2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ first drive review: Verdant velocity

    If you happen to’re in a Lamborghini and also you hear your tires squealing, likelihood is the subsequent factor you may hear is the sound of some nook of the automobile impacting a wall or one other arduous object. These vehicles are, traditionally, not the types of machines to reward over-driving. So, after I was handed the keys to the world’s fastest production car around the Nurburgring, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, I anticipated a day filled with pressured restraint and pucker-inducing moments.

    Shockingly, I might shortly study, the SVJ not solely allows a driver to push previous its efficiency envelope, it appears to welcome taking part in round on the market. Lamborghini’s 759-horsepower supercar is so snug on the restrict that inside a number of laps of the difficult Estoril circuit in Portugal I had all 4 tires squealing and squirming as I discovered, went previous, after which got here again to their limits of adhesion.

    I might want all of the tips the brand new Aventador has to supply to go shortly in these situations. Fortunately, it has fairly a number of.


    If you happen to adopted alongside to Italy final 12 months for my first drive of the Lamborghini Huracan Performante you understand that quite a lot of comparatively minor tweaks made for a radical transformation. The Huracan went from a pulse-quickening street automobile to driving track-day toy.

    A lot of that very same pondering was utilized to make the brand new Aventador SVJ a greater automobile than its predecessor, the Aventador S — which itself was a surprisingly massive step up over the plain-Jane Aventador.

    It is the brand new SVJ that lately grabbed the manufacturing automobile lap file on the Nurburgring, taking it away from the Porsche 911 GT2 RS with a time of six minutes and 44 seconds. That is about seven seconds sooner than the Performante, which itself held the file for a short while, and 15 seconds decrease than the previous Aventador SV.

    What’s new? Properly, we’ll begin with the tires, as a result of whereas most consideration shall be centered on the brand new , it is the sticky bits that take advantage of distinction. The SVJ rolls on 255/30 ZR20 entrance Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires and completely huge 355/25 ZR21 rears, all 4 of which have been particularly developed for the automobile. These hitting the monitor, nevertheless, can go for Trofeo R tires, providing kevlar internals for larger sidewall energy. Nonetheless, these will solely work in a really particular temperature vary, making them unsuitable for the road.

    I’ve seen rubber bands with thicker sidewalls.


    Lastly, there’s the engine, the Aventador’s already-outrageous 6.5-liter V12, now made much more insane. Lamborghini one way or the other discovered room for an additional 20 ponies within the secure, giving a complete of 759 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. The automobile revs to a sonically erotic eight,500 RPM and can dash from zero to 62 miles per hour in simply 2.eight seconds.

    All that mixes with the automobile’s current all-wheel drive and stability management programs beneath an umbrella Lamborghini calls LDVA, Lamborghini Lively Car Dynamics. That is the central “mind” that allows all these disparate programs to behave in concord, in the end making a automobile that’s surprisingly confidence-inspiring. It even ties the rear-steering system in to the steadiness management, so if the again of the automobile begins to slip, it will possibly mechanically counter the skid for you. It is just a bit like magic.

    On the monitor

    Estoril is a circuit that is such a staple on the calendar of assorted worldwide motorsports collection that, should you’ve ever performed a racing recreation, you’ve got virtually definitely turned a digital lap right here. I definitely have, a lot of them, however there’s nothing like doing it for actual with the higher a part of 760 horses beneath your proper foot.

    And on today issues could be much more difficult than typical. Why? This nice circuit of Estoril has lately been repaved, and by “lately” I imply simply two weeks in the past. Contemporary asphalt will not be solely extremely easy however it additionally tends to ooze all kinds of slippery compounds.

    2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

    Barely off-apex, and most race tracks favor you to run with the doorways closed anyhow. 


    The shortage of grip from the brand new floor was obvious virtually instantly, with the tires complaining as quickly as I bought on top of things. The automobile was positively sad — however that definitely did not imply that I used to be. Anybody who’s ever raced in low-grip conditions will let you know that it is an enormous problem. Nonetheless, it is also a good time to study the core dynamics of a automobile. Decrease the bounds and you may hit them way more shortly.

    It is for that motive I used to be happy with the slippery monitor. Delivering aggressively triggered the entrance finish to lose grip each time, a bent towards understeer that can maintain novice drivers from spiraling into numerous hedges.

    Nonetheless, present a bit extra intent by persevering with to show the wheel whereas making use of throttle, and the nostril tucks in willingly, even when the rear of the automobile has already run out of grip. That is when you may get your self into an oversteer scenario, the place the tail begins to slip, however modulating between the 2 is a (comparatively) easy matter of managing throttle and steering.

    In different phrases, the SVJ is positively playful in restricted grip conditions. This enabled me to shortly begin pushing to the purpose the place all 4 tires have been squealing. That is a fairly thrilling factor in a automobile this fast, the place on the entrance straight I used to be simply knocking on the door of 280 kilometers per hour — over 170 mph.

    However there’s one fly on this massive tub of sweet-smelling ointment, and it is the transmission. The six-speed, single-clutch unit that is been an indicator of this automobile for the reason that starting stands out as the one most track-unfriendly facet of the package deal. Its brutal shifts are a giant a part of the character of the automobile, however they unsettle the entire thing a lot mid-corner that, on some corners, you are pressured to both upshift early and lose time or spend an uncomfortable period of time flirting with the eight,500 RPM limiter.

    And on the road? Sadly, I did not get any time there, however once more Lamborghini stated the default suspension modes are no extra punishing than they have been earlier than. What has taken a major downgrade, nevertheless is the rearward visibility. The central help within the wing and the sizeable ALA consumption do an excellent job of killing what was a fairly restricted view to start with.

    Wherever you drive the SVJ, there’s one factor you’ll all the time respect, and that is the sound. That is certainly one of many final hurrahs for unmolested V12s and boy does it sound candy. Lamborghini tuned the exhaust to spotlight the sort of high-frequency notes a turbocharger usually mutes. The impact will make a chill run down your backbone. Pushed in anger, the SVJ is a particular factor to listen to.

    Lamborghini Aventador SVJLamborghini Aventador SVJ

    A monstrous track-day toy like no different.

    Tim Stevens/Roadshow


    So the SVJ continues to be essentially an Aventador, a automobile that sings an unholy music and has a transmission that’s likewise of the satan. Nonetheless, just like the Performante earlier than, it’s a automobile remodeled by a small variety of seemingly minor modifications. The extra dynamics enabled by the four-wheel steering, the additional grip from the tires and people next-gen aerodynamics create a machine that’s nonetheless brutally quick and but one way or the other playful.

    A pleasant large? Possibly not fairly, however it definitely appears downright evil in its luscious inexperienced Verde Alceo coloration, and you may want loads of inexperienced to get into one. A beginning value of $518,000 means this shall be a toy for the few, and with solely 900 being constructed, exclusivity is assured.

    Editors’ notice: Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers so as to present scored editorial opinions. All scored automobile opinions are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nonetheless, for this function, the producer lined journey prices. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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