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Even in the often wild world of supercars, Lamborghini carries a reputation for extreme design and performance. The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador takes that reputation to its technological conclusion.
As a two-seat, scissor-door, extreme-performance coupe, the Aventador is anything but practical. On the other hand, it's one of the few cars in the world that can reach over 215 mph while also getting you and a date to dinner in cutting-edge style. Whether you're a Lamborghini fan or not, you have to respect the Aventador's range of purpose.
The body's a crescendo of angles and intakes. The exotic-looking interior is finished well, and its jet fighter-like cockpit switches and instrumentation, and the sheer extremity of every aspect of design lets the occupants know they're inside something very special.
The Aventador's construction is quite special: it is built around a carbon fiber monocoque chassis; the suspension uses racing-style pushrod inboard dampers and springs; and the overall stance of the car speaks more about race cars and jet fighters than it does anything typically street-legal.
At the heart of the Aventador lies a 6.5-liter, 700-horsepower V-12 engine. Peak power arrives at a screaming 8,250 rpm, while the 509 pound-feet of torque peaks at 5,500 rpm. Despite the high-revving stats, the engine is surprisingly tractable around town, only opening up its bark (and bite) when prodded.
The Independent Shifting Rods (ISR) transmission, on the other hand, is somewhat less tractable. It delivers laggy shifts at ordinary traffic speeds, and jerky shifts when driven in haste. It's out of character for a roughly $400,000 supercar, and it's not going to win you any points with anyone in the passenger seat.
Not that the ISR transmission ruins the experience. If anything, it merely throws a damp blanket in the mix. While less than comfortable in most situations, the Aventador is engaging and fun to drive, even at legal speeds--an area where many 200-plus-mph cars seem leaden and reluctant. Driven with more spirit, the Aventador wakes up, but the massive available power and high pricetag don't really encourage disabling all of the nannies. Not that you'd ever need to on the street. It's plenty fast in Strada (street) mode, much less Sport. Corsa is best reserved for the track.
In terms of gas mileage, you shouldn't expect any miracles out of the Aventador. It's built for speed and power; going green is somewhere at the end of a long list of priorities. The EPA rates the Aventador at 11 mpg city and 17 mpg highway for 13 mpg combined. That's worse than most full-sized SUVs or pickup trucks these days--but none of them can go 200 mph, reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, or offer the sheer auditory and visual impact of the Aventador, though they will haul the kids and their gear through a snowstorm.
But stepping back from the impressive technological and performance aspects of the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador, it's easy to see that this won't be anyone's only car. The front trunk area has room for one, maybe two small overnight bags and nothing else. The cabin has room only for two moderately-sized passengers. There is no other cargo or storage space in the car. It's not quite cramped, but it's the next thing to it.
Like any flagship Lamborghini, the Aventador is highly customizable. In fact, if you can dream it, chances are good that one of Lamborghini's personalization programs can build it into the car. Standard available options include 13 paint colors, including three matte finishes. Two-tone interiors in leather, a backup camera (a must-have item), and a premium audio system are also available.