Daily Driving The Lamborghini Aventador SV: Everday Insanity

It’s not a car for introverts, the Lamborghini Aventador SV. All Lamborghinis skew toward outrageousness, but the Aventador Superveloce is on a whole different level. Even in a restrained hue called Rossa Bia, the SV relentlessly puts itself out there, declaring its exoticism at every turn. Open the doors, and they’re crazy doors. Blip the throttle and it’s a crazy sound. What’s the sticker? $493,095. It’s pointless to even debate whether that’s crazy, because if you can afford a half-million-dollar car then you’re probably not dwelling on a hundred grand in one direction or the other. A friend of mine e-mailed a photo of the car to a gentleman of some means, who promptly replied, “I got two sucka.” Crazy.

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If you’ve got 24 seconds to spare, the Superveloce will live to its name—“superfast” in Italian—and accelerate to 186 mph. Zero to 60 is quoted at 2.8 seconds. If you own a small country and feel like closing down a highway, the Aventador will hit at least 217 mph. Lamborghini doesn’t have a definite number, but they promise it’s good for at least 217. Maybe one of the first owners can nail that down a little more precisely. Do I hear 220?

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The standard-issue Aventador is neither slow nor excessively comfortable, but the SV ratchets up both the speed and the ergonomic penalties that you thought were banished from the contemporary hypercar. Horsepower goes up 49, to a total of 740 (the discrepancy between that number and the “LP750-4” on the badges is due to the difference between metric and brake-horsepower calculations). And weight is down about 100 pounds, mostly thanks to the removal of any equipment that might make life easy inside that carbon shell. There is no stereo, backup camera, cruise control or carpeting. If there’s any sound deadening under that floor, it must be about as thick as a sheet of toilet paper, and not the two-ply. The seats are carbon-fiber shells covered in thin padding, with no adjustment beyond fore and aft. If you get a flat, you’ll need to call for special Lambo roadside assistance because Jimbo’s Towing will not have the requisite giant wrench required to remove the forged center-lock wheels. Drive-throughs and ATMs are a challenge since neither are designed for people who are sitting on the ground.

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There are not a lot of distractions inside the Aventator Superveloce. There is noise and violence and great fun. The inboard pushrod suspension uses magnetic dampers that allow a moderately forgiving ride in their most relaxed mode, Strada. But if you’re driving an SV, go all the way and click the electronic performance settings from Strada to Sport and right over to Corsa, the most aggressive mode. The ride goes rocky, the single-clutch sequential manual transmission starts banging the shifts with authority, and the exhaust opens up with a quad-pipe aria that time-warps you straight back into the Van Halen Panama video. Yeah, we’re runnin’ a little bit hot tonight.

If the modern supercar is supposed to be approachable, forgiving, everyday usable, then nobody told the Superveloce. It’s like a brand-new Countach.

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And everybody loves that. This is a car that’s intentionally imperfect. Those mid-engine V-8 Ferraris or McLarens are undoubtedly better cars, but the top-shelf Lamborghini will always occupy its own niche. While other companies (and even Lambo itself, with the Huracán) design cars that make their owners feel like heroes, the Aventador SV constantly reminds you that you’re probably in for more than you bargained for. It’s like Lamborghini made a Venn diagram with only one circle labeled “awesomeness.”

The Superveloce is loud and brutish and they remembered to bolt on a huge wing but forgot to include a glove box. There’s no rational reason you’d buy this thing, and yet 600 people—the worldwide production run—surely will. If you ever start to get bummed out about the autopilot-driven, fake-engine-noise-having, turbocharged homogenized wussification of the automobile, just remember that Lamborghini still builds a 740-horsepower land rocket and they’re not even sure what the top speed is. All they know is, it’s superfast.