Virtuozity gets the wind in its hair with the new Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
Last year, Virtuozity flew to supposedly sunny Spain to drive the then new Lamborghini Aventador S on Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit. But the weather refused to play ball and it rained all day. Now, although this may sound like a disaster, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it helped to show off the Aventador’s incredible new four-wheel steering running gear.
The car turned out to be not just an improvement over the original Aventador, but a revelation, with drastically improved steering, agility and overall driving feel. The new car was so good, it actually came close to rivaling the smaller Huracan, which shouldn’t be the case.
So, this raises a serious question for Lamborghini. How do you come up with new models and keep people interested in a world with ever-shortening attention spans? The company could build a one-off hyper version, but with the car already hitting some literally insane figures, that’s a tough call (but probably in the pipeline).
So, the answer is simple, you just cut the roof off. With such massive improvements in chassis design, removing the structural issues of convertibles, soft tops, drop tops or whatever you choose to call them, the disadvantages are pretty much non-existent in this day and age.
Officially titled the Aventador S Roadster, the car shares most of its tech with its hard-topped sister. So, it shares the same mid-engined, naturally-aspirated 6.5 litre V12, which produces an incredible 740 hp and 690 Nm of torque. This is mated to the proven seven-speed transmission. The Roadster also adopts the same four-wheel drive system, active suspension and four-wheel steering system, as well as Dynamic Steering.
So, just in case you’d forgotten, this allows the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds. Top speed is still around 350 km/h, which would probably make a bit of a mess of your hair. Although, Lamborghini claim to have used ‘aerodynamic design and development to optimise the open-air experience for driver and passenger.’
Key to the Aventador S Roadster is the fact that it actually has a proper roof. Lamborghini has previously provided roadsters with a variety of no roof at all, a strange umbrella-like temporary roof that only worked if you drove very slowly, and a solid rood you had to leave at home. Clearly none of these was a good solution. The super-rich (like the rest of the planet) don’t like getting their gold loafers wet, and that’s fair enough.
The solution has been to create a two-piece carbon-fibre targa roof, which actually has somewhere to live when it’s not being a roof. The downside is that it goes in the front trunk, so carrying any luggage, at all, is out of the question. With no space behind the two seats, you would literally have to pack just a toothbrush for a weekend away in an Aventador S Roadster, assuming you want to use its defining option.
It’s also a bit of a faff to put away. The two pieces, which weigh less than 6kgs, have to be removed in a certain order and then placed in the trunk using a set of colour-coded brackets. Each piece has a set of pins that have to locate into the brackets. It takes a bit of figuring out, but once you’ve done it once, it’s actually quite easy. Despite all this hardware the roadster only weighs 50kgs more than the coupe.
With the roof off you get the real vociferous roar of that epic engine. You can even lower the small rear window between the engine bay and passenger cabin to get even more engine noise, should you be so inclined.
As with the coupe, buyers can also use Lamborghini’s popular Ad Personam colour and trim options system, including extensive carbon fibre trim. This allows customers to have their car exactly how they want it.
Lamborghini is keen to point out that the Aventador S Roadster is the world’s only mid-rear engine V12 super sports roadster. Although to be fair, there’s not many V12 sports cars anyway, so it’s a pretty exclusive club regardless.
So, the big question is if you should buy the roadster over the coupe. To be clear, there’s little reason not to buy the roadster. There’s no extra discernible body twist from the roofless version, and everything else is the same as the coupe, so why not have the option of going topless?
Is it practical? No, not really. But then neither is a mid-engined, V12 hyper car, so is that really a question worth asking?