Lamborghini introduced an even more powerful, faster and pricier version of the exotic V12-powered Lamborghini Aventador at an event in California on Thursday night.
Called the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, its engine is tuned to produce as much as 770 horsepower. It can go from zero to 60 miles an hour in easily under three seconds and take turns faster. Even before it was officially introduced to the public, it set the record for the fastest lap by a factory production car at Germany's famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife track, considered one of the most challenging courses in the world.
Only 900 of the cars will be made at a price of $518,000 each.
The Aventador SVJ is essentially an improved version of the "regular" Lamborghini Aventador S, which has a 729 horsepower V12 and costs about $100,000 less.
The SVJ stand for Super Veloce Jota. Super Veloce means "super fast" in Italian. Jota was a name first given to a one-of-a-kind extreme performance version of the classic Lamborghini Miura back in 1970. It's Spanish for the letter J and, in this case, it refers to Appendix J of the FIA racing handbook, which laid out regulations for sports cars and grand touring cars. (The FIA, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, is an organization that oversees a variety of car races.)
Like other Lamborghini Aventador models, this car has all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering — the back wheels turn slightly as well as the front — and a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission. For the sake of aerodynamics, there are a number of visible changes on the outside of the car, the most notable being an enormous rear wing.
But some of the most interesting changes are almost impossible to see. For instance, that rear wing has small slit-like vents that can change the air flow under it. Ordinarily, the wing pushes the back end of the car down onto the pavement to improve traction. As the car corners, air will be channeled through the underside vents on just one side. That disrupts air flow, reducing downward pressure on that side of the car, which helps keep the car flat, counteracting its natural tendency to lean toward the outside of a turn. The vents can also be turned on across the whole wing at once to reduce downforce for extremely high straight-line speeds.
The new supercar was revealed in the midst of what is unofficially known as Pebble Beach car week, the days leading up to the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance classic car show. It's a time when many high-end automakers unveil cars intended for the wealthiest buyers.
Lamborghini also unveiled a special version of the car called the Aventador SVJ 63. The number 63, emblazoned on the side of the white car, which has a roof showing unpainted carbon fiber, commemorates the year of Lamborghini's founding, 1963. Only 63 will be made.