Modern old-school charm: Lamborghini Aventador SVPOSTED BY Ayisy Yusof ON 07 July 2015
The Aventador SV relies on the good old combination of analogue chassis balance and natural aspirated power without the nuance of high-tech electronic trickery.
Andre Lam, reporting from Barcelona, Spain.
Photos by Wolfango Sparcarelli
SUPERVELOCE is not a name you hear very often, first appearing in 1971 on the Muira SV. It was not until 1995 that Lamborghini revived the Superveloce name on the Diablo SV and most recently on the 2009 Murcielago SV.
These models, especially the Miura SV, remain the most desirable and collectable of Lamborghinis to date.
So what then is the Superveloce? Traditionally it is a name given to a special high-performance model of Lamborghini’s V12 line after having undergone a comprehensive weight loss programme, detailed chassis enhancements and tweaking of the V12 engine.
Lately, thanks to the growing importance of aerodynamic aids, the Aventador SV appears with the most outrageous outfit to live up to its SV billing.
Having been originally made with a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis and body means there are slim pickings when it comes to lightening the Aventador but Lamborghini has more tricks up its sleeves.
It has resorted to fabricating new doors, rocker and fender panels from what they call SMC Superlight which is a Boeing-developed aerospace composite using short strands of carbon fibre in the sheet moulding process to attain a sturdier, much lighter component.
Lamborghini has long been collaborating with Boeing to produce the carbon fibre chassis of the Aventador.
The rear active spoiler has been replaced with an adjustable carbon fibre wing that contributes to the 218kg of downforce (up from Aventador’s 74kg) and this along with the redesigned rear end to allow more engine cooling also sheds weight.
One of the biggest weight savings comes from the new quad-pipe rear muffler that enhances performance and gives it that distinctive straight-through sound.
All told, Lamborghini managed to lighten the SV by 50kg, bringing the weight down to 1,525kg; though in reality it has to remove as much as 70kg of weight before adding the beefier components like the MagnaRide suspension and new variable ratio steering system called LDS or Lamborghini Dynamic Steering.
Being a SV also means getting a perfunctory hike in horsepower from 700hp to 750hp. Lamborghini has attained this by optimising the Variable Intake system and the Variable Valve Timing to boost the torque curve which peaks with 690Nm at 5,500rpm and more importantly extends peak power to 8,400rpm compared with 8,250rpm previously.
The new lighter muffler system that allows freer flowing exhaust probably accounts for much of that increase.
Put that package together and the Aventador Superveloce becomes something really amazing, lapping the Nurburgring Nordschliefe circuit in just under seven minutes, a feat that only the uber-hybrid Porsche 918 accomplished for serial production cars.
The Porsche 918 was limited to just 918 units and the Aventador SV will be even rarer, being limited to just 600 worldwide.
As we arrived to drive the cars at the Catalunya F1 circuit, we were told that Lamborghini has already sold 500 of the SVs which is fortunate for us because it still needs to sell the remaining 100 cars.
Being strapped into a beast with 750hp, I can say I am glad it has the latest Haldex four-wheel drive system which is part active stability and part traction control system. It can apportion as much as 60 per cent to the fronts or as much as 90 per cent to the rears according to the situation. This works brilliantly together with the new MagnaRide suspension to deliver exceptional handling stability and indeed handling flexibility as well.
As this event was restricted to just track driving, we spent the entire session pushing the Aventador SV to the limit and there are few such cars with over 700hp that will allow the driver to use almost the entire performance envelope in just one morning.
It is not completely benign, let’s be clear about that, but the chassis is so communicative that one can feel the slide beginning and initiate corrective action before it gets too far.
Moreover the 750hp comes courtesy of normal atmospheric aspiration and this allows the throttle to be a very precise tool with which to control not just performance but the the handling balance as well. Back off a few millimetres and the SV’s nose tightens the line, take off even more the tail starts to slide.
Apply more power and the nose runs wide. What’s really amazing is this can be done confidently because the chassis balance is excellent.
In Strada (normal default), the electronic stability system reins in the exuberance quite early into any slide which is annoying for spirited driving. Sport is a much better setting for track work and one can choose to set the transmission to full auto or manual.
The Sport Auto shifts are bang on the money and automatically downshifts into the appropriate gear as one slows down for each corner, making you look like a hero. Corsa is the most unforgiving mode as it minimises electronic intervention and only allows manual shifting. However it is also the most satisfying mode when you get it right.
The Lamborghini Aventador SV is an anomaly because the Italians have never done well at the “green hell” and allowed the Nordschleife to remain the bastion of the Germans. Well no longer, and after the session at the challenging Catalunya track, we can see why.
The Aventador SV is a rare find in the era of over-the-top hyper cars simply because it is a pure driving tool just relying on the good old combination of analogue chassis balance and natural aspirated power without much high-tech electronic trickery to attain such usable performance and prowess.
Few will see its pricetag as affordable but for those who do, this limited edition Aventador SV is a must-have.
Specifications of the Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce
Engine: 6,498cc, 48 valve, naturally aspirated V12
Transmission: 7-speed automated manual
Power: 750hp at 8,400rpm
Torque: 690Nm at 5,500rpm
0-100 km/h: 2.8 seconds
Top Speed: over 350km/h
Fuel Consumption: 16.0 litres/100km (combined)