There is a certain point at which monumental wealth allows some to shrug off the concerns of mere mortals. It's the sort of riches that elicit no more than a raised eyebrow when throwing down half a million dollars on a vehicle that, by all accounts, is a model of impracticality and waste. The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador is a full realization of this kind of decadence, but don't get us wrong. This supercar is also very much an object of desire.
Let's start with what makes a supercar so super: power. With a 6.5-liter V12 producing an astounding 690 horsepower, there are only a handful of cars available in the U.S. that produce more. With lightweight carbon-fiber construction, that power is put to good use as all four wheels spin wildly to get the top-dog Lamborghini up to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph. The Aventador also corners with similar aggression, giving racecars a run for their considerable money.
But stunning performance is only half of the Aventador's equation; it's also a stunner when stationary. The sharp faceted bodywork evokes images of stealth fighter planes, as does a cockpit that is equally evocative. But all of this flash has a considerable non-monetary cost, too. Visibility in any direction is hampered by a steeply raked windshield, huge mirrors that dominate the view out the side windows and a rear window that shows but a sliver of what's behind you. Combine this with the car's wide footprint and even basic tasks like parking become nerve-wracking exercises.
Then there's the Aventador's punishing ride quality that transmits every minute flaw in the road directly into your spine. This year, Lamborghini has improved the ride, but compared to most other supercars, the Aventador is still quite stiff. These ride quality changes have as much effect as the new fuel-saving measures (stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation) that resulted in only 1 mpg more on the highway. As it stands, the most important news for 2013 is the debut of the convertible Aventador Roadster, which comes with its own unique set of drawbacks.
But even with these flaws, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador remains one of the epically effective ways to make a statement. The closest competitor understandably comes from Lamborghini's arch rival in the form of the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Of course, when you have monumental wealth at hand, we see no reason not to simply buy both.
The 2013 Lamborghini Aventador is a two-passenger exotic supercar available as either a coupe or roadster.
Standard coupe features include 19-inch front wheels, 20-inch rear wheels, high-performance tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, a deployable rear spoiler, 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.
The Roadster adds a power rear window, a wind deflector and an engine cover with sectioned hexagonal glass plates.
Optional equipment includes numerous carbon-fiber body parts and interior trim, 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.