The 2012 Lamborghini Aventador is intimidating. It's not the wild paint or the razor-sharp styling. It's not the 690-horsepower V12 lurking behind your shoulder or the Lamborghini lore of punishing overzealous drivers. It's not even the sky-high price. No, it's the indisputably alien nature of the Aventador.
One must maneuver around the scissor door into the low-slung cockpit. The windshield is raked to an absurd degree. The side windows are dominated by angular, wide mirrors mounted to tall stalks and the view rearward is like spying on someone through an air vent. The car is enormously wide, which makes the visibility all the more intimidating. The starter button is hidden under a little red panel as if it launches a bomb; the paddle shifters look like a ninja's weapon. The Aventador isn't so much a car as it is an alien spacecraft.
Lamborghini wanted it this way as a means to produce a car that leapfrogged past its long-running Murcielago. For starters, the Aventador is lighter (by about 200 pounds) thanks to a new carbon-fiber chassis. The 6.5-liter V12 is all new, as is the racecar-inspired pushrod suspension. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed automated manual gearbox. Zero to 60 mph is said to take just 2.8 seconds. To haul the Aventador down from speed, Lamborghini equipped it with massive carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
Once you acclimate to the Starship Aventador, you'll realize this is one of this world's most incredible cars. Its handling capabilities are truly extraordinary, and the V12 produces the sort of thrust that once resulted in the words "the Eagle has landed." As incredible as you'd imagine the ultimate Lamborghini would be to drive, it's even better, and you don't have to drive it to its sky-high limits to appreciate its talents. It's also not the scary, punishing beast of its forbearers.
There are downsides, of course. The Aventador's ride is punishing on anything but the most pristine roads, and its cargo space is very limited. As such, it would be difficult to go very far in this Lamborghini. We're also not sure if many drivers will be able to discern and appreciate the performance differences the Aventador affords versus significantly cheaper V8 exotics like the 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia and 2012 McLaren MC4-12C.
Then again, those cars don't come close to having that quintessential intimidation factor and alien nature of the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador.
The 2012 Lamborghini Aventador is a two-passenger exotic supercar available in a single trim level. Standard features include 19-inch front wheels, 20-inch rear wheels, high-performance tires, carbon ceramic brakes, an adjustable-height suspension, hill-start assist, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, heated and power-folding mirrors, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, LCD gauge cluster, the Lamborghini version of Audi's Multi Media Interface, a navigation system, real-time traffic, Bluetooth, an iPod interface and a sound system.
Optional equipment includes a transparent engine cover, a carbon-fiber engine cover, the Parking Assist package (front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera), heated power seats, a multifunction steering wheel (in smooth leather, perforated leather or suede) and an upgraded sound system. There is also an extensive customization program available.