Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 at 2011 Geneva motor show

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 at 2011 Geneva motor show

Mar 1, 2011

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 at 2011 Geneva motor show

Lamborghini has finally revealed its new Aventador LP700-4 supercar, the long-awaited (and much teased and leaked) successor to the venerable Murcielago.

But although the Aventador makes its physical debut at the Geneva show, customers will have to wait until late summer to get the cars on their driveways. Oh, and they'll have to hand over £201,900...

For that 200k they'll get an all-new 6.5-litre V12 with 509lb ft at 5500rpm and 690bhp at 8250rpm. Which is apparently enough to take the new car to a 217mph top speed, and to 62mph from rest in just 2.9secs.

This being the lean, green 21st century, the Aventador is also 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than the Murcielago, which isn't bad considering the eight per cent power hike. Helping the Aventador develop its immense turn of speed is a new carbon fibre monocoque that weighs just 148kg, and which forms part of a 'body-in-white' of just 230kg. The overall kerb weight is 1575kg.

The Aventador also gets a brand-new seven-speed robotized manual 'independent shifting rod' (ISR) transmission. This, says Lamborghini, is not only lighter than a double-clutch system and more compact than a conventional manual, but it is also 40 per cent quicker than the old e-gear system.

Keeping everything on the road is a Haldex four-wheel-drive system, but with an electronic rather than viscous coupling for the front wheels. Suspension comes courtesy of trick pushrod dampers and double wishbones all round. Standard carbon-ceramic brakes help bring things to a stop.

As per company tradition, the new flagship bears the name of a fighting bull - described as a particularly courageous specimen entered into battle in October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena where Lamborghini tell us it earned a trophy for 'outstanding courage'. (We're guessing posthumously, the poor beast having been stabbed to gory death in the name of entertainment by a man wearing spangled tights. Although that part wasn't spelled out in the official press release, so we've been forced to speculate - Ed.)

Under its suitably breathtaking bodywork, the new Aventador carries over various key features of Lamborghini's flagship supercar genre, including upwards-opening doors and truly impressive dimensions - the car is 4.78m long, 2.26 meters wide (with mirrors), but just 1.13m high. Like the Murcielago, it's also got electronically managed air intakes that open depending on the outdoor temperature and the need for cooling air, ensuring aerodynamic efficiency is maximised at all times.

For customers 'wishing to flaunt the heart of their Lamborghini', the company says there's an optional transparent engine cover that 'exhibits the twelve-cylinder engine like a technical work of art in a display case'.

Inside the expensively-trimmed cabin there's a red switch cover on the centre tunnel enclosing the start button, while the dashboard presents info via a TFT-LCD screen. A second screen is dedicated to the standard-fit multimedia and navigation system.