When it comes to automotive exotica, few countries can rival the Italians. And even those that can tend to live in the shadow of a nation that is steeped in racing heritage, lauded for its engineering history and envied for its effortless design excellence…
AThe Aventador is Lamborghini's latest proof of the above statement. The name for this latest €255,000 Italian thoroughbred is taken from a bull, famous for its bravery in a Spanish bullfight having earned the Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera at the Zaragoza Arena in 1993 for outstanding courage. Described by the Bolognese manufacturer as: "a new reference among super sports cars," the bold, aggressive lines of the Aventador epitomise Italian supercar style while the depth of technology is way more than skin deep with a lithe, lightweight chassis and carbon fibre monocoque powered to a terminal speed 217mph (349kph) by an immensely powerful, 700bhp V12 engine.
Lamborghini's dedication to building the best supercar that they could has resulted in some amazing new technological developments. The immense power is managed by several drivetrain ECUs, managing and metering the power output to each wheel through the Aventador's sophisticated four-wheel-drive system incrementally to achieve the best balance of drive and grip.
Naturally, refinements inside the car are as you'd expect from a car of this pedigree with the driver cosseted by a full leather interior, the driving experience enhanced by a state of the art stability control system, intelligent ABS and brake distribution along with three engine performance modes available at the push of a button to suit the driver's mood. A navigation system with traffic data and iPod connectivity ensure that the interior of the Aventador is always a happy place to be.
Of course all of this style, technology and performance would only be well-honed muscle without the kind of agility that Lamborghini has bred into each and every one of its supercars over the years. Always striving to improve and keeping ahead of the competition is never an easy task. Every advantage, every gain that can be made is welcomed, no matter how small. And when it came to the perfect suspension set-up for the Aventador, a technical partner with a similar attention to the tiniest detail and the same desire to outperform the competition was an absolute must. Thus there was only one choice when it came to ensuring that the Aventador became the best handling Lamborghini to date. That choice was Öhlins.
Öhlins' history with helping Italian engineers to achieve superb handling goes back a long way. In the two-wheeled world, some of the most exotic motorcycles ever built have been fitted with Öhlins suspension with manufacturers such as Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta and Benelli all insisting on those trademark gold forks and yellow springs to ensure road holding that is unsurpassed by their rivals.
So how did Öhlins put shock absorbers on the Lamborghini Aventador? The company started with a proven damper type, a conventional mechanical damper of the same type that has been used in NASCAR racing. This damper type was deemed especially suited to cope with the high forces a heavy supercar generates. After that the engineers put a lot of effort into making this race damper silent and comfortable, functional down to minus 40 degrees Celsius and be reliable for at least 200 000 km of usage so it could meet the high demands set by Lamborghini Another demanding factor was the placement of the rear dampers in the rear engine compartment. The heat generating from the supercar's engine meant Öhlins had to find special bushings to withstand this heat and the Öhlins stickers on the dampers also had to be modified to cope with the heat. The dampers also had to be fitted with electrically adjustable actuators to lift the car up to cope with curbs and speed bumps. The end result was a supercar with superb handling that can be used everyday.
Öhlins Project Manager Rade Catovic explains, "We had to do a lot of work with testing and certifications to meet these demands and we especially spent a lot of time working on making the damper as silent as possible. Considering the demands Audi and Lamborghini had, the Aventador really is one of the rare supersport cars that can handle both everyday use and driving on race tracks".
Öhlins' racing heritage also draws many parallels with the Italians. A shared outlook that while performance is paramount, the aesthetics should never be overlooked with the question of form over function never being raised, the two working together in perfect synchronicity. And that's exactly what Lamborghini and Öhlins have achieved with the Aventador.
For a look at the incredible new Lamborghini Aventador click here and be prepared to be blown away!