Lamborghini makes case for creme de la creme of speed

The new Aventador can reach 217 miles per hour.

Forget the odd name, Aventador. Dismiss the price, just under $400,000. Only a deposit placed a long time ago would score one of the first 800 produced anyhow.

Focus instead on this: It’s the best Lamborghini ever made.

The Aventador’s exoticism hits you in the solar plexus, a kung-fu chop of coolness. It’s a Hot Wheels toy out of pricy carbon fiber with scissor doors. This super car goes all the way up to 11.

Lamborghinis are supposed to be outlandish fantasy machines, which too often means that the thrill of the drive itself is overpromised. All flash and no blast.

Witness the most beautiful Lambo, the 1960s Miura. When I once asked legendary Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni about the car, he told me in heavily accented English, “Very pretty, but it didn’t drive so well. Poor balance.”

The Aventador replaces the Murcielago flagship, which arrived in 2001 with its own exotic doors, all-wheel-drive and mid-mounted V-12 engine. Over the next decade the car got much better to drive, but it will never go into the handling hall of fame. Bruce Wayne crashed his in the last Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.”

The Aventador LP700-4 is a contender. Executives say that unlike previous flagships, handling was the designer’s first priority, not top speed. Since the Aventador is capable of 217 miles per hour, that’s saying something.


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