EIs it the prospect of seeing pure thermal models disappear soon? Yet, despite its ever-increasing production, Lamborghini no longer has a car to offer for sale before the start of 2024. No offense to Europe and its restrictive rules. “We have a very strong demand and at the moment the order book exceeds 18 months”, confirmed Stephan Winkelmann, who, in a troubled context, notes the loyalty to the brand, whose operating margin reached 32% in the first six months of the year. The boss of the brand indicated that a hybrid solution would then be offered for each model, with the first 100% electric Lamborghini planned for the second part of the decade.
Could this be a true farewell to the V12 that has made the brand famous, as well as the sharp style of the house’s bodywork, which has gone from the baroque of the 350 GT to the stealth planes of the Countach? The Aventador is its descendant and does no more in sobriety, but, as we have noted, the goldsmithing that sits behind the seats in the rear center position under a window is a visceral link from generation to generation. . Its title on this Ultimae, which clearly carries its specifications in its name, no less than 780 hp, or 10 more than the SVJ.
To honor this end of the series, but in our opinion not the end of this engine, Lamborghini has decided to produce 350 coupés and 250 numbered roadsters, all already reserved. With more than 400,000 euros per each car sold represents a nice jackpot for a brand still considering its future. Ultimae is therefore a kind of tribute to a period that fled to Europe. But other places?
However, scarcity is still a strong reason to buy in the world, and we have been able to measure it with this fortnight’s departure from Ultimae to the USA, all of which took water with a cargo of luxury cars in the shipwreck of the freighter Felicity Ace. Faced with the consternation of customers, Lamborghini decided to manufacture the 15 missing examples. Nice gesture, because the numbered car is a collector’s item, ours carries both the number 001 and a nice special blue color that suits it very well, but it is invoiced for 15,000 euros alone.
LIFE ON BOARD
The roadster version of the Ultimae has two carbon half-roofs that can be removed and stored vertically in the front trunk, firmly anchored to their rigid supports. Uncovered, is it livable up to 355km/h, speed claimed but which we understandably haven’t checked? What is certain is that the eardrums are directly requested from the start of the V12. This is done, as on fighters, by a push button after raising the red flap that protects it. The rumble that erupts immediately from the two wide rear pipes like bazookas is mind-blowing. We only idle and this engine revs at 8,500 rpm when at temp.
Suffice it to say that the warm-up session is welcome to take its cues, distinguish the limits of the bodywork and get used to a dashboard that is a little dated, but where we enjoy finding a large number of functions accessible directly with a button . It’s true that the multimedia screen, borrowed from Audi, has an air of deja-vu and that the terrifying Lamborghini doesn’t ride like a bike. Approaching the lying gendarmes, for example, requires hydraulically raising the front of 4 cm, below 28 km/h, so as not to hang on the carbon of the hull.
AUTO POINT MEANING
The very spectacular design is characterized by the two huge side air vents, by a spoiler that can be moved in three positions and by this window that reveals both the sublime Lamborghini mechanics and the sporty prototype suspensions with superimposed wishbones and springs – horizontal shock absorbers absorb. These are magnetic flux and therefore offer a different progressiveness depending on the selected program.
In “Strada” mode, we doubt it works, as the damping already seems stiff, but as we’ll see with the other positions, there’s even stiffer. Roofs are put back in place for more of a muscle test, likely to evoke the stiffness of the carbon shell, we line up with limited visibility, which will make you sweat in the city or fumble on the road when you find the top.
To tell the truth, the first developments lack fluidity, but it will crescendo with the call for the V12, which we believe by ear has reached the red zone. Surprise, we’re barely halfway through the maximum speed limit. As the temperature rises, the red zone moves and this is accompanied by different graphics, depending on whether you have selected a quiet “Strada” or “Sport” mode, or even “Corsa”.
With these last two, we remain stunned by the needle’s blinding rise towards 9,000 rpm, accompanied by a mechanical howl with an enchanting range. No need to leave the side windows jammed, it’s there, right behind the back, and we can even lower the small separation window for better participation if the eardrums support it.
The original Audi single-clutch robotic gearbox admits its age at this stage, with sometimes some slow response and even inexpedient gear changes. It fares better in the more ardent modes, but the V12’s torque then hooks the transmission brutally. It is true that with 2.8 s to go from 0 to 100 km/h, the Aventador is very demanding and requires, on the roads, to keep a cool head and clear ideas.
Fortunately, the rigor of the cast aluminum suspension geometries, the four-wheel drive and steering wheel and the bite of the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires (smaller diameter front) are there to help handle tricky situations. This can happen on a degraded road profile, but not on billiards in a mountain pass, where the Aventador lets its formidable abilities shine. We are no longer far from a circuit car, an exercise that its sister, the SVJ, is also relishing. And if things get sour, the enormous carbon brakes provide a phenomenal deceleration (31 m from 100 km/h to a standstill), far beyond the wildest expectations.
The Aventador Ultimae is, as we knew, a special vehicle, but ten years after its birth, it has hardly taken a wrinkle and gives rare sensations of a ballistic machine. Consumption is affected, but compared to the price and the French malus, it is a very secondary charge for fans of the genre.
– Huge personality
– Mind blowing performance
– Four-wheel drive and steering
– Species to protect
The smaller ones:
– The box is often outdated
– Unpleasant by nature
– Zero visibility
– Urban use excepted
Under the hood of the Aventador Ultimae
Engine: V12 60° petrol
Performance: 780 hp at 8,500 rpm
Torque: 720 Nm at 6,750 rpm
Gearbox: 4 wheel drive and steering gear
Gearbox: automated 7-speed single clutch
Dimensions L x W x H: 4868 x 2098 x 1136 mm
Luggage compartment: 140 l
0 to 100 and 200 km/h: 2.9 s and 8.8 s
Speed: 355 km/h
Consumption: 18 l (from test: 21.3 l)
CO2 : 442 g/km (penalty: 40,000 euros)
Weight: 1,600 kg (1.98 kg/hp)
Price: 403,494 euros (coupe)/444,852 euros (roadster)