To celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th birthday, a global sales increase of 30% for 2012, and a substantial Aventador waiting list, Lamborghini has unveiled the LP700-4 Roadster as a trophy for their success. This topless version of the coupe LP700-4 isn’t just a chopped top hack job but required a substantial amount of R & D for development of the drop-tops reinforced carbon-fiber tub, strengthened rocker sections, and added composite layering along the firewall and driveline tunnel.
The LP700-4 is really more of a targa than a roadster with its removable glass roof-panels but still conveys a very open air driving experience. These roof panels allow for improved rigidity when in place with a marginal gain of about 6% tortional stiffness. In comparison to the roadster’s hardtop sibling, the targa suffers from about a 37% stiffness loss. This may sound like a lot but Lamborghini has done a good job of masking this loss. The roadster and coupe feel essentially the same from the driver’s seat.
Aside from the roadster’s removable tops, only the roadster features 2 pop-up B-pillar posts that will deploy in the event on an accident, a small glass window behind the rear seats for controlling wind buffeting, and a modest weight gain of only 110 lbs.
The original inspiration for the Aventador came from B-2 stealth bomber and its hexagonal body panels. This is wildly apparent to any on-looker and I received a number of comments about its aviation lineage in my very brief time spent with the vehicle. The sleek bodylines of the Aventador are broken up with bold, blocky air intakes, that are reminiscent of those found on atop the wings of the B2 bomber. This aggressive stance has been very popular with the public as many of my guy friends have lusted over this car since its production release. Soon after the Aventador coupe came out I attended the Denver International Auto Show in 2011 with my father and saw the Aventador coupe for the first time and the crowd was abuzz with comments about its styling cues reflective of the B2 bomber. The similarities are abundant and remain intact for the roadster as well.
While many car manufacturers obsess over efficiency and mileage statistics, Lamborghini rewards their customers a 691-hp beast that drinks gas like it’s going out of style. This mileage number is somewhat bolstered by the Aventador’s start-stop fuel delivery system that cuts power to certain cylinders in particular driving situations. The Aventador also shuts off while stopped in order to further conserve fuel. This results in a 10 mpg city figure and 16 mpg on the highway. However, when ridden hard the Aventador stops at every gas station it can. When you consider there’s a 691 hp, 6.5 liter V-12 mounted directly behind the seats, 10 mpg starts to look pretty good in comparison to supercars of yore. At any rate, fuel efficiency is likely a low priority for the Aventador’s target market.
The LP700-4 offers three modes for enlivening the driving experience titled “Corsa”, “Strada”, and “Sport”. Each mode features its own unique characteristics that make for a special driving experience each time. “Corsa” will rocket Aventador passengers to 60 mph is a snappy 3 seconds flat and will assist in running a quarter mile in 11 seconds. This mode makes for a violent, yet exciting experience. “Strada” takes load off of the steering sensitivity for in town cruising. This mode also takes the edge off of the LP700-4’s shift points making for ultra smooth shifting. “Sport” is essentially the marriage of the two aforementioned modes that offers a less aggressive driving experience without softening the Aventador too much.
The combination of open-top leisure and Lamborghini bred performance makes the Aventador LP700-4 a phenomenal drive. The amount of emotion and passion that bubbles up inside when you sit down in an Aventador for the first time is truly remarkable. This will likely be an experience I will remember for some time not only from a performance standpoint but more from an emotional standpoint. The Aventador is not the fastest car in the world, nor is it the most luxurious car in the world, but when you fly a B2 bomber down a public throughfare you tend to turn some heads…and sometimes, that feels good. All in all the Aventador is a truly unique car that ceases to amaze…bystanders and the driver themselves.
Base Price: $448,295
Engine: DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Horsepower: 691 hp
Torque: 509 ft-lbs
0-60mph: 3.0 seconds
Standing Quarter Mile: 10.9 seconds
Top Speed: 217 mph
Fuel Economy: 10 city / 16 highway
Credits: Emmett Vick and CarandDriver.com