Lamborghini Aventador S super coupe: the EGO has landed
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There's a good reason why Lamborghini added the EGO driving mode to the new Aventador S super sports coupe.
Launched in January this year in Valencia, Spain, the Aventador S has gone on sale in New Zealand, priced from $595,000.
Driven attended the Valencia launch and was the first local media to test the Aventador S in New Zealand. Our model had been proved by Lamborghini Australia, hence the V12 BULL number plate.
It was also specced up with a carbon fibre engine bay ($6600), interior carbon fibre package ($10,600), alloys with central locking ($8800), and a much needed park assist with rear-view camera ($6300). That took the final price to $689,150.
The first Aventador was launched in 2011 and has proved a success for the company, alongside the Huracan coupe that is based on the platform of Lamborghini's parent company's Audi AG R8.
The S is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models. The Aventador S is the first product in nearly 40 to gain the S title, with the Countach S the last to have that honour.
Lamborghini says four elements revolutionised the Aventador S: four-wheel drive, a new active suspension system, a new steering system and the EGO driving mode that lets you individually set the powertrain, steering and suspension.
The car's standard driving modes are strada (road), sport, corsa (track), but the addition of EGO really sets the sports coupe apart.
We asked Lamborghini's head of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani, in Valencia, why EGO, rather than "individual" as other brands use?
"In Italian if you are 'egoista', you are centre of everything. For this reason, when our customers sit in the car, they find EGO, the car is at your disposal and is able to satisfy your ego," said Reggiani.
Lamborghini's new chief executive, former Ferrari F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, was especially impressed with the Aventador S.
"When the Aventador was launched, no one expected it to be such a success. We are here [at Valencia] to remind you of that success, and we are already working on what will follow the Aventador S. We see potential in our V12. It is an engine that is inspiring a lot of people," said Domenicali.
The Aventador S retains its 6.5-litre, V12 naturally aspirated engine, now with an impressive 554kW of power and 690Nm of torque.
The new super sports coupe gains a more aggressive nose and longer front splitter to redirect airflow for better aerodynamic efficiency and improved engine cooling. Two air ducts in the side of the front bumper also help cool the specially designed Pirelli tyres.
But it's the rear of the Lamborghini Aventador S that is most changed, three single exhaust outlets exit through the rear bumper.
Lamborghini's new designer, Mitja Borkert, told Driven in Valencia, that the inspiration board for the redesign had three elements: the exhaust pipe of the space shuttle (the new three-pipe exhaust), a venomous snake (for the front bonnet) and jet fighters (the aerodynamics).
Front downforce has been improved by more than 130 per cent over the previous Aventador coupe. When the wing is in its optimum position, the overall efficiency at high downforce is improved by more than 50 per cent, and in low drag by more than 400 per cent.
The Aventador S chassis retains the rigid lightweight carbon fibre monocoque with aluminium frames that gives it a dry weight of just 1575kg.
The new four-wheel steering, adopted for the first time on a series production Lamborghini, give improved agility at low and medium speeds and more stability at high speed.
The front axle is combined with Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS), tuned for a sharper turn-in and works with the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering (LRS) on the rear axle giving you a cornering stiffness adjustment.
At low speeds, the rear wheels face in the opposite direction to the steering angle, reducing the wheelbase, and making it more agile with a reduced turning radius, ensuring higher performance in curves and making it easy to manoeuvre in town and at low speeds.
At higher speeds both front and rear wheels share the same steering angle, extending the wheelbase and providing increased stability.
So it was time to check my ego locally with the EGO mode.
I dialled in corsa for powertrain; strada for steering and sport for suspension. The EGO mode also changes the dashboard and it lit up in corsa mode, highlighting the rev counter.
In strada mode, gear changes in the seven-speed auto were at 2200rpms, in sport it hit 3200, but corsa let rip flicking through to 4000rpms.
The Aventador S really came to life on the country roads, and once on the motorway - with my 12-year-old nephew, Jesse, as passenger - the sports coupe felt like a tourer ready for a long road trip.
Unfortunately, a long road trip wasn't allowed, instead Jesse and I took the Aventador S through the Waterview Tunnel. With the windows down, I'd slow down to 60km/h, tap the accelerator so we hit 80km/h and hear the engine roar and the exhaust crackle so loudly it sounded like gunfire.
It was exhilarating and the 2.4km long trip ended too soon. The day-long road test also ended too soon but the Lamborghini's looks and engine/exhaust sound track did entertain a gaggle of Jesse's peers when I picked him up from school.
Lamborghini Aventador S
Pro: V12 engine's response and sound
Con: Hindered rear view