First Drive: Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster


Jun 12, 2018 12:00 PM - 2 months, 3 days, 20 hours, 27 minutes, 7 seconds ago


First Drive: Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster

Travis Okulski,


The Lamborghini Aventador is outlandishly wide, shockingly loud, and laughably impractical. It's hard to get in to and even harder to see out of.

But it looks like a fighter jet. It has doors that swing up. Up! It cuts a profile that can't be mistaken for another car. Or really anything else. That shockingly loud sound is also one of the sweetest on the road.

When it was released, the Aventador was more of a statement than anything else. It was perfect for flying down the highway or cruising around Miami, particularly in roadster form. But it wouldn't be your choice for a car to take on track or a back road. Lamborghini set out to change that with the updated Aventador S.

Here's what you learn after driving it.

That Engine


There's just something about a naturally aspirated V12 that can't be replicated by any other car. Lamborghini's 6.5 liter V12 is a masterpiece, one of the great engines of all time. The Aventador S has 730 horsepower, a 39 horsepower gain compared to the first version of the car. It also has automatic start/stop, which is an odd thing in a V12 Lamborghini. It can be easily turned off, which is good because you'll want to turn it off. The jump from 690 to 730 isn't exactly noticeable, it's not like that made the Aventador seconds quicker to 60 or gave it 30 mph more of top end.

It's still astoundingly quick, of course. The Aventador S Roadster can hit 60 in about three seconds and has a top speed of 217 mph. That's fast. Who cares? Even if it was half as quick, it's all about that sound. The Aventador has this harried scream that rises from a bellow to a full on shriek at high RPMs. Not a glass-breaking, horror movie shriek, but one that you'd expect from a great opera singer with tremendous range.

And in a world where the naturally aspirated V12 is on the endangered species list, it's good that one of the few that survives sounds and behaves like this.

It Handles Now


The Aventador was never really great around corners. Far more suited to city streets or flat out blasts in a straight line, the Aventador's handling was never cited as a reason to get behind the wheel. There's a marked improvement for the Aventador S.

It's still wide and it doesn't really shrink around you on narrow roads, but a car that wanted to plow is now eager to turn in and playful. A run on a backroad isn't work anymore. I can't stress how much of a change this is.

The Aventador–and all big Lambos–have been thought of as blunt instruments, cars that need to be manhandled to get the best ...

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