Full 2014 Lamborghini Aventador Review
What's New for 2014
A new 50 Anniversario special-edition Aventador debuts for 2014, celebrating Lamborghini's half century of manufacturing cars. Other than that, the other Aventador models return unchanged.
The 2014 Lamborghini Aventador generates some impressive numbers. With a 6.5-liter V12 engine making 690 horsepower, it reaches 60 mph in less than 3 seconds on its way to a 217 mph top speed. Let's not forget about the $400,000 price of admission either. Figures like these firmly plant the Aventador in the supercar stratosphere, right where it belongs.
This year, to celebrate Lamborghini's 50-year anniversary, a limited-edition Aventador LP720-4 50 Anniversario is available to 100 lucky (and wealthy) clients. It ups horsepower marginally and comes with significant aerodynamic upgrades, but performance is estimated to be identical to the standard Aventador. For the $500,000 plus you'd shell out for the Anniversario, you're basically getting a more collectible version. And bragging rights.
Regardless of which Aventador you might be considering, you're sure to turn plenty of heads. Whether it's moving or not, it's a futuristic stunner. Unfortunately, the drawbacks also span the lineup. Most prominently, the stiff ride quality may redefine what harsh means to some drivers. Lack of visibility is also something for potential owners to take into account, as is the related difficulty associated with maneuvering the ultra-wide Aventador on tight roads or in parking lots. There's also the deplorable fuel economy, although we're guessing you're not terribly concerned about that.
At this level of price and performance, there's little that competes with the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador. The Ferrari F12 is sure to deliver the same wallop of acceleration and exclusivity, though it's not as outrageously styled as the Lamborghini. To outdo it, you'd have to shell out more than a cool million for a Bugatti Veyron or McLaren P1. To be honest, unless you live on the Eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, any of these cars make a very strong statement. We should all be so lucky.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 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, an 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), simulated suede upholstery and an upgraded sound system. There is also an extensive customization program available.
The Aventador LP720-4 50 Anniversario is limited to only 100 examples worldwide and is available as either a coupe or roadster. Distinguishing itself from the "normal" Aventadors, the Anniversario sports numerous body modifications to increase aerodynamic efficiency, and a slightly more powerful engine tuning. A bright yellow and black paint scheme is standard, but customers can choose other colors. Optionally, a black and yellow interior with exclusive diamond-stitched upholstery can be selected.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is an outrageous 6.5-liter V12 that produces 690 hp and 509 pound-feet of torque. The very limited-edition Aventador LP720-4 50 Anniversario manages to increase output to 710 hp, but torque remains the same. 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. Fuel consumption is marginally bolstered by stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation, which shuts down six cylinders when cruising on the highway. Even with these measures in place, the Aventador represents one of the thirstiest vehicles you can buy. EPA-estimated fuel economy is only 13 mpg combined (11 city/18 highway) for the coupe and 12 mpg combined (10 city/16 highway) for the roadster.
Standard safety equipment includes traction and stability control, antilock carbon-ceramic disc brakes, knee airbags and side airbags that cover the head and thorax. Crash tests have not been performed on the Aventador.
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 while on the move.
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.
If there's one thing the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador does well, it's going fast. With even moderate pressure on the pedal, the V12 roars to life, tapping into the pleasure centers of anyone's brain. On a twisting canyon pass, the big supercar feels smaller than it is, thanks to precise steering and a very composed chassis. The car is quite wide, though, and outward visibility is limited, which may put a damper on driver confidence.
If there's one thing it does poorly, it's going slow. In traffic, parking lots or anywhere that lacks room to stomp the throttle, the Aventador's transmission is as jumpy as a teenager learning to drive stick. Potholes put a spotlight on the car's stiff suspension, as shockwaves are sent straight into the occupants' spines. Furthermore, at low speeds the engine lacks bravado, as its whiny mechanical drone is far from inspiring.
The Aventador Roadster suffers from the same low-speed drawbacks, but otherwise, you won't be sacrificing much compared to the coupe. 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.