Receiving a mid-life makeover is the range-topping Lamborghini Aventador. 2017 will see the introduction of the Aventador S Coupe, Lamborghini's most technically advanced automobile to date, a vehicle which follows a tradition of iconic S series.
It all started with the 1968 Muira S, followed by the Islero S, Countach S and Urracco S. The re-worked Aventador S is not just a styling exercise but a significant upgrade that tackles the engine, suspension, steering, drivetrain, electronics and aero to provide significant improvements across the board.
The tweaks to the Aventador's exterior styling not only up the excitement factor but all serve a functional purpose. The new front bumper and splitter are designed to improve airflow to the radiators and to minimise aerodynamic interference of air channelled to the side of the vehicle. An additional 130% downforce to the front of the car is a result. The rear diffuser and rear wing have also undergone similar treatment, fully deployed the rear spoiler achieves an additional 50% rear downforce.
A first for a Lamborghini production vehicle is four-wheel steering, creating a virtual shortened wheelbase. Rear-wheel steering will both improve turn-in and reduce understeer - both Ferrari and Porsche have introduced similar setups on their respective halo offerings. At low speeds the rear wheels will turn in the opposite direction to the fronts, increasing agility. While travelling at high speeds will see all turning wheels working in unison to improve stability.
Significant engineering was initiated to accommodate the new rear-wheel steering setup to work seamlessly. All-wheel drive remains, but it is now more rear biased, again to improve turn-in response and reduce understeer. Suspension from the original Aventador continues largely intact, however, suspension geometry revisions harness fully the advantage of rear-wheel steering. The magnetic dampers have also received attention too.
It wouldn't be Italian if they didn't come up with some new names for the on-board driving aids, and they haven't let us down, added to the mix is a new EGO driving mode. In conjunction with the existing modes of Strada, Sport and Corsa, EGO mode allows the driver to customise driver settings to suit your individual tastes. You'll be able to mix and match your steering, suspension, throttle mapping and transmission settings. Another first for a Lamborghini production car and very much longed for by owners.
The standard available driving modes have had updates to their software routines to provide a more rearward bias torque output over the standard Aventador. Strada which is typically for daily driving now sends 60% torque to the rear, while Sport, designed for open touring, sends 90% to the rear, the most aggressive track setting, Corsa sends 80% of the available torque to the rear wheels. The new central brain that brings this all together is called the Lamborghini Dinamic Veicolo Attiva (LDVA). I get all hot and sweaty even as I read the words, what doesn't sound better in Italian?
The Aventador S will receive the latest in virtual cockpit display, courtesy of the boffins at Audi. The new TFT screen can be configured to show different information sets depending on the driving mode selected, as well as a raft of customisation options.
As for the heart of the matter, the lusty, 6.5-litre, naturally aspirated, V12 engine, the Aventador S will see a power increase from 690bhp to 730bhp, that's a healthy extra 40bhp. A new rev limit of 8500rpm from the original Aventador's 8350rpm has liberated the additional power. Peak torque remains the same at 506lb ft, with the 0 to 100km/h dash taking the same 2.9 seconds.
It's in the twisty bits however that the huge gains over the standard Aventador will become plainly evident, expect to see the Aventador S demolish the priors Nurburgring lap time. Can't wait.