Just like any kid growing up in the eighties, my bedroom walls were plastered with supercars. Ferraris (RACE), Lamborghinis, even the radical Porsche 959. But one stood out more than the others in my mind—the Lamborghini Countach. And it wasn’t just any old Countach; it was the LP 500 S. In my mind at the time, it was the coolest car ever.
Flash forward many years later (I won’t give you an exact number), in what would be a dream come true for my for my 10-year old self, Lamborghini took me and a select group of journalists to test out the spiritual successor to that car, the 2018 Aventador S.
First, a little background on the Aventador. Lamborghini’s latest flagship sports car was introduced in 2011, featuring a naturally aspirated V12 engine pumping out a robust 690 horsepower. It could rip through 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, putting power to all four wheels via a Haldex all-wheel drive system.
For 2018 Lamborghini wanted to up the game for the Aventador, and this meant breaking out the venerated ‘S’ badging for a car that would take it to the next level. The 6.5-litre V12 engine now produces 730 horsepower, the car includes new active aerodynamic elements, as well as the LDVA (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Attiva) suspension control unit. The LDVA has four selectable modes: Sport, Strada, Corsa and Ego. ‘Ego’ mode is completely customizable for whatever attributes suit the driver.
But, the real game changer is the inclusion of a new four-wheel steering system. Suffice it to say I’ve never experienced anything like it before in my life.
Here’s how it works. On shorter, typically lower-speed turns, the rear wheels turn in such a way that the wheelbase virtually shortens, making the car easier to whip around and maneuver. In this case, the front and rear wheels are actually facing in opposite directions.
This could be most effectively felt during the slalom part of the course, where the car’s rear end was swinging around turns with such ease I thought I was driving a Mini Cooper.
Conversely, at high speed the front and rear wheel will turn at the same steering angle, which virtually extends the wheelbase of the car, making it more stable around those fast, sweeping curves. The four-wheel steering effectively made the Aventador S two very different handling cars given the circumstances—and that’s a wonderful thing.
Check out the video above to see the car in action. Oh, and if you have to ask, the Aventador S starts at $422,000. If you have the means…