What Dreams May Come The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster left me stupefied. Despite my experience with countless other high-powered exotics on a variety of racing circuits, including nearly all of its Gallardo siblings, the all-wheel-drive, 700-horsepower flagship dropped my jaw to the ground. Less than 24 hours earlier, I had been sitting on an airplane at 39,000 feet studying press releases about the Italian automaker's newest range-topping convertible. While everything looked spectacular on paper, I was genuinely concerned that its new cylinder deactivation system and open-roof configuration would spoil some of the fun - soften its personality, to be more specific. Yet here I was, approaching 150 miles per hour on a front straight after dropping off the 20-degree banking at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the Aventador Roadster had extinguished those thoughts like a cold bucket of water on a lit match. The scissor-door supercar was screaming near redline – my heart rate was only a few ticks behind - and I was near speechless. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 coupe was launched at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the automaker's Murciélago flagship. But unlike its predecessor, which was built around a steel frame chassis with double-wishbone suspension, the all-new Aventador boasted a full carbon-fiber monocoque occupant cell and advanced push-rod suspension. We first drove Sant'Agata's latest V12 Coupe nearly two years ago, and our own Matt Davis dove into its technical wizardry during his First Drive review. But this time I was standing face-to-face with the new sun-serving Roadster, as it has its own set of tricks to show off. It isn't as stiff as the coupe, torsional rigidity is down about 37 percent. Lamborghini carries the Aventador's carbon-composite tub forward when constructing its new Roadster. But surgically cutting the roof off any coupe introduces the potential for turning the chassis into a wet noodle (take the lid off a shoebox and watch how flimsy the open container becomes), so the automaker called upon its extensive experience with carbon-fiber to reinforce the rocker sections of the monocoque (the tub and windshield surround are one piece) and lay down more composite on the tunnel and firewall behind the passengers. It isn't as stiff as the coupe (torsional rigidity is down about 37 percent), but without a laser sight you'd never know. Thankfully, gone is the Murciélago Roadster's flimsy soft top, as the new Aventador Roadster features a sturdy two-piece forged-composite (a sandwich of carbon is bonded in a hot 1,100-ton press) roof that becomes a stressed part of the chassis when installed. The roof panels are lightweight, only about 13 pounds each, but their bulk occupies the whole trunk when stored. As expected, the exterior of the Aventador is also significantly altered in the transformation from coupe to roadster. Even though the fixed roof is gone, Lamborghini's signature scissor doors remain (complete with hinge brackets that automatically break free to allow easy exit if the vehicle is overturned). To increase the safety margin, Lamborghini has also …
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|MPG||11 City / 18 Hwy|
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|Power||691 @ 8250 rpm|
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