Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae: forbidden games
EIs it the prospect of seeing pure thermal models disappear soon? Still, despite its ever-increasing production, Lamborghini no longer has a car to offer for sale before the start of 2024. No offense to Europe and its restrictive regulations. « We have a very strong demand and, currently, the order book exceeds 18 months », affirmed Stephan Winkelmann, who, in a troubled context, notes the loyalty to the brand whose operating margin reached 32% on the first six months of the year. The boss of the brand indicated that a hybrid solution would then be offered for each model, the first 100% electric Lamborghini being planned for the second part of the decade.
Could this be a real farewell to the V12 which has made the brand’s reputation, as well as the sharp style of the house bodies, which have gone from the baroque of the 350 GT to the stealth aircraft with the Countach? The Aventador is its descendant and does not do more in sobriety, but, as we have noted, the piece of goldsmithery which sits behind the seats in the rear central position under a window is a visceral link from generation to generation. . It title, on this Ultimae which clearly bears its specifications in its name, no less than 780 hp, or 10 more than the SVJ.
To honor this end of series, but, in our opinion, not the end of this engine, Lamborghini has decided to manufacture 350 coupes and 250 numbered roadsters, all already reserved. At more than 400,000 euros a piece, each car sold represents a nice jackpot for a brand that is still considering its future. The Ultimae is therefore a sort of homage to a period that fled to Europe. But elsewhere?
Scarcity remains, all the same, a strong reason for buying in the world, and we have been able to measure it with this fortnight of Ultimae leaving for the United States, which all took on water with a cargo of cars from luxury in the shipwreck of the freighter Felicity Ace. Faced with the consternation of customers, Lamborghini decided to manufacture the 15 missing copies. Nice gesture, because the numbered car is a collector’s item, ours bearing both the number 001 and a splendid special blue livery which suits it very well, but it is invoiced at 15,000 euros on its own.
LIFE ON BOARD
The roadster version of the Ultimae has two carbon half-roofs that can be removed and stored vertically in the front trunk, firmly anchored to their rigid supports. Uncovered, is it livable up to 355 km/h, speed claimed but which we have not checked for understandable reasons? What is certain is that the eardrums are directly solicited from the start of the V12. This is done, as on fighter planes, by a push button after raising the red rocker that protects it. The rumble that erupts instantly from the two wide rear pipes like bazookas is thought-provoking. We are only idling and this machine revolves at 8,500 revolutions when it is at temperature.
Suffice to say that the warm-up session is welcome to take its marks, discern the limits of the bodywork and get used to a dashboard a bit dated but where we enjoy finding a good number of functions accessible directly by a button . It is true that the multimedia screen, borrowed from Audi, has an air of deja-vu and that the intimidating Lamborghini does not drive like a bicycle. Approaching the lying gendarmes requires, for example, to hydraulically raise the front of 4 cm, below 28 km/h, so as not to hang on the carbon of the hull.
AUTO POINT OPINION
The very spectacular design is marked by the two enormous side air vents, by a spoiler that can be moved in three positions and by this window revealing both the sublime Lamborghini mechanics and the sport-prototype-style suspensions with superimposed wishbones and springs- recumbent shock absorbers. These are magnetic flux and therefore offer a different progressiveness depending on the program chosen.
In “Strada” mode, we doubt that it works as the cushioning already seems stiff, but, as we will see with the other positions, there is even stiffer. Roofs put back in place for a more muscular test likely to solicit the rigidity of the carbon shell, we put up with restricted visibility which makes you sweat in town or grope on the road when finding the apex.
To tell the truth, the first evolutions lack fluidity, but it will go crescendo with the solicitation of the V12, which, by ear, we believe to have reached the red zone. Amazement, we are barely halfway through the maximum authorized speed. As the temperature rises, the red zone moves and this is accompanied by a different graphic depending on whether you have chosen a quiet “Strada” or “Sport” mode, or even “Corsa”.
With these last two, we remain stunned by the dazzling rise of the needle towards 9,000 rpm, accompanied by a mechanical howl with a bewitching range. No need to leave the side windows ajar, it is there, just behind the back, and we can even lower the small separation window to better participate, if the eardrums support it.
The original Audi single-clutch robotic gearbox admits its age at this stage with sometimes a certain slowness of reaction and even ill-advised gear changes. It goes better with the more ardent modes, but the torque of the V12 then brutally heckles the transmission. It is true that with 2.8 s to go from 0 to 100 km / h, the Aventador is very demanding and requires, on the roads, to keep a cool head and clear ideas.
Fortunately, the rigor of the cast aluminum suspension geometries, the four driving and steering wheels and the bite of the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires (smaller diameter at the front) are there to help manage delicate situations. This can happen on a degraded road profile, but not on the billiards of a mountain pass where the Aventador lets its formidable abilities shine. We are no longer very far from a circuit car, an exercise in which its sister, the SVJ, also delights. And, if things get sour, the huge carbon brakes provide phenomenal deceleration (31m from 100km/h to a standstill), well beyond the wildest expectations.
The Aventador Ultimae is, as we knew, a special vehicle, but ten years after its birth, it has hardly taken wrinkles and provides rare sensations of a ballistic machine. Consumption is affected but, compared to its price and the French malus, is a very secondary charge for fans of the genre.
– Huge personality
– Mind-blowing performance
– Four-wheel drive and steering
– Species to protect
The lessers :
– Box often outdated
– Uncomfortable by nature
– Zero visibility
– City use excluded
Under the hood of the Aventador Ultimae
Engine: V12 60° petrol
Power: 780 hp at 8,500 rpm
Torque: 720 Nm at 6,750 rpm
Transmission: 4 wheel drive and steering
Gearbox: automated single-clutch 7-speed
Dimensions LxWxH: 4868 x 2098 x 1136 mm
Trunk: 140 l
0 to 100 and 200 km/h: 2.9 s and 8.8 s
Speed: 355 km/h
Consumption: 18 l (from test: 21.3 l)
CO2 : 442 g/km (penalty: 40,000 euros)
Weight: 1,600 kg (1.98 kg/hp)
Price: 403,494 euros (coupe)/444,852 euros (roadster)