The Aventador is Lamborghini’s current soon-to-be-replaced flagship model, possibly the last to ever use a naturally aspirated V12, but before the king of supercars vanishes for good, the Italian carmaker has one last special edition, the blisteringly quick SVJ.
Ever since Ferruccio Lamborghini set-up shop in 1963 the Raging Bull has always been about making fast cars go even faster, every model in the Italian carmaker’s history has been tweaked time and again for more performance. The Super Veloce tag isn’t new by any means, the Miura SV and Diablo SVs all at the cutting edge of performance, engines tuned to near race levels while making use of the lightest materials on hand.
In the decades since the first V12 powered Countach, Lamborghini has remained loyal to the mid-engined V12 formula, one of a handful of carmakers that still uses naturally aspirated multicylinder engines. In an age where batteries and electric motors are on the increase, the SVJ’s raw, visceral power delivery makes it a firm favorite with gearheads.
10 Super Veloce Jota Origins
The addition of three very important letters indicates the Aventador SVJ isn’t some fancy, limited-edition make over sporting bigger wings and a custom paint job. SVJ branding is a mix of two distinct Lamborghini product lines, Super Veloce (Super Speed) hints at both power gains and weight reduction, while Jota is reserved for Lamborghini’s track focused models.
Launched in 2018, the Aventador SVJ isn’t the Italian carmakers first attempt at a lightweight track special, that honor goes to the stunning and rare Miura P400 SVJ from 1971 of which just six examples were made.
9 Sant’Agata Weight Loss Plan
Every Aventador regardless of model designation starts with a light-wright carbon fiber monocoque chassis, commonly referred to as the “Tub”, which serves as a mounting point for the car’s front and rear subframes. Front to rear, these crucial subassemblies are irresponsible for carrying the Aventador’s suspension and drive train.
At its premier in 2011, the Aventador weighed in at 3472 lbs, is an incredible achievement for a V12 powered supercar boasting all-wheel-drive. By the SVJ’s 2018 arrival, Lamborghini had gotten that figure down to 3362 lbs adding a little to top end performance.
8 Lamborghini L539 V12
At the core of every Lamborghini flagship model since the Countach, V12 engines provide the motive force behind the king of supercars. The Aventador SVJ is no different, using a reworked version of Lamborghini’s L539 unit.
Tucked away behind the cockpit firewall, a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated 60 degree V12 mounted in a front-rear fashion, albeit offset to the right to counterbalance the rear driveshafts. Dressed in carbon fiber and paired with a new titanium exhaust system allows the L539 to breathe better, power output as a result climbing to 759 hp.
7 The Power Of Four
Cramming as much driver tech as possible into the V12-powered supercar has been a Lamborghini mission since the Aventador first broke cover, all-wheel-drive being standard across the range. Produced externally by Haldex Traction, the system is an electronically controlled mechanical set-up, dividing up power between each wheel.
All-wheel-drive isn’t the only stability and control system responsible for keeping the AVJ pointing in the right direction. The inclusion of all-wheel-steering sharpens the Aventador’s chassis responses, working in differing ways depending on speed. At low speeds, the rears turning into the corner, at higher speeds following the fronts track.
6 The Dark Art Of Active Aero
Getting up close and personal with th SVJs nose reveals a pair of chin-spoiler flaps/slots. These electronically controlled flaps open and close in relation to the SVJs current speed. Flat out, the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Activa set-up opens to channel air under the chassis, reducing drag for optimum speed. At more sensible road speeds, closing, and diverting air up and over for more down force.
A similar process operates over the rear wing, fed by a centrally mounted intake on the engine cover, feeding air into the rear wing itself in effect stalling the device at high speeds reducing drag.
5 Coupled With Active Suspension Technology
At first glance, the Aventador SVJs suspension appears conventional enough with double wishbones at each corner, even the choice of pushrod dampers and coils has been done before, the SVJs coilovers moved inboard for better weight distribution.
It’s what you can’t see that makes the difference, the near mandatory inclusion of ABS and TCS a common trait among the world’s supercars. It’s the dampers themselves, magneto-rheologic items front and rear capable of measuring and adapting the SVJ’s ride height independently at each corner hundreds of times per second ensures maximum grip and traction at all times.
4 Red For Caution
Climbing down into the SVJ’s cockpit gearheads are greeted by dozens of buttons and switches guaranteed to raise heart rates, especially those finished or emblazoned in red. We’re big fans of the dramatic center-console mounted engine start button featuring a flip-top fighter jet style cover, one proud of the loud button rousing the sleeping V12 behind your head.
Exploring further reveals the SVJ’s driver switchable engine/driving modes, Strada, Sport, and Corsa are all self-explanatory from daily use through to track use. However, in 2020 a new mode dubbed Ego made its debut giving gearheads unrestricted access to all the SVJs suspension, transmission, and engine settings, one we suspect is best left alone until you’re familiar with the Lambos ferocious performance.
3 Italian Supercar, Italian Rubber
Ignoring titanic fuel bills and insurance premiums that are guaranteed to make any gearhead balk at the idea of SVJ ownership, the next essential and costly consumable are going to be tires. Even with the deftest of touches on the throttle cannot save owners from a worryingly low 7,000 miles life expectancy, a set of four easily setting you back $2000.
As is common among high-performance cars, the Aventador SVJ runs use an asymmetric wheels/tire configuration, 13-inches at the rear, with a smaller 9-inch set-up at the front. Fresh from Santa’Agata shod in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, Lamborghini’s recommended choice 355/25 ZR 21 & 255/30 ZR 20 rear to front respectively.
2 The Sum Of All Its Parts
Right off the bat, Lamborghini’s Aventador is blisteringly quick with a top speed of 217 mph, with sixty coming up in 2.7-seconds, it means this is one of the fastest road legal cars money can buy. Adding more horses and stripping away excess weight barely changes the SVJs on paper performance topping out at 219 mph.
The proof of Lamborghini’s efforts come on a track, in 2018 setting a 6.44 lap record, besting the Italian carmaker’s previous V12-powered attempt around the Nürburgring by a staggering 15-seconds (Aventador SuperVeloce S). Ultimately, the SVJ’s record would fall, Mercedes and Porsche both going faster.
1 The Ultimate Aventador?
Given the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ’s incredible performance and eye-watering $517,000 price tag, you’d think Lamborghini would limit production numbers to ensure exclusivity. In all, 900 SVJs were produced, at first in 2018 as a coupe, followed a year later by a roadster option.
This being Lamborghini with an all important anniversary approaching, the SVJ story doesn’t end there. In 2019, they produced the even rarer SVJ 63 in homage to the brand’s foundation back in 1963, production unsurprisingly pegged at 63 examples, the differences limited to customs decals and extra carbon bits.
Sports cars are supposed to be stylish and beautiful, but these manufacturers clearly didn’t get that memo.
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