The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 took over from the legendary Murciélago in 2011 when they revealed the stunning Arancio Argos one at the Geneva Motor Show, Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, said at its launch, “The Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology, with an exceptional package of unique, innovative technologies and performance that is simply overwhelming.”
And he wasn’t wrong, the Aventador received a newly developed V12 engine to replace the evolution of the original Sixties Bizzarrini V12 found in the Murciélago that could be traced all the way back to the 350 GT, the legacy from the Sixties wasn’t powering this new flagship anymore, but that didn’t keep clients from ordering this amazing new model, and sales quickly surpassed anything they’d ever seen in Sant’Agata, it took only five years for the Aventador production to reach 5,000 units, and less than 10 years after the launch, in September 2020, the 10,000th Aventador left the assembly line … today, with the final Aventador Ultimae Roadster the counter reached 11,465 units, the Aventador outsold all of the previous V12 models put together, in just 11 years of production.
Between 2011 and 2022 we’ve seen several different versions of the Lamborghini Aventador being built, originally we had the 2011 Aventador LP700-4, but only a year later we got the first one-off already, the absolutely breathtaking Aventador J, a true barchetta with an extremely low windshield … well, two windshields to be exact, and no roof whatsoever, something that would return later on with other models based on the Aventador ‘tub’, but for more practicality Lamborghini did release a real Aventador Roadster version in 2013, with two removable roof panels that could be stored in the front luggage space, unlike the canvas roof found on the Murciélago Roadster.
“The Lamborghini Aventador was a game-changer at its launch, and the flagship Lamborghini model for 11 years of production,” says Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “The V12 engine has been part of Lamborghini’s heritage since the company’s earliest days; the beating heart of models from Miura to Diablo, Countach to Murciélago. The Aventador captured Lamborghini’s competencies in design and engineering when it debuted in 2011, with Lamborghini values that are always at the centre of company and product impetus: pure, futuristic design; benchmarking performance; and addressing technical challenges with innovation to produce the most emotive, class-leading super sports cars. These principles are the very essence of the Lamborghini Aventador, and assure its timeless appeal.”
Things moved swiftly during the production of the V12 flagship with the introduction of the Super Veloce edition in 2015 already, the Aventador LP750-4 SV was the first ‘limited edition’ model in the range, with only 600 units of this track-inspired monster built, it sold out rather quickly and prices skyrocketed, a year later we got the Aventador SV Roadster, this time only 500 units were available, and by now we were 5 years into production with about 5,000 units built, so people were expecting the Aventador to be replaced anytime soon, they’d seen the Murciélago Super Veloce as the final version, and less than 5,000 units built, so it would make sense for Lamborghini to end production of the Aventador at that time, but they couldn’t be more wrong … production would continue for several more years.
The ‘mid-life’ evolution of the Aventador LP700-4 became the Aventador S in 2016 with rear-wheel steering and a host of other improvements, among them a power boost of 40hp to 740, almost as much as the 750 hp SV model, naturally, the Aventador S Roadster followed in 2018, but things really surprised aficionados when Lamborghini came up with the impressive Aventador SVJ and subsequently the Aventador SVJ Roadster, also known as the LP770-4 models for their 770 hp V12 evolution, some consider the SVJ, or Super Veloce Jota a successor to the Super Veloce, but it’s in all fairness a completely different car.
And once again, the SVJ was a limited production car, in total we got 900 units of the Coupe and 800 units for the Roadster, and even those higher numbers didn’t prevent this model from selling out in a hurry, and while I still think the SV looks more aggressive, I have to admit the SVJ is the better car with her active aerodynamics and four-wheel-steering, but there would be one final hurray before the NA V12 era would come to an end as the next-generation flagship from Sant’Agata will retain a V12, albeit a newly developed one, but with a hybrid setup, the ultimate Lamborghini Aventador would become the LP780-4 Ultimae and Ultimae Roadster … to say a final farewell to the Aventador range, just 350 Coupe and 250 Roadster were built, and the final one, the number 11,465, a custom order, Ad Personam blue Aventador Ultimae Roadster has just been completed on the Linea Aventador at the factory.
But first, let’s not forget the special edition Aventador models and the very special few-off models that were based on the Aventador chassis. As a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Automobili Lamborghini SpA in 1963, we got the magnificent Veneno at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, a Le Mans-inspired model of which just three units were sold, later joined by a series of just nine Veneno Roadster, which as it happens, didn’t have a roof just like the Aventador J from 2012. But Lamborghini wasn’t ready yet, for 2013 we also got the Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversary, available as a coupe or a Roadster, and limited to 100 units each.
In 2016 we saw the unveiling of a Lamborghini Centenario, as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the late Ferruccio Lamborghini, the original founder of Automobili Lamborghini SpA, only 20 units would be built, and you could ask for a clear carbon fiber body as an option, allegedly a €300,000 option at the time, but it looked absolutely stunning, a Centenario Roadster later joined in, again no roof whatsoever, and also limited to 20 units, but another one-off was shown in 2018 as the SC18 Alston, a custom-built car that was rumored to have cost €7,000,000, in 2020 another one-off was built as the SC20, a topless bespoke build, almost a modern interpretation of the J from 2012, but in between, we had the Sián FKP37 in 2019, the first Lamborghini with an additional electric motor and a supercapacitor for power, only 63 units built, later joined by the Sian Roadster with just 19 units.
In August 2021 we saw the last ‘few-off’ model based on the successful Aventador underpinnings, the Countach LPI 800-4, a car to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Countach prototype, this time limited at 112 units as an homage to the internal codename for the Countach back in the Seventies, LP112, and in late September 2022 the production of the Aventador came to an end, concluding the naturally aspirated Lamborghini V12 era, an engine Ferruccio insisted on using for his new car back in 1963, only a V12 would do, and he asked Bizzarrini to develop one just for Lamborghini, Ferruccio didn’t borrow his engine from any other maker, and an evolution of this original Bizzarrini V12 would be used in all Lamborghini V12 GTs and supercars from the Miura to the Countach, the Diablo, and the Murciélago.
The next-generation flagship from Lamborghini has already been confirmed to be using a V12 engine too, but this new car will get a completely new design V12, built from the start to use hybrid assistance, it is therefore highly unlikely we’ll be seeing a 6.5-Liter V12 in the upcoming model due to size and weight. Let’s not forget we need batteries and one or more electric motors to make it a hybrid, and all that adds weight, so the obvious choice to counteract this is to downsize the V12 engine, but that doesn’t need to cause a lower power output, my guess is that by the time we get to see the new Raging Bull flagship, we’re looking at close to, or just over 1,000 hp total power output.
Rumor has it there is a VIP unveiling of the new Lamborghini V12 in December 2022 already, with a more public reveal in January 2023, and with the final Aventador Ultimae Roadster being completed, it is almost certain they are converting the Linea Aventador in Sant’Agata for the new model, chances are you won’t be able to get a guided factory tour in that area anymore for the rest of the year, and if the spy shots that have been captured over the last months are anything to go by, I’m sure the new Lamborghini flagship will be a stunning Italian beauty once again, I for one can hardly wait until we see the official press photos in a couple of months.