Track attack… Lamborghini takes the Aventador’s naturally aspirated V12 to 759bhp for its potent SVJ. Words and photos by Stuart Gallagher.
As the automotive world races headlong on an electric path. Lamborghini is remaining loyal to the Internal combustion engine that has served it so well these past 55 years. It’s acutely aware that one day it will succumb to the pressures of producing hybrid and EV powertrains, but until battery-powered motors are able to deliver the emotive engagement of a howling V10 or demonic V12 there will always be a multi-cylinder. petrol-fuelled engine attached to the aluminium or carbon tubs of Sant’Agata-bullt sports and super sports cars.
Which is great news, because nothing spikes the hair on an evo writer’s neck like a Lamborghini engine at full chat, as James Disdale explains on page 42 after exposure to the Huraccin Performante Spyder. And now there’s another Bolognese beast to enjoy: the Aventador SVJ. All 759bhp of it.
Revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the recent Monterey Car Week, the SVJ is the latest special-edltlon to join the Aventador line-up. Following the original SV of 2015, It takes much of wha: Lamborghini has learnt in terms of aerodynamics from the Huracan Performante and rolls it into its flagship model.
There's more power from the V12 engine, too, and while acceleration and performance is or a par with the SV and S models, where the SVJ really ups the ante is when it comes to track performance. Specifically, one track in Germany, where it has posted a lap time of 6min 44.97sec.
Marking the model’s launch is a special-edition SVJ 63, a limited run of 63 examples celebrating Lamborghini’s founding year (1963) and featuring a bespoke livery. As for the name, the SV part is the abbreviation for Super Veloce and the J is short for Jota, the name Lamborghini gave to its most track- and driver-focused cars in the past, most notably the achingly desirable Miura Jota.
With 6.5 litres and 12 cylinders producing 759bhp and 531lb ft of torque - 19bhp and 22lb ft increases over the Aventador SV, and achieved at higher engine speeds - the SVJ pushes the naturally aspirated 60-degree V12 to its limits.
Sitting beneath a new removable carbonfibre engine cover are new titanium intake valves and a redesigned and longer intake tract for the cylinder heads. Together they provide a higher flow coefficient.
The big change, however, is a lighter, shorter exhaust system. Exiting above the bumper between the rear lights (as per a McLaren 720S) the new system reduces back pressure and also promises to improve upon the V12's already glorious soundtrack.
Those hoping for a new gearbox will be disappointed to hear it’s the same seven- speed automated single-clutch offering here. The four-wheel-drive system does have a revised torque split, though, with an additional three per cent sent to the rear axle (now 37 per cent front, 63 rear).
Aerodinamlca Lamborghini Attiva, or ALA to you and me, is the active aero philosophy introduced last year with the Huracan Performante and which has allowed the company to go chasing lap times with serious intent. It's the aero that's been improved upon the most in creating the SVJ, with the main focus to achieve a significant downforce improvement over the SV. Which it most certainly has, with a 40 per cent increase across both axles, while at the same tine reducing overall drag by one per cent. A small margin, but a gain none the less.
‘WHERE THE SVJ 63 REALLY UPS THE ANTE IS WHEN IT COMES TO TRACK PERFORMANCE’
There's a new, wider front bumper with aero blades attached to either side and significant changes made to the intakes. There is also a ‘floating’ front splitter (Increasing the car’s length by over 1.5cm) that’s linked to a pair of air vents incorporated into the top of the bumper. Combined, these should make the SVJ’s front end feel incredibly stable and direct.
There's also a new fixed carbonfibre rear wing, larger side intakes to improve cooling and fins to reduce drag. Under-the-car- aero has been improved, too. to work with the front splitter and more aggressive rear diffuser, which combine to produce 30 per cent of the car's total downforce.
At either end of the SVJ’s carbon tub sit aluminium subframes and connected to these is the same suspension fitted to ail Aventadors, albeit considerably retuned.
Every suspension component has been reworked to provide both higher mechanical and aero grip. The anti-roll bars are 50 per cent stiffer over an SV's, damper stiffness has increased by 15 per cent and Lamborghini’s magnetorheological suspension has been recalibrated to improve body and wheel control on track.
Improvements to the Aventador’s rear-wheel steering have been made to further exploit the aero gains and Improve high-speed stability, while the dynamic steering has been tuned for greater precision and to match the new aero balance and higher grip levels. So too have the ABS and ESC. The standard tyre is a Pirelli P Zero.
Drive-My has always had a soft spot for the Aventador, no matter what the state of tune. Yes, the ergonomics make us cry, but the Aventador always brings a smile to our faces the very moment the key lands in our hand. That the drama continues inside only adds to the anticipation, and when the starter motor whirs and the beast awakens, a torrent of adrenaline flows through you, the tension rising in anticipation for what is to follow. It's matched by few other cars. Yes, there are quicker, more sophisticated, more tech-savvy supercars, but an Aventador remains an icon and this more focused, more aggressive and more toned SVJ looks set to raise our pulse further still.
‘THIS SVJ LOOKS SET TO RAISE OUR PULSE FURTHER STILL’
|HOW THE LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR SVJ COMPARES |
|CAR||AVENTADOR SVJ||FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST||MCLAREN 720S|
|Engine||V12 6498cc||V12 6496cc||V8 3994cc, twin-turbo|
|Power||759bhp @ 8500rpm||789bhp @ 8500rpm||710bhp @ 7250rom|
|Torque||531lb ft @ 6750rpm||579lb ft @ 7000rpm||568lb ft @ 5500rpm|
|Weight||1525kg (dry)||1630kg||1283kg (dry)|
|Power-to-welght||506bhp/ton (dry)||492bhp/ton||562bhp/ton (dry)|
|0-62mph||2.8 sec||2.9 sec||2.9 sec|
|Top speed||217mph +||211mph||212mph|
|Basic price||£356,000 (est)||£262.963||£218.020|
|On sale in UK||Now||Now||Now|