We’ve entered the twilight of the combustion-engine vehicle, but Lamborghini is moving on to gas-burning technology in the form of its Aventador supercar, the LP 780-4 Ultimae, with its naturally ambitious, non-electric-assisted V12. Engine
Decoded, the name “LP 780-4 Ultimae” means “Longitudinale Posteriore,” which indicates that the engine is long-distance and mounted on the back of the driver. “780” represents the vehicle’s metric horsepower rating, and “-4” represents the all-wheel drive. “Ultimate” as the self-published “Final”, even to those of us who have not spent much time in Latin class, indicates that this is the end of the Aventador line.
The Aventador is the flagship Lamborghini V12 mid-engine missile, descended from the 1966 Miura to the 1974 Countach, the 1990’s most overlooked Diablo, and the 2001 Mursilago. The template of this model has achieved flip-up scissor doors with Countach, and the engine has grown steadily over the decades, almost doubling in size from the Muir 3.9 liter and 430 horsepower to 6.5 liters and 770 hp.
Lamborghini’s V12 model acquired an all-wheel drive with the Diablo VT in 1993 to help keep the V12’s power on the road. The 2017 Aventador S introduced four-wheel steering to help speed up the car, which has gotten bigger and heavier over the years.
For the Ultimae version, the Aventador’s 6.5-liter V12 gains 10 horsepower, which brings the car’s ultimate maximum output to 770 naturally ambitious, non-electrically supported horsepower. At full throttle, the song of the engine is nothing less than a proper thunderbolt. This is the theater that buyers pay for when they purchase such an overheating machine and distribute the Aventador.
However, when driven gently, the engine may slow down and go somewhat in the background, allowing the driver to revolve around his 531-pound-foot city. With the combination of torque’s power steering and four-wheel steering (which aids in the ability to move through traffic), the Aventador Ultimai is surprisingly driven like a normal car.
This car has a traditional single-clutch Graziano 7-speed transmission that transfers the car automatically. It also handles clutches, so the Aventador has no clutch pedals. However, for single-clutch transmissions the engine power must be interrupted to change gears. With a traditional manual transmission, drivers become adept at smoothing the shift process, turning off the accelerator before shifting, and returning to it, instead of lurking car passengers.
Running the Aventador like a regular automatic transmission vehicle, holding the accelerator pedal steady during acceleration as you normally would, the computer disengages the clutch, changes gears, and reconnects, creating a remarkable driver-aid larch.
This seems to be most pronounced in casual driving using the car’s Strada (road) mode, until the driver masters the art of participating in gear changes while driving a manual transmission (because it is actually a) and turns off the gas. Returns to it before and after automatic transfer. Similar to sport mode driving.
While driving the Aventadors on the track in Corsa (“Race”) mode I noticed that the problem mostly disappears because the shifts are mostly full throttle and start burning fast at 50 milliseconds. For driving on the road, Aventador requests some involvement for best results.
A tug on the right steering column-mounted shift pedal engages the first gear. A touch of throttle application and I’m working on the V12 power, emitting the Aventador’s wonderful exhaust note from the anacronistic engine behind my right shoulder. Half an hour later, Ultimai is making its way through the hilly road outside Bologna, the power of the engine seems to be flattening the steep hill and straightening the four-wheeled steering switchbacks which makes the Aventador look too hard to carve in one attempt. .
On a racetrack, the Ultimai runs at 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds and then continues at a maximum speed of 220 miles per hour. At improved speeds, the rear wheel steering system reverses its functionality and provides improved stability rather than agility by steering the rear wheels in parallel with the front parts.
Working with carbon fiber
The Aventador’s lightweight carbon fiber chassis helps the car achieve its maximum performance and its power helps keep passengers safe at the car’s terminal speeds.
Lamborghini allows me to participate in a hands-on carbon fiber workshop so that I can realize how difficult the labor-intensive process of making carbon fiber components is actually. Roy: Very!
The first step is to donate protective equipment. That means cut-resistant Kevlar gloves and a Kevlar sleeve on your non-main arm (because the knife will be in your other hand), and some rubber gloves on top of the Kevlar gloves for protection from carbon fiber resin.
Lamborghini technicians make molds on a table to make different parts for us. I work on a simple tray and a more complex vent. Each part is made of pre-cut part of carbon fiber fabric which is pre-pregranated with resin and refrigerated. These sections are cut to the correct size by a computer-controlled fabric cutter that acts like a plotter, but instead of drawing a defined pattern on the material, it cuts the material to that shape.
After peeling the backing paper, I press the carbon fiber pattern pieces into the mold one by one using a white plastic tool. Their resin sticks in their place, and I cut any excess away with a razor blade. I think I’m done, a technician tries to correct my most serious mistakes to get the fabric in the best possible position.
Then, I wrap the whole project in blue release plastic that acts as a layer between the carbon fiber and the white batting fabric that goes up next. This is called “breathing” because it helps to remove air around the carbon fiber.
I slide this whole assembly into a vacuum bag, blowing the air trapped through the vent valve. When my work is done, I attach a vacuum pump to the valve and after about 20 minutes the sloping mess is compressed into a smart-looking object about the size of the intended final product. This is what will go into the autoclave for healing at high temperatures and pressure to make the final part.
The Aventador’s chassis tub is made this way, with almost all the parts bolted on top of it. Metal parts are confined to powertrains, suspensions, brakes and a few impact structures. The rest of the car is made using this laborious process, which makes me wonder how expensive the Ultimae is ($ 498,258 for a tested coupe) but it doesn’t cost much. Lamborghini is building 350 Aventador Ultimae coupes and 250 of the 6 546,847 Roadstar Convertible.
The light weight of the carbon fiber component contributes to the Aventador’s dismal speed. The rest comes from the V12’s ability to extract energy from exploding gasoline without the help of turbocharging or electric motors.
The hybrid is the next step in the hypercar, as Lamborghini wants to preserve the traditional character of his car until we finally convert it into energy entirely by electrons instead of hydrocarbons. This may be a necessary change, but we will have the ultimatum to remind us of the combustion-engine theatrics that came before.