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Lamborghini Aventador S Review: 3 Days Spent With A Land Shark

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Lamborghini Aventador S Review

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.

First Impressions

“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.

Aventador S Review 4

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.
Aventador S Review 23

Lamborghini Aventador S Driving Modes Explained

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.

Lamborghini Aventador S Coupe Fast Facts

  • Vehicle type: Two-door/ two-passenger super sports car
  • Base price: $US424,845 (in Australia, upwards of $900,000+ by the time you factor in on-road costs and extras)
  • Max speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h 62 mph in 2.9 sec
  • Powertrain: 6.5-litre, V12 gasoline engine.
  • Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
  • Horsepower: 740.
  • Torque: 503 pound-feet.

Highs

  • 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!” ….

Lows

  • 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.

Watch What It’s Like To Drive

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.

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Ferrari XX Program For Select Owners Returns July

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Ferrari has announced the XX Program is back on track for a July start after the cancellation of earlier events at Monza, Shanghai and Suzuka this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles. Credit: Ferrari

With Formula 1 being canceled this year and only a lone Charles Leclerc driving the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale in recent days, both race fans and Ferrari owners alike have been starved of race action this year but for a few very lucky Ferrari owners it has been announced that the Ferrari XX Program will be back on track to begin from July.

Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track.
Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track. Credit: Ferrari
What exactly is the Ferrari XX Program?

Ferrari’s XX Program is one of the most exclusive invite-only driver programs in the world, with a tiny membership of only around 30 individuals. It evolved out of the idea of involving a special group of customers in the development of the Ferraris of the future and in return, owners can own and use a very limited edition Ferrari FXX car developed exclusively for the track and supply feedback to the Corse Clienti engineers.

Designed for the track but NOT for professional competition use, the research and development team do not have to meet the regular homologation requirements required for racing and are given a lot more to play, offering certain benefits to owners who really want to see what their cars can do.

Time for a fresh set of wheels.
Time for a fresh set of wheels. Credit: Ferrari

Owners in the XX Program are able to take part in both the Corsa Clienti events and various technical test sessions held over the year at 8 or 9 tracks around the world and are closely monitored by Ferrari experts as well as get the chance to meet Maranello’s engineers and professional testers. Another perk for owners is that Ferrari will take care of every single detail regarding maintenance, logistics, and optimization of the vehicles.

Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice.
Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice. Credit: Ferrari

To date four models are part of the program: the FXX, the 599X, the FXX K, and the FXX K Evo from 2018 equipped with the brand new Evo kit.

The Ferrari FXX: The First One

The first laboratory-car, the Ferrari FXX, was launched in 2006 and is equipped with a 12-cylinder 6.3-liter engine that makes it capable of electrifying performance. According to the engineers, it is the most “straightforward” in its reactions but also the most difficult model to push to the limit. A development kit (EVO) for the FXX, which incorporates information gleaned from customers, has since improved the car’s already outstanding performance.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Program cars
The Ferrari 599 XX: The Next One

The second model in the Ferrari XX evolution is based on the Ferrari 599 and appeared in 2009. The Ferrari 599XX is a 700 horsepower vehicle packed with technology and equipped with very sophisticated systems including fans that, by sucking air from the faired bottom of the car and expelling through two rear pipes, make the vehicle stick to the asphalt, creating a perfect ground effect. Once again, performance is thrilling and has been further improved by adopting the EVO kit, which incorporates the suggestions made by tutors and customers, for an extreme car that is even more tailored to its drivers.

Ferrari XX Program 599XX
The Ferrari FXX K: 1000 HP Plus Hybrid

The Ferrari FXX K was officially presented at the Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi in December 2014. The letter K stands for “KERS” kinetic energy recovery technology that is used to maximize track performance. The FXX K is equipped with technological innovations that make for an unprecedented driving experience with the huge potential of the car summed up in a few significant figures: 1050 total horsepower, 860 of which come from the 6,262 cubic centimeter V12 heat engine, and 190 from the electric engine with over 900 Nm of maximum torque.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Programme
The Ferrari FXX K Evo: The Upgrade

The FXX-K Evo was unveiled at the Ferrari Finali Mondiali 2017 in Florence during the Ferrari 70th Anniversary celebration. It is an added aerodynamic package available for the existing Ferrari FXX-K that allows the car to produce 23% more downforce than the standard FXX-K and 75% more than the road-legal LaFerrari due to a modified front fascia, a large rear wing and underbody diffusers.

Ferrari XX Programme Corsa Clienti FXXEVO

While recent FXX Program events had to be canceled earlier this year due to travel restrictions and local authority protocols concerning COVID-19, the remainder of the 2020 season will continue as planned beginning with Corse Clienti activities held at Barcelona on 21 and 22 July, followed by the Ferrari Racing Days at Mugello from 28 to 30 August, and at Spa-Francorchamps from 11 to 13 September.

