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Cody's Car Talk: The Lamborghini Aventador

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BY CODY FACTEAU

I want to start off the New Year 2012 with something new. Something radical and explosive is definitely in order. When other people are celebrating with parties and lists of goals for the New Year, I'd like to start this year with a dream of mine. And, what could be more fitting than a Lamborghini Aventador. So, let's see what is so special about my favorite supercar.

What is an Aventador? From the Aventador website, "According to its tradition, Lamborghini's new flagship bears the name of a bull -- naturally, a particularly courageous specimen from the world of the Spanish Corrida. Aventador was a bull bred by the Don Celestino Cuardi Bides family that in October 1993 entered into battle at the Saragossa Arena earning the 'Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera' for the outstanding courage showed during the fight." So, the Lamborghini Aventador is named after a famous, courageous, fighting bull.

The Lamborghini Aventador is a two-door, two-seater sports car unveiled by Lamborghini at the Geneva Motor Show on Feb. 28, 2011, five months after its initial unveiling in Sant'Agata Bolognese. The Aventