode system.

 Body and design

Aventador's full carbon-fibre monocoque weighs only 147.5 kilograms (325.18 lb). The entire occupant cell, with tub and roof, is one single physical component, bringing rigidity, driving precision and a high level of passive safety for the driver and his / her passenger.

The monocoque, together with the front and rear aluminium frames, features a torsional stiffness of 35,000 Newton-meter per degree and weighs only 229.5 kilograms (505.9 lb).

The overall body length of 4,78 meters (188.19 in.) is matched with a considerable width of 2,26 meters (88.98 in.) including the exterior mirrors, and further accentuated by a low height of 1.136 mm (44.72 in.).

Bi-xenon headlamps clustered with the LED units.

The impression of width is further emphasized by the widely spaced air intakes and headlamp units. The Aventador’s low front takes on a distinct arrow form. The air guides are further emphasized by their glossy, black frames.

The bi-xenon headlamps are clustered with the LED units for daytime running lights and indicators beneath hexagonal casings. The daytime running light comes from LED light guides that wrap around the main headlamp in a Y form. Seven further LEDs provide the light source for the indicator.

Both doors of the carbon-fibre monocoque open upward – a feature that was first introduced in the legendary Countach and then used for subsequent V12 models such as Diablo and Murciélago.

Aventador also evokes its immediate predecessor, the Murciélago – electronically managed air intakes open depending on the outdoor temperature and the need for cooling air, ensuring maximum aerodynamic efficiency. An optional transparent engine bonnet exhibits the twelve-cylinder engine like a technical work of art in a display case.

The driver can choose between five operating modes.

With the new Aventador LP 700-4, the designers at the Centro Stile Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese pulled their inspiration from the world’s fastest and most agile aircraft, resulting in a design of maximum functionality, spectacular sharpness, powerfully defined lines and taut surfaces. The limited edition Reventón and the Sesto Elemento ‘technology demonstrator’ were forerunners of this approach: the Aventador is the first Lamborghini series production car embodying this vision.

The Aventador also follows the mid-engine concept, with the vehicle weight concentrated around the vertical axis to reduce inertia and optimize dynamics. With the legendary Countach, Lamborghini was a pioneer of mid-engine construction. The design of the Aventador adds visual emphasis to the mid-engine layout, with a look that concentrates its power on the rear axle.

Optional transparent engine bonnet.

For such a powerful automobile, the most crucial task of the body shell design is aerodynamic efficiency: the optimum airflow for absolute stability at all speeds and, at the same time, optimum cooling for the engine. On the Aventador, all aerodynamic elements are integrated into the body shell form, from the front spoiler to the rear diffuser. A key role is played by the flat, optimized underbody.

The rear spoiler is deployable and controlled electronically. At rest, it lies flush with the rear of the vehicle; in operation, it has two positions – the approach angle of 4 degrees is optimized for high speed and assists directional stability at the very top end of the spectrum. The tilt of 11 degrees, on the other hand, delivers considerably greater downforce at mid-range speeds, helping to optimize handling and stability. The car uses dynamic parameters to calculate for itself the most appropriate tilt angle.

Long side view, a very low roofline and two sweeping strokes.

The extremely long side view is dominated by the very low roofline and by two sweeping strokes – the first emphasizes the front wheel arch; the second, very sharply drawn line begins at the front wheel arch and runs like a tensed muscle along the entire side of the car and over the rear wheel.

The deeply recessed door and the mighty sill bear further testimony to the determined functionality of the Lamborghini design. Ultimately, these forms serve only one purpose – to deliver the maximum volume of cooling air to the mighty V12 power plant.

The engine air intakes are behind the third side windows.

The large air intakes behind the upward-opening doors are also enclosed in black plastic frames and guarded by a fine mesh.

The engine air intake is located on the roof pillar, behind the third side window. And when cooling requirements are particularly high, additional air channels open up on the rear wheel arches.

The rear end, too, is dominated by openings framed in black, where the hot air finds its exit. The entire rear end is highly three-dimensional in its design.

The rear lights in LED technology reiterate the triple Y motive.

The lower diffuser stands in powerful relief, while the substantial format of the hexagonal tail pipe symbolizes the concentrated potency of the engine. The rear lights in LED technology reiterate the triple Y motive already familiar from current Lamborghini models.

 6.5L V12

Engineers in the Lamborghini R&D department have developed a completely new high-performance power unit, known internally as the L539.

The only real choice taken by Lamborghini is a high-revving naturally aspirated engine. Ten cylinders would have been ideal in the displacement class around the five litre mark, as in the Gallardo engine. But for the 6.5 litre displacement targeted in this case, the perfect number is twelve. A lower number of cylinders would result in larger and heavier pistons and con-rods, which would have a negative impact on the engine’s high-revving characteristics.

History of the Lamborghini V12

History books say that Ferruccio Lamborghini established a car company in the early sixties because he wanted to better the products on offer at the time from the competition (that is, Ferrari), with the best possible technology and quality.

The prototype for all later Lamborghini super sports cars was the 350 GTV study presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. It featured an all-new aluminium twelve-cylinder developed from scratch by engine designer Giotto Bizzarrini and boasted breathtaking performance figures at the time.

The 12-cylinder V-engine with 60 degree cylinder bank angle, four overhead camshafts (at a time when single camshafts were still the norm) and dry sump lubrication, generated 360 hp at 8,000 rpm from a displacement of 3,497 cm3 that would take the concept car to a top speed of 280 km/h. The 350 GT series production version with conventional lubrication launched the following year produced 320 hp at 7,000 rpm from a displacement of 3,464 cm3.

This engine was featured in the Lamborghini Miura at the 1966 Geneva Auto Salon . Although its main features were already familiar from the 400 GT, this time the four-litre 60° twelve-cylinder was mounted transversely behind the cockpit, with transmission and differential in a single unit fixed directly to the frame.

The 320 hp made the series production Miura that followed the fastest production car of its time with a stated top speed of more than 280 km/h. This engine was further developed over the years, with several iterations featuring in the Miura S (370 hp at 7,000 rpm, 285 km/h) and Miura SV (385 hp, 300 km/h). In the Miura Jota, a one-off made for racing, the V12 generated 440 hp at 8,500 rpm.

Applications for the four-litre were not limited to the mid-engine Miura. In the front-engine Islero, introduced in 1968, and in the 400 GT Jarama, it produced 350 hp, while in the futuristic Espada the figure was 325 hp (later also 350 hp). In 1974, the Espada also saw an automatic transmission offered for the first time.

The generational shift from the Miura to the new LP400 Countach took place in the early seventies. 1971 brought the prototype with a breathtaking, edgy form, the genes of which would ultimately re-emerge forty years later in present-day Lamborghini super sports cars. Marcello Gandini’s design was a fitting outfit for a five-litre version of the V12.

This engine was dropped from the series production model in 1973 in favour of a further evolution of the four-litre unit.

In the 1973 Countach – still without the “wing” or spoiler of the eighties – it was longitudinally mounted behind the driver, where it generated 375 hp at an impressive 8,000 rpm and reached a top speed of 300 km/h. The years that followed saw the Countach engine undergo a series of evolutionary developments, although still based on the familiar cornerstones of the first V12 unit.

It was in 1985 that the Countach Quattrovalvole took displacement over the five-litre mark for the first time (5,167 cm3) and – as the name implies – featured a four-valve cylinder head. Output was an impressive 455 hp at 7,000 rpm.

In 1986, the five-litre V12 was presented with a completely new application – the Lamborghini LM002 may also have had the 450 hp engine mounted up front, but the 2.7 ton automobile was the first and only SUV produced by the brand, a four-door all-terrain vehicle.

The late eighties saw the amazingly long career of the Countach near its end with the Countach Anniversario. The Diablo followed as its rightful heir, clad in a distinctly nineties outfit. By 1990, the V12 had increased to 5.7 litres and by the end of Diablo production to almost six litres, producing 492 hp.

One year later, the Diablo VT was the brand’s first four-wheel drive sports car. Over the next few years, output grew steadily to 520 hp (1993 Diablo SE). The Diablo GT with 575 hp and the radical GTR with 590 hp both appeared in 1999. The Diablo 6.0 was the first model to feature the V12 with displacement expanded to six litres, its output ultimately reaching 550 hp.

The Murciélago was launched in 2001 as the first Lamborghini of the new era (the brand was bought by Audi, one of the VW group's subsidiaries, in 1998). It boasted a new 6.2 litre alloy V12 with a crankshaft running on seven bearings and dry sump lubrication. It generated 580 hp at 7,500 rpm and took the super sports car weighing just 1,650 kilograms to a top speed of 330 km/h. The maximum torque of 650 Nm was reached at just 5,400 rpm.

At the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Murciélago LP 640, which produces 640 hp from the V12 unit that had been expanded to 6,496 cm3. In the strictly limited Lamborghini Reventón, the twelve-cylinder generated 650 hp. The grand finale came with the Murciélago LP 670-4 Superveloce with its 670 hp.

The twelve-cylinder power unit, with its black intake manifold, lies beneath three cover panels. It is framed by diagonal carbon-fibre struts and accompanied by the powerful dampers from the pushrod suspensions.

At 235 kilograms (518 lb), the 6,498cc V12 engine (cylinder spacing is 103.5mm) is very lightweight, with a classic cylinder bank angle of 60 degrees (compact power package) and 515 kW (700 hp) at 8,250 rpm. Maximum torque output is 690 Newton meters (509 lb-ft) at 5,500 rpm.

The crankcase on the new power plant is made from an aluminium-silicon alloy and has an open-deck construction with steel cylinder liners. The short-stroke layout (95mm bore and 76.4mm stroke) is especially beneficial for high-revving characteristics and for low internal friction.

The two four-valve cylinder heads are likewise made from sand-cast aluminium-silicon alloy. The twelve pistons and con-rods are, respectively, in forged alloy and steel. The maximum piston speed at 8,250 rpm is only 21 meters per second, which is considerably less than for the Murciélago’s previous power unit.

At 11.8:1, the compression ratio is extremely high. Inlet and outlet valve timing is electronically controlled.

Two switchable water circuits in the engine ensure very rapid warm-up, which minimizes friction and quickly brings the catalytic converters up to operating temperature, thus benefiting fuel consumption and emissions. The external water coolers are switched into the circuit only as required.

Oil circulation uses a dry sump lubrication system, allowing a very low mounting position of the engine (60 millimetres lower than the V12 in the Murciélago).

The hydro-formed and thermally insulated three-into-one exhaust system incorporates four pre-catalytic converters close to the engine and two main catalytic converters shortly before the muffler. The casing incorporates two separate mufflers – one low-volume, one high-volume. All is regulated by valves controlled via the engine management.

The electronic engine management, which was developed entirely by engineers at Lamborghini, consists of the main ECU, a secondary “smart actuators” and two additional black boxes that function as “smart sensors”. Smart actuators make the ECU faster. The two smart sensors are constantly monitoring combustion in real time – each ignition in every cylinder.

 ISR gearbox

The innovative ISR (initials for Independent Shifting Rods) transmission is a very fast robotized gearbox (servo-actuated mechanical gearbox). Compared with a dual-clutch transmission, the ISR gearbox is lighter with smaller dimensions than a conventional manual unit. Operation is via two ergonomic shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

The new unit is laid out as a two-shaft transmission with seven forward gears and one reverse. For especially high durability, the synchronizing rings are made from carbon-fibre.

To summarize the principle of the ISR gearbox compared to a conventional manual gearbox:

- In a conventional manual gearbox, be it automated or fully manual, the gear wheels for, say, second and third gears are located side by side. When the driver wants to shift gear, the shifting sleeve with synchronizer unit is moved along the shifting rod from second gear through neutral to third gear. This requires twice the distance and twice the time – second gear has to be disengaged before third gear can be engaged.

Gear change via two shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

- In the Lamborghini ISR transmission, the gear wheels from the second and third gears are separate from each other and the shifting sleeves are actuated by independent shifting rods. Now the shifting process can run virtually in parallel – while one shifting rod is disengaging one gear, the second shifting rod can already engage the next gear. Because these movements partially overlap and the mechanical distances are considerably shorter, this facilitates a significant saving in shift time.

Overall, the Lamborghini ISR transmission shifts around 40 percent faster than the e.gear transmission in the Gallardo. And that is already one of the world’s fastest automated manual gearboxes.

V12 with its black intake manifold beneath three cover panels.

The new transmission has four of these independent shifting rods, with sensors constantly monitoring their exact positions. They are operated via hydraulic actuators, with an extremely high system pressure of 60 bar ensuring the necessary operating speed. The system incorporates a total of seven hydraulic valves, with pressure supplied by an electric pump. The double-plate clutch is also hydraulically actuated. All system components are contained within one casing. The total weight of the transmission is only 70 kilograms.

The driver can choose between five operating modes, three manual (Strada, Sport and Corsa) and two automatic (Strada-auto and Sport-auto). The Strada mode offers comfort-oriented shifting, with fully-automatic also an option. The Sport mode has a dynamic set-up in terms of shifting points and times, while the Corsa mode delivers the maximum shift strategy for race track driving. This mode also includes Launch Control, the automatic function for maximum acceleration from a standing start (see also: Steering Drive Select Mode).

 AWD

The rear spoiler is deployable and controlled electronically.

The permanent all-wheel drive (indicated by the 4 in the model designation) is an electronically controlled Haldex coupling that distributes the forces between front and rear. This coupling adapts the force distribution (in milliseconds) to match the dynamic situation. A self-blocking rear differential together with a front differential electronically controlled by ESP make for even more dynamic handling.

The fully electronic controlled coupling device for the front wheels distributes continuously the right torque to the front wheels for always attaining the best performance aspired to by the driver. The torque distribution to the front wheels can vary continuously from 0% to 60% of the total torque available.

 Suspension

The suspension was inspired by the Formula 1, with a pushrod spring and damper concept tuned to meet the needs of a high-performance road-going vehicle, with aluminium double wishbone and a carbon-fibre ceramic brake system.

The instruments are presented on a TFT-LCD screen.

Instead of being located on the wheel mounts, the spring/damper elements are connected inboard to the body shell structure. They are transversely positioned: under the windscreen in the front and close to the engine in the rear. Pushrods and relay levers / rockers transmit the forces from the wheel mounts to the spring/damper elements.

Due to the combination of the double wishbone and pushrod arrangement, wheel control and damper remain separate from each other. As a result, handling is more responsive and easier to manage at all speeds, while rigid connection to the chassis also improves the precise and spontaneous reaction of the springs and dampers. Spring stiffness can be notched back a little – comfort increases, while precision remains.

On the front axle, the shock absorbers are equipped with a hydraulic lifting system, which enables the front end of the car to be lifted by 40 millimetres at the touch of a button, simplifying its ability to negotiate minor obstacles.

The entire suspension system, including upper and lower control arms, wheel mounts and relay levers are made from forged aluminium alloy.

 Brakes

Second, seven-inch TFT-LCD screen in the centre console.

The large-diameter discs on the high-performance brake system are made from lightweight and extremely hard-wearing carbon ceramic composite material.

On the front axle, the ventilated discs measure 400 millimetres in diameter, with braking force delivered via six cylinder calipers.

On the rear axle, 380 millimetre diameter discs are used in combination with four cylinder calipers.

The parking brake on the new Lamborghini top model is electrically powered.

 Steering

The hydraulic steering gear foresees three different servotronic characteristics managed by Drive Select Mode, enabling the driver to choose vehicle characteristics (engine, transmission, differential, steering and dynamic control) from three settings – Strada (road), Sport and Corsa (track) – to suit his / her individual preferences.

 Interior

The interior combines premium materials with Italian craftsmanship and modern technology. The red switch cover on the broad centre tunnel (pictures above) encloses the start button.

The cockpit is upholstered entirely in fine leather and also takes on a subtle arrow form. The controls are grouped on the broad centre console. The instruments are presented on a TFT-LCD screen.

At the centre of the display is a large dial: at the touch of a button, the driver can choose whether he / she would rather see the road speed read-out or the engine speed. Further information ranging from fuel level to the output from the on-board computer is grouped in fields surrounding the large dial.

A second, seven-inch TFT-LCD screen in the centre console belongs to the integrated multimedia system (pictures above). Beneath it is the familiar array of Lamborghini toggle switches for operating functions such as the electric windows or the front axle lifting system, as well as the controls for the air conditioning.

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 offers a comprehensive line-up of electronic vehicle, entertainment and communication systems. These functions are operated via the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) on the centre console, featuring a large push/turn control and eight function keys.

 Equipment

The standard package of electronic systems includes ABS, electronic brake distribution, anti-slip control, speed-dependent servotronic steering, hill start assist and  ESP stability control.

The rear spoiler and the side air intakes are electronically controlled. The Drive Select System enables vehicle characteristics (engine, transmission, differential, stability control, steering) to be set in accordance with individual driver preferences in one of the three Strada (road), Sport and Corsa (track) modes.

The cockpit with TFT-LCD display also comes as standard, as does the multimedia HMI system with Navigation, including traffic data, iPod connection and Bluetooth.

Bicolour Sportivo: base colour in black and orange contrast.

The automatic climate control functions with a sunlight sensor, with further sensors controlling the automatic headlights. The bi-xenon headlamps come with daytime running lights and rear lights in LED technology.

The five-spoke alloy wheels (19-inch front and 20-inch rear) are clad in Pirelli P Zero tires (255/35 at the front and 335/30 at the rear) and feature tire pressure monitoring, while the brake system is equipped with carbon-ceramic rotors and black brake calipers. Safety equipment includes six front, thorax, head and knee airbags.

 Individualization

Options include features such as the transparent engine cover, black painted wheels and brake calipers in yellow, grey or orange. The standard audio system can be upgraded to the “High-End Lamborghini Sound System” with premium speakers featuring neodymium technology and 4x135 watt amplifiers. Park assistance systems include proximity sensors front and rear, as well as a reversing camera.

A range of 13 colours are available at launch, in pastel metallic, pearlescent or matt finishes. These include the new shades Grigio Estoque and Arancio Argos. Three colours are available in specialized and highly sophisticated matt finishes as AD Personam– Nero Nemesis, Bianco Canopus and Marrone Apus.

The full leather single-colour interior is available in either Nero Alde (black) or in Marrone Elpis, a warm brown shade. The contrasting stitching can be ordered in a range of colours. The two-tone leather interiors are offered in two style lines. For Bicolour Sportivo, the base colour is black, with the contrast in orange, white, yellow or green, while Bicolour Elegante presents a harmonious blend of brown tones. The Ad Personam individualization program goes much wider with colours and materials.

 

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