Geneva: Lamborghini proves less is more with one-off Aventador J

Lamborghini's open-topped Aventador J offering sells for Dh10.3 million at Geneva Motor Show.
Lamborghini's Aventador J.
Lamborghini's Aventador J.

The paint on Lamborghini's spectacular show-stopper at Geneva barely had time to dry before it was sold.

The Aventador J, Lamborghini's radical, open-topped Ferrari-spoiling concept had gone for a cool US$2.8 million (Dh10.3m). Built to sour Ferrari's expected party at the Geneva Motor Show, the Aventador J (pronounced, in Spanish, Jota) will give its new owner the world's fastest blow dry.

Conceived, designed and built in just six weeks, the Aventador J is based around the Aventador coupé, and its 700hp, naturally aspirated V12 pushes it to a top speed beyond 340kph. The all-carbon supercar concept is a pure speedster, unadorned by even a roof or a windscreen, and should only be driven with the driver's head protected by a full-face helmet.

Christened the Aventador J in homage to the Appendix J racing homologation rules of the FIA, the super speedster is the purest form of Lamborghini's DNA, according to Stefan Winkelmann, the Italian company's CEO. "This car is as extreme and uncompromising as only a Lamborghini can be," he said. "The Aventador J is proof that, in spite of the rules, Lamborghini will always make people dream, even in the future."

The car took its uniqueness theme from the Jota, a one-off, Muira-based race car from the 1970s whose styling features were replicated by owners around the world. It's based around the Aventador LP700-4, with its V12, 6.5L engine, seven-speed ISR gearbox, all-wheel-drive system and carbon fibre monocoque chassis.

The Aventador J is also seen as a precursor to the upcoming Aventador Roadster, but differs significantly by not having a windscreen or roof support structure. Besides the windscreen, it loses the air conditioning, navigation and audio systems to cut the weight back from the Aventador coupé's 1,575kg to less than 1,500kg.

But its biggest technical innovation isn't the removal of the windscreen and roof, but the debut of a unique, flexible carbon-fibre system as the lining for the composite-shelled seats. The new carbon weave, which Lamborghini actually tested with a toe-in-the-water piece of merchandising in a soft-shelled piece of luggage six months ago, is called Carbonskin and has its carbon fibres soaked in epoxy resin to keep them flexible and soft.

The entire cockpit is made from Carbonskin, but with the car being 4,890mm long, more than two metres wide and just 1.1 metres high, the interior won't be the first thing that catches your eye.

While easily distinguished as a member of the Aventador family, every single panel is unique, and even the engine cover has an open area so the mighty beating heart can poke through to the outside world. It has its own front air intakes, unique from the Aventador, along with its own 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rears and its own aero-derived bumpers.

The car has already been sold and is road registered, but Lamborghini has no intention of making more of them. For that, you'll have to wait for the Roadster towards the end of the year.

But the main reason the Aventador J was built for the Geneva show had nothing to do with its sole customer or Ferrari's debut of the F12, but because Lamborghini didn't want its upcoming SUV concept to clash with Bentley's SUV introduction. Both cars will be built off the same architecture and will use the same gearbox and all-wheel-drive system.

Published: March 16, 2012 04:00 AM


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