Following on, the Ferrari XX Program will run at the French Paul Ricard track before the final event in the Middle East that coincides with the Finali Mondiali at Abu Dhabi from 4 to 7 November.

Barcelona, 21-22 July
Mugello, 28-30 August
Spa-Francorchamps, 11-13 September
Paul Ricard, 26-27 September
Abu Dhabi (Finali Mondiali), 4-7 November

To ensure the safety of all participants and crew members, special protocols will be put in place as per the individual local authorities and all events will take place behind closed doors until further notice.

For more information on the Ferrari XX Programme visit the website.

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New LEGO Lamborghini Sián – the Latest Supercar to “Roll off the Production Line”

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The LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP37 in lime green with gold rims is a miniature version of Lamborghini’s first-ever hybrid electric model production car.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green. Credit: Lamborghini

Lego and Lamborghini have teamed up to create the latest technic creation and delivered the futuristic LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 in a 1:8 scale model complete with 3,696 pieces for supercar fans to build.

First presented at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, the Lamborghini Sián (which means “flash” or “lightning” in the Italian Bolognese dialect) is Lamborghini’s first hybrid electric model production car and will only be produced in 63 limited editions.

LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Mini
You must be my mini-me. Credit: Lamborghini

Staying true to the design of the full-size version, the LEGO version features a technic replica of the V12 engine; a moveable rear spoiler; front and rear suspension; and a steering wheel complete with the tiniest Automobili Lamborghini badge you’ll ever find on a Lamborghini.

Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel.
Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel. Credit: Lamborghini

Speaking on the collaboration, Lamborghini CEO Stephano Domenicaly commented, “The LEGO brick is an icon in the same way as a Lamborghini super sports car. They both embody the pursuit of design perfection through constant research and development, create different emotions with every interaction, and are valued by generations. Each Lamborghini super sports car can be unique thanks to our Ad Personam personalization program and the specific driving style of each owner, just as LEGO bricks provide builders of all ages with endless possibilities for creation. This outstanding replica of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 from the LEGO Group presents a brilliant new building experience for both super sports car fans and LEGO enthusiasts, and Lamborghini is privileged to share this opportunity with the LEGO Group.”

Lamborghini's Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two cars
Lamborghini’s Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two Sián’s. Credit: Lamborghini

Based on the color configuration of the original full-sized version presented at Frankfurt (exterior paint in “Verde Gea” and details in “Oro Electrum”), the bright lime green LEGO Lamborghini Sián with gold rims also comes with the signature scissor doors, which open to reveal the intricately recreated cockpit, with a fully-functioning eight-speed sequential gearbox controlled by a movable paddle gearshift.

Discussing how to make a LEGO version
Discussing how to make a LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Made up of 3,696 pieces, the build instructions include special QR codes that can be scanned to reveal 13 special videos from Lamborghini and LEGO experts explaining the inspiration behind each stage of the design. Once completely built, it will measure over 5” (13 cm) high, 23” (60 cm) long and 9” (25 cm) wide.

Lego technic Lamborghini Sian doors up
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Rear View
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian engine bay
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian top view
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sian
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Oh, and if you “pop the hood” you’ll also find an overnight bag along with a unique serial number that offers access to additional special content.

The LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 will be available directly from LEGO stores, online at LEGO.com starting June 1 and from retailers globally starting August 1, 2020.

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McLaren to Cut 1,200 Jobs Including F1 Team Roles

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Supercar manufacturer and Formula 1 team McLaren have announced they will be cutting 1,200 jobs under a proposed restructuring program as it handles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and impending F1 cost cap.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days. Credit: McLaren

British supercar maker McLaren currently employs around 4,000 staff although in a sign of the times, are looking to cut almost a quarter of their workforce as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to their business.

The McLaren Technology Center by night.
The McLaren Technology Center by night. Credit: McLaren

In a statement made by the company McLaren chairman Paul Walsh, he noted they had been “severely affected” by the crisis and had worked hard to cut costs and avoid layoffs but unfortunately “we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce.”

“We deeply regret the impact that this restructure will have on all our people, but especially those whose jobs may be affected. It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business.

“But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce. This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth” he continued.

Both the British automaker operations at Woking Surrey, and the group’s Formula 1 team will be impacted with layoffs affecting the applied technologies, automotive and racing divisions. Temporary factory closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with empty showrooms due to “stay at home” instructions and canceled events, have all contributed to the squeeze McLaren has been feeling.

A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements.
A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s Formula 1 operations are also expected to lose around 70 staff out of the current 800 strong work-force although this decision is said to be affected more so by the new Formula 1 cost cap reductions that will come into play for the 2021 season.

The McLaren group had previously requested a £150m loan from the UK government and also tried to raise emergency funds by mortgaging its headquarters and historic car collection but were unsuccessful at the time due to a disagreement with shareholders over the bond collateral.

The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners.
The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s existing shareholders have however rallied and raised an additional £300m equity to support the long-term strategy of the brand.

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