Full 2013 Lamborghini Aventador Review
What's New for 2013
A new Roadster model joins the Lamborghini Aventador lineup for 2013, along with stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy. Improved suspension components and optional carbon-fiber body elements are also new.
There is a certain point at which monumental wealth allows some to shrug off the concerns of mere mortals. It's the sort of riches that elicit no more than a raised eyebrow when throwing down half a million dollars on a vehicle that, by all accounts, is a model of impracticality and waste. The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador is a full realization of this kind of decadence, but don't get us wrong. This supercar is also very much an object of desire.
Let's start with what makes a supercar so super: power. With a 6.5-liter V12 producing an astounding 690 horsepower, there are only a handful of cars available in the U.S. that produce more. With lightweight carbon-fiber construction, that power is put to good use as all four wheels spin wildly to get the top-dog Lamborghini up to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph. The Aventador also corners with similar aggression, giving racecars a run for their considerable money.
But stunning performance is only half of the Aventador's equation; it's also a stunner when stationary. The sharp faceted bodywork evokes images of stealth fighter planes, as does a cockpit that is equally evocative. But all of this flash has a considerable non-monetary cost, too. Visibility in any direction is hampered by a steeply raked windshield, huge mirrors that dominate the view out the side windows and a rear window that shows but a sliver of what's behind you. Combine this with the car's wide footprint and even basic tasks like parking become nerve-wracking exercises.
Then there's the Aventador's punishing ride quality that transmits every minute flaw in the road directly into your spine. This year, Lamborghini has improved the ride, but compared to most other supercars, the Aventador is still quite stiff. These ride quality changes have as much effect as the new fuel-saving measures (stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation) that resulted in only 1 mpg more on the highway. As it stands, the most important news for 2013 is the debut of the convertible Aventador Roadster, which comes with its own unique set of drawbacks.
But even with these flaws, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador remains one of the epically effective ways to make a statement. The closest competitor understandably comes from Lamborghini's arch rival in the form of the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Of course, when you have monumental wealth at hand, we see no reason not to simply buy both.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador is a two-passenger exotic supercar available as either a coupe or roadster.
Standard coupe features include 19-inch front wheels, 20-inch rear wheels, high-performance tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, a deployable rear spoiler, an adjustable-height suspension, hill-start assist, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, heated and power-folding mirrors, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, LCD gauge cluster, the Lamborghini version of Audi's Multi Media Interface, a navigation system, real-time traffic, Bluetooth, an iPod interface and a sound system.
The Roadster adds a power rear window, a wind deflector and an engine cover with sectioned hexagonal glass plates.
Optional equipment includes numerous carbon-fiber body parts and interior trim, a transparent engine cover, a carbon-fiber engine cover, the Parking Assist package (front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera), heated power seats, a multifunction steering wheel (in smooth leather, perforated leather or suede) and an upgraded sound system. There is also an extensive customization program available.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is an outrageous 6.5-liter V12 that produces 690 hp and 509 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, along with a seven-speed automated manual gearbox that features five different operating modes: three manual (Strada, Sport and Corsa) and two automatic (Strada-auto and Sport-auto). Launch control and hill-start assist are also standard.
Lamborghini estimates that the Aventador will go from zero to 60 mph in about 2.9 seconds as it accelerates to its 217 mph top speed. It doesn't get much quicker or faster than that. This year, fuel consumption is slightly improved thanks to the addition of stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation, which shuts down six cylinders when cruising on the highway. Still, EPA-estimated fuel economy is only 11 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 13 mpg combined. You'd be hard-pressed to find something much thirstier than that.
Standard safety equipment includes traction and stability control, antilock carbon-ceramic disc brakes, knee airbags and side airbags that cover the head and thorax.
Interior Design and Special Features
Echoing the Aventador's aggressive faceted exterior styling, the interior features angular shapes and controls that would look more at home in a stealth fighter jet. Just starting the engine involves a sort of missile-launch ceremony, as you have to lift a red anodized safety cover to access the start button.
To complement the styling and flourish, the Aventador's cabin also features a decent amount of up-to-date electronics. Pulling from parent company Audi's parts bin, the Lamborghini uses a slightly revised MMI infotainment interface to control the audio and navigation systems via a centrally mounted dial. It works just as well as the Audi system, but considering the amount of concentration required to pilot the Aventador, even the simplest tasks may prove too complicated.
Space in the Aventador is what you'd expect in today's generation of supercars. Drivers taller than 6 feet should still have sufficient headroom and just enough legroom, though there's certainly a claustrophobic feel that goes along with its low-slung roof line and limited visibility. Storage is also practically nonexistent, making the prospects of a road trip rather remote.
Opting for the open-air experience of the Roadster reduces practicality even further, but Lamborghini owners are seldom fazed by such trifles. Rather than employ a folding fabric roof or retractable hardtop, the roof comprises two removable lightweight carbon-fiber panels that fit perfectly into the front trunk. And by perfectly, we mean that they leave room for nothing else. The good news is that the Roadster looks devastatingly beautiful with the top stowed, and the power rear window can be lowered so you can enjoy the full V12 orchestra performing behind your head.
At low speeds, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador is pretty disappointing. The transmission is jerky, the ride borders on intolerable and the engine emits a rather unimpressive, whiny mechanical drone. But this is a Lamborghini -- what on Earth are you doing driving it slowly?
Lay into the throttle and the V12 comes alive with a raucous symphony. When the road starts throwing you curves, the Aventador eagerly dive bombs into corners thanks to its quick, precise steering and composed chassis. Unlike some other big exotic cars, however, the Aventador never feels smaller than it actually is. Due to the car's wide girth and poor outward visibility, it can be hard for the driver to build up confidence on a demanding road or racetrack.
Sacrifices are few if you decide on the Roadster. The Aventador's body rigidity seems unfazed by the lack of a roof, and the al fresco experience is a treat to all senses. This is one of the rare instances where a convertible supercar is on par with the fixed-roof coupe version in terms of performance.