There’s no getting around this. The Aventador S for all intents and purposes is a menacing beast of a car but in the best possible way you can imagine.
Our experience with this car was a long time coming (held up in customs coming back from New Zealand and had to re-schedule twice) so anticipation was at an all-time high by the time it came to picking it up from Lamborghini Brisbane. It was warranted though. This car is incredible.
“WOW. Holy semantics Batman – If Bruce Wayne drove a Lamborghini this would be it!?”
The sentiments continued to be echoed by the many people that stopped to chat with us over the next three days with reactions ranging from from “Ohhhhh…..” to “THAT IS ONE SEXY CAR?!?”.
The Aventador S we had been given was metallic black (nero pegaso) and as sleek as they come, but not so shiny that it dazzled in the sunlight like a disco ball. More a subtle hint of metallic that glistened when light caught the angles of the air intakes or the shark-like front splitter.
The next thing you notice is how incredibly wide and low it sits on the road.
Prior to picking up the Aventador S we had done our research and were aware that it when lowered it hugs the ground at a snug 11.5cm (4.5in) ground clearance above the bitumen. Needless to say we made a mental note not to go flying over any speedbumps in a hurry (to our surprise it actually takes speedbumps like a champion. More on that later).
Driving through the city we encountered several instances where the road narrowed and the Aventador S dominated the entire lane but curiously, you’ll notice drivers in other cars make allowances and will either drive slightly behind or drive wide to ensure they are not within an inch of a damages lawsuit. Even food delivery drivers on their scooters were respectful and waited patiently at traffic lights rather than attempting to scoot up the side.
Leaving the city, Brenon drove the Aventador S and I followed behind in another car. Initially I hovered behind protectively like a mother hen to ensure no car came within scratching distance of our $1 million dollar responsibility but quickly I realised how easily the Aventador S manoeuvred through the city and it was fun to watch drivers peering out of their windows to catch a glimpse as it glided by in strada mode (the quiet setting if you’re not TRYING to attract attention. An oxymoron of a statement if I ever heard one).
Finally we made our way to Mount Nebo, excited for uninterrupted stretches of road and ready to see how it handled the inclines and sharp cornering through the mountains. Again, we weren’t disappointed.
As Brenon explains in the video below, the combination of the 4 wheel steering system and additional downforce (130% more than the previous Aventador) keeps the Aventador S glued to the road and there is no getting tired of the crackling that comes from the 6.5 litre naturally aspirated engine.
Over the next few days we continued to put the Aventador S through its paces and in the process, discovered other features like:
– Driving modes: The 4 driving modes can be very easily switched between to enhance your driving experience depending on the scenario.
–Lift kit: At first glance you can’t imagine driving over anything thicker than a pencil. The hidden secret to getting around town (without cracking the front nose on every kerb that dares raise its head) is the factory lift kit, which engages at the touch of a button and hydraulically raises the nose. This made navigating numerous speedhumps and kerbsides surprisingly manageable albeit at a snail-pace of 3km/ph.
– Rear camera: This one is an optional extra but in all honesty it should be a standard choice for any owner as it makes parking and reversing such a wide car a breeze.
In addition to the regular driving modes Strada, Sport and Corso, Lamborghini have introduced a new driving mode especially for the Aventador S known as “Ego” mode.
Strada mode: Also known as “Street” mode, is the “quietest” one that allows you to drive home at night without waking up the entire neighbourhood. Has also been described as the comfort setting best used for daily driving. Exhaust baffles only open at high rpm (meaning you won’t get the crackles at low speeds) and the transmission shifts gears earlier and are automatic. “Cylinder deactivation” works in this mode by shutting down one bank of the engine at a time, effectively turning it into a V6 and alternates engine banks every 2 minutes to ensure even wear. Power is split 40:60 between front and rear wheels.
Sport mode: Don’t let the name fool you and make you think it’s only for the sports track. This mode is completely acceptable for street driving although be pre-warned it will chew through more fuel than the strada mode. In sport, the exhaust baffles open earlier so you’ll get more of the growl and crackles that turn heads at a lower rpm. Gears can be changed up manually using the paddle-shifts and will automatically down shift. Power is split 10:90 between front and rear wheels and the steering and suspension are tighter.
Corsa mode: aka “Track” mode. All gear changes are controlled by the driver via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Gear shifts are 50 milliseconds. Traction controlled reduced. Power is split 20:80 between front and rear wheels.
Ego mode: This mode gives you the most control and allows the driver to select engine, steering and suspension settings separately depending on personal preferences. Essentially the Ego allows the driver to override general settings and pick exactly how you want things to run in your car. The irony of the name is not lost on us.
– Visual appeal. Love the angular lines of this car and the “shark-like” design of the front splitter. Also this particular model had an optional extra transparent perspex engine bay cover which was a nice touch.
– The stability and handling of the 4 Wheel driving.
– Instant power when you put your foot on that accelerator.
– The sound of the V12 engine in ANY mode.
– That time someone pulled up alongside the car with a handwritten note “What do you do for a living??? Call me!” ….
– Limited visibility. The front windscreen give you a feel of being in a fighter jet however the drawback is reduced windscreen real-estate. Same goes for the rear side windows and forget trying to see out the back windscreen. You know the family member you have that freaks out when merging into traffic EVERY SINGLE TIME? Let’s just say there’s a snowball’s chance in hell you are ever going to let them get in the drivers seat of this car.
– Having to hand it back.
It’s all well and good to write down what the experience was like, but we like to take it one step further….watch for yourself what it was like to spend a couple of days driving the Aventador S!
Special thanks to Lamborghini Brisbane for making this video possible.