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2014 Lamborghini Aventador Overview

With its horde of sharp angles taking unexpected turns and creating mesmerizing shapes, the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador looks like a piece of cubist art come to life. And when the Italian supercar rockets from 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds, you'll feel plenty alive yourself.

The Aventador's extreme looks will attract plenty of attention, and if you want to include your face in that attention grab, the Aventador comes in a top-off Roadster version as well as the hardtop coupe. There's also a 50th anniversary model for this year—the Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario—which bumps the horsepower up to 710 (720 in metric measurement, hence the name) and includes a distinctive aerodynamic kit and unique wheels, badges and color options.

The immodest exterior is matched by a hulking 6.5-liter V12 engine that's mounted behind the cabin and churns out 691 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque. That beast is mated to Lamborghini's Independent Shifting Rod transmission, a 7-speed gearbox that boasts shift times of 50 milliseconds and can be manually operated by paddle shifters mounted on the steering column or left to automatic computer control. The Aventador has three drive modes—Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (track)—and a Haldex all-wheel-drive system distributes power to all four corners.

The Aventador is too heavy (4,200 pounds) to feel agile, but it hugs the road with precise steering, superb balance and a pushrod suspension that's modeled after Formula 1 racing technology. Add in the absurd acceleration, the hair-raising top speed of 217 mph and the hedonistic growl coming off the V12, and you have the kind of driving experience one would hope for in a $400,000 vehicle.

To help you control all the juice, the Aventador comes with an electronically controlled rear spoiler, automatic traction control, electronic stability control, a hill-hold function, an electronically controlled side air-intake system, servotronic steering, electronic brakeforce distribution and anti-lock 400x38mm 6-piston carbon ceramic front brakes and anti-lock 380x38mm carbon ceramic rear brakes.

The cubist feel continues when you open the Aventador's dihedral doors and enter the cabin, which is composed of more dramatic shapes and angles. The seats, steering wheel and pedals all combine for an ergonomic fit. Standard features include navigation, Bluetooth, a multimedia system with a 7-inch display screen, iPod and USB interface, keyless ignition with push-button start, TFT displays, automatic air conditioning, rain sensors and heated mirrors.

If you want a vehicle that's pin-up worthy and delivers copious power, and the Aventador fits your style and price range, there's probably little that will dissuade you from purchasing the hypercar. But it does have some drawbacks.

The Roadster becomes a convertible only through manual roof operation. It's not especially difficult to remove the two 13-pound roof panels, but it seems a car like this shouldn't require any manual labor. Plus, precise instructions must be followed to fit the panels into the luggage compartment, and there's no room for any actual luggage once they're in there.

On the performance side, the ISR transmission may provide incredibly fast shifting times, but it can be a touch clunky, especially when compared to some of the dual-clutch transmissions used by its competitors. And the suspension may help the Aventador stay planted through high-speed turns, but it can feel rough at cruising speeds on imperfect roads.

Finally, the Aventador does come with a supercapacitor-based start-stop system that shuts down the engine at red lights or in stop-and-go traffic, as well as a cylinder deactivation system that turns the V12 into a V6 during light-throttle situations. But despite these efficiency measures, the Aventador gets 10 mpg city/16 highway.

Then again, anyone worried about cargo space, genteel handling or mileage numbers isn't buying a Lamborghini in the first place.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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