I'm not as fast as Peter Müller. The chief driving instructor for one of the most revered exotic car companies in the world can turn in lap times that would shame my best efforts, all while giving me notes over the radio and steering with one hand. He's quick. And still, I kept catching him, even slowing down for him, on the fast, sweeping Turn 3 at Circuit de Catalunya. On Müller's advice I held a mid-track position just past the halfway point of the corner, then tightening towards a very late apex and flat out acceleration into a short straight section. Müller was leading a $1.5-million pack of Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce supercars, and driving the standard Aventador himself. Forget that the SV has added nearly 50 horsepower and dropped around 110 pounds versus the 'base' model; those are just numbers. The SV makes a hack like me as quick as Lamborghini's top trainer, for at least one glorious corner. This is a special car. It's hard to describe Lamborghini's 6.5-liter V12 masterpiece without using indulgent language. But it's the reworking of this massive engine that starts to explain my Turn 3 pace. The engine drives an impressive set of output and performance figures: 740 horsepower (the eponymous "750" figure of the model name is a metric horsepower quote), 509 pound-feet of torque, 0 to 62 miles per hour in a scorching 2.8 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 217 mph. Lamborghini president Stephan Winkelmann says the use of naturally aspirated engines is "part of our DNA." That dedication makes for a powerful differentiator in our current turbo-sodden area, and a magical experience in the case of the SV. The added output and "enriched torque curve" have been achieved by way of revised variable valve timing and intake, as well as a new lightweight exhaust system. Power comes on with authority even under a few thousand revs, and rises maniacally as long as you're inclined to keep the accelerator pegged. The V12 spins freely and fast, hammering home the need for a ultra-responsive transmission with each run up to the redline. Of course, the bellow of the car is such that I hardly needed the gear indicator on the digital tach to tell me when to shift. The V12 sounds luscious at low speeds, angry at full throttle, and absolutely murderous approaching the 8,500-rpm cutoff. Unless you're deaf you'll quickly learn when to pull on the shift paddle, while keeping your eyes on the blurring road. The hardware of the seven-speed, Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) transmission carries over from the standard Aventador, but the programming has been completely reworked. I drove a bit in all three of the management programs – Strada, Sport, and Corsa – that govern ISR reaction, and fittingly Corsa was perfect for the F1-flavored venue. The transmission pounds out visceral shifts with speed that approaches the unbelievable. Lamborghini says its single-clutch, automated manual transmission will change a gear in 50 milliseconds; unless …
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|MPG||10 City / 17 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||740 @ 8400 rpm|
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