Showpiece of the Week: Last ever SV


Hard to believe, but the Aventador is seven years old next month. Few cars have aged so slowly. Lamborghini's rivals, primarily Ferrari and McLaren, have had the styling equivalent of an arms race in that time - and yet it's quite possible that neither has produced anything quite as timeless or as stupefying as Sant'Agata Bolognese's waist-high flagship. Of course, it had big shoes to fill: the Murcielago had been in production for the best part of ten years by 2010, and as the first model built under Audi's stewardship, it was always intended to show that Lamborghini's much-celebrated exceptionalism would not be hindered by the rein pulling from Ingolstadt.

Thus the Murcielago was vast and low and powered by the final evolution of its maker's first V12; the quad cam, 60-degree marvel which old man Lamborghini himself commissioned to blacken Enzo's eye. In 1963, this displaced 3.5-litres and developed around 280hp with carburettors. By the time the SuperVeloce version of the car rolled out over forty years later, the engine's capacity was at 6.5-litres and the output at 670hp. No question, if there is any glory in longevity, that the unit deserves to be ranked up there with Bentley's L Series V8 and Chevy's small-block when it comes to the laurel-giving.

Consequently, the decision to replace it deserves no less praise than the phenomenal job done on the Aventador's design. With unrestricted access to the Audi chocolate box, Lamborghini could easily have chosen an engine of slightly smaller scale and made up the shortfall with sticking-plaster turbochargers. But it didn't. Instead it read the writing on the wall regarding high-revving, atmospheric V12 engines, digested it amid a global financial crisis, and astutely said: we'll have another one, please - from scratch this time.


The follow-up - only the fourth engine ever built by Lamborghini - is a fitting baton-carrier for its unapologetic, stand-back ethos. It's lighter and more sophisticated than its predecessor of course, but its vast proportions and naturally-aspirated grandeur remain inimitable. In many ways it is no less fantastical than the body draped on top of it - and that's the ratio you rather hope to locate at the nucleus of any car commanding 'hyper' status. In fact, for a good time, the pairing of power plant and power chord looks was the definitive reason to buy: the Aventador being savagely fast on its all-wheel-drive chassis, but bereft of anything you might call deftness.

Until the SV, that is. By 2015, the SuperVeloce badge had four decades of weight behind it, and Lamborghini took the limited-run machine very seriously. Out came 50kg of superfluous kerbweight and in went 50hp of additional silliness. Magnetorheological adaptive dampers were made standard, as was an improved dynamic ratio steering rack. Elsewhere, the power-shuffling four-wheel-drive system was recalibrated and a fixed wing deployed for better downforce. The engineers even had a go at fettling the irksome single-clutch automated manual gearbox.


The result was transformative. No amount of adjustment was going to make a Lotus Elise of the 4.8m-long, 2m wide, 1,525kg goliath - but the Aventador had nevertheless been taken from bludgeon to rapier-like fidelity. It steered quicker and sweeter; rode with a new and unexpected thoughtfulness; was stripped back and stellar inside; and finally sanctioned the idea that a throttle adjustable cornering line might actually be a desirable thing. It felt better and more amenable at low speeds too, and went like a sonic boom beyond them. It managed a sub 7min Nordschleife time pretty much off the cuff. It was the best car Lamborghini made.

All of which makes the thought of the very last one built rather appealing. That's what we have here (according to DD Classics); a 2017 LP750-4 SV in Grigio Aleno with matching wheels and black callipers. Apparently that colour scheme is unique; certainly it's fabulous - which goes twice for the black and white carbon fibre seats inside. It's also the Roadster version, which does make it 50kg heavier than the coupe (although still 50kg lighter than the 'standard' open-top) but also affords your ear drums unimpeded access to the 12-cylinder salute being fired over your shoulder. Expect it to feel brand new with only 600 miles on the clock. And if the £495,000 asking price has you wincing (it should: the model originally started at £350,000), rest assured that you're buying a standout machine even by the standards of Sant'Agata Bolognese's remarkable canon.

See the original advert here

 

 

 

 

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Comments (30) Join the discussion on the forum

  • PhantomPH 15 Jan 2018

    Utterly, utterly perfect AveSV. How the hell do you do a 'heart' emoji on here?? biggrin

    Note: With this being the last SV, does that mean the Aventador is about to be replaced (a la Murci SV being the run out version of that model)? I think I have missed that news.

  • JohnGoodridge 15 Jan 2018

    PhantomPH said:
    Utterly, utterly perfect AveSV. How the hell do you do a 'heart' emoji on here?? biggrin

    Note: With this being the last SV, does that mean the Aventador is about to be replaced (a la Murci SV being the run out version of that model)? I think I have missed that news.
    Good question. Best answer I found is here.

    10 year lifecycle for V12 Lambo, so a couple of years away yet, but headlines:

    V12 to 7l and 800hp
    Electrical motors on front wheels to give headline figure of 1000hp

    Otherwise, chassis to be similar to Aventador S.

    It's the first car developed primarily under Domenicali so he'll want it to be special.

  • myhandle 15 Jan 2018

    JohnGoodridge said:
    PhantomPH said:
    Utterly, utterly perfect AveSV. How the hell do you do a 'heart' emoji on here?? biggrin

    Note: With this being the last SV, does that mean the Aventador is about to be replaced (a la Murci SV being the run out version of that model)? I think I have missed that news.
    Good question. Best answer I found is here.

    10 year lifecycle for V12 Lambo, so a couple of years away yet, but headlines:

    V12 to 7l and 800hp
    Electrical motors on front wheels to give headline figure of 1000hp

    Otherwise, chassis to be similar to Aventador S.

    It's the first car developed primarily under Domenicali so he'll want it to be special.
    Before the entirely new car, they are working on an even more extreme Aventador, codenamed the S-SV, but more likely to be launched as the Aventador GT.

  • Never you mind 15 Jan 2018

    myhandle said:
    JohnGoodridge said:
    PhantomPH said:
    Utterly, utterly perfect AveSV. How the hell do you do a 'heart' emoji on here?? biggrin

    Note: With this being the last SV, does that mean the Aventador is about to be replaced (a la Murci SV being the run out version of that model)? I think I have missed that news.
    Good question. Best answer I found is here.

    10 year lifecycle for V12 Lambo, so a couple of years away yet, but headlines:

    V12 to 7l and 800hp
    Electrical motors on front wheels to give headline figure of 1000hp

    Otherwise, chassis to be similar to Aventador S.

    It's the first car developed primarily under Domenicali so he'll want it to be special.
    Before the entirely new car, they are working on an even more extreme Aventador, codenamed the S-SV, but more likely to be launched as the Aventador GT.
    My god that SV is stunning.

    Thought it was going to be called the Aventador Performante.

  • LotusOmega375D 15 Jan 2018

    Aventadors are great cars, but I'm not so keen on the owner demographic they seem to have attracted: quite different from their predecessors (Countach, Diablo, Murcielago).

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