CarReview

So effective are the SV’s standard car­bon-ceramic brakes that stopping from 180 mph is like braking from freeway speeds in a Mazda MX-5 Miata. Inside, the base Aventador’s design remains largely the same—minus some leather. It’s a bare-carbon experience on the doors, tunnel, and floor. An all-new and all-yellow instrument cluster displays gears and engine speed most prominently.

Don’t misunderstand; it is not perfect. With Lamborghinis, particularly special models like this one, the line between glory and absurdity is a fine one, pocked with compromise. But even an imperfect Lamborghini is a savage machine capable of inducing equal parts giddiness and ­disbelief. It produced the latter quite ­violently, even terrifyingly, by spinning all four tires on dry, clean pavement only blocks from our quiet, suburban home. But a car like this shouldn’t be driven with the fear of what might happen. It should be driven because of it.

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What the Superveloce will not do, largely because its rear Pirelli P Zero ­Corsas are nearly four inches wider than its fronts, is oversteer. Barring senseless acts of pedal abuse, the rear tracks devoutly behind the front. And its single-clutch, seven-speed automated-manual transmission feels, well, old. The long gaps between gears in strada mode are as unnatural as they are out of character in a car this focused. Of course, switching to one of the other two modes (sport or corsa) increases shift speed, punches up throttle response, and stiffens the SV’s new magnetorheological dampers. Full-throttle shifts in corsa snap through the cabin with enough force to visibly unnerve Aventador SV virgins.

The carbon shell-type seats lack any­thing resembling compliance, are too low for those of average build, and offer neither height nor seatback-angle adjustments. Your author sat on a booster cushion behind the wheel so that his ass—like his self-worth­—was artificially elevated.

At 3868 pounds, the SV carries 217 less pounds than the last standard Aventador we weighed. The engine cover, wing, air intakes, door panels, rear diffuser, and seat shells are all carbon fiber.

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On the scale of grand driving tools, the Aventador ranks high. It is stupid fast, has world-class brakes, and makes fantastic grip. Its somewhat-elusive limits, however, keep it from rivaling the world’s most rewarding driver’s cars. Still, the Super­veloce is special. It is a car unencumbered by ubiquity, order, or anything resembling normalcy. It is, in other words, a Lambo.

The Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce has no carpet, sound deadening, USB ports, Bluetooth phone pairing, cruise control, nor any warn­ing labels. And sometimes—like whenever its cooling fans operate—it produces mechanical noises no car this costly should make. It approaches its mission with the same subtlety Donald Trump employs when talking immigration.

For the Superveloce, the big change to the ­Aventador’s 6.5-liter V-12 is a freer-flowing exhaust. In combination with fresh calibrations for its variable valve timing and variable intake system, output climbs to 740 horsepower, up from the base car’s 691. Peak power is achieved 100 rpm below redline at a shrill 8400 revs. Torque remains 509 pound-feet at 5500 rpm.

The Superveloce, a lightened and more powerful version of the four-year-oldAventador, is a very fine piece of gra­tui­tous­ness indeed. It was created as much for shock value as for driving reward. If the standard Aventador leverages the corporate paradigm shift that began with the Murciélago back in 2001, then the SV yanks at it with a composite crowbar.

We spent a total of 70 hours with the SV. In that time it defined itself as the Big Italian Cheese that Lamborghini wants it to be. It is brash, unreserved, and charismatic, yet also very well-made and seemingly indifferent to a sound flogging. Aesthetically, it manages to be both ghastly and gorgeous. We want its phone number, badly, and we don’t want anyone to know about it.

But not a single gas-station spectator will care or even attempt to understand such nuance. What they will notice is its size. There’s a lot of Lamborghini here. Despite sharing its 106.3-inch wheelbase with the Honda Civic, the SV’s low, wide proportions—and its massive overhangs—make it appear huge. It is wide. The same width, in fact, as a standard Ford F-250 pickup.

In other words, it makes no apologies for being what it is: A brazen exotic made for those who enjoy center stage and have the resources to ensure they remain there. Did we mention it starts at $497,895?

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This, naturally, makes you want to drive it right to the icy, unforgiving limit. Its feedback, though, might give you other ideas. In practice, the steering is moderately weighted but lacks the granular feedback of the best systems—thinkPorsche Cayman. The SV’s new electric power assist works with a variable-ratio mechanism in the column. The limits, especially as speed climbs, are high and press for more commitment. But their fuzzy edges diminish confidence.

Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce

But not a single gas-station spectator will care or even attempt to understand such nuance. What they will notice is its size. There’s a lot of Lamborghini here. Despite sharing its 106.3-inch wheelbase with the Honda Civic, the SV’s low, wide proportions—and its massive overhangs—make it appear huge. It is wide. The same width, in fact, as a standard Ford F-250 pickup.

For the Superveloce, the big change to the ­Aventador’s 6.5-liter V-12 is a freer-flowing exhaust. In combination with fresh calibrations for its variable valve timing and variable intake system, output climbs to 740 horsepower, up from the base car’s 691. Peak power is achieved 100 rpm below redline at a shrill 8400 revs. Torque remains 509 pound-feet at 5500 rpm.

Unsurprisingly, it’s strikingly rapid. It will kiss 60 mph from a standstill in 2.7 seconds, storm the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 136 mph, and stop from 70 mph in 147 feet. It generates 1.04 g’s around the skidpad and never acts as if it’s working to perform any of these feats. It didn’t once hint that it wanted to kill us, either.