Of the 14 corners ofValencias Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the scariest is the hard left-hander at the end of the half-mile straightaway. Thats because by the time you hit it, you’ve had thespace to accumulate a triple-digit velocity, and for me, thetime to worry about how to drop enough speed and make the turn without losing control of a half-million dollar supercar.
The 2017 Aventador S produces all the skin-tickling sounds and riotous thrust you expect from a Lamborghini. But this revised version of SantAgata Bologneses current flagship, which starts at $421,350, promises more than Sturm und Drang. Lamborghini built this car to make you race through that corner, and love doing it.
Take that corner at speed in the first generation Aventador, which launched in 2011, and anything can happen. That car paired Lamborghinis trademark alien looks with parent company Audis left-brain innovation, butwas also prone to imbalanced handling and understeer (when the car doesnt turn as predictably as it should).
But hey, range topping Lamborghinis—Miura, Countach, Diablo, Murcielago—have always had their quirks, if you’re comfortable calling arowdy V12 with the user-friendliness of a chainsaw and the tractability of a 5150 suspect on the lam, quirky.
2017 Lamborghini Aventador S
Ultimate Italian shock and awe; newfound cornering skills; last of the naturally aspirated mid-engine V12s.
No quicker or faster than before; transmission is still jerky; scissor doors eternally make you ugh, that guy.
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Turning all four wheels is newly popular among folks like Ferrari and Porsche, but the change in mechanics complicates other factors. So Lamborghini gave the Aventador S a comprehensive re-tune of the front and rear suspension, including updated geometry, hardware, and an adaptive damping system that uses real-time calculations for better body control. Pirellis revised PZero tires, bespoke for the new car, incorporate stiffer sidewalls at the rear to cope with the added torsional stresses of turning.
Which brings me back to that left hand turn. The late Aventador struggled in the corners. The new version is made for them, if imperfectly. Another improvement helps here. While the old car had a tendency to divert power to the front wheels when you took your foot off the gas mid-corner, the new model drives more power to the rear wheels, helping the car turn as it exits a bend. Pointing all four wheels in the same direction, the Aventador thrives.
Coming off the straightway, I flick the low-slung Italian to the left. The understeer isnt all gone, but the front end submits enough to keep me on the track and through the bend.
While Lamborghini brought much-needed refinements to the Aventador S, it left enough of the rawness to keep the fires of controversy stoked. Want a nimbler, lighter, better-shifting Lambo? Take the Aventadors overachieving little sibling, the V10-powered Huracn, which delivers jaw-jerking acceleration and core-strengthening cornering, withoutthe look-at-me scissor doors. Youll save six figures of scratch.
If, however, your prime metric is shock and awe, there is nothing brassier and satisfying—nothing more truly Lamborghini— than the Aventador S. And hey, now it corners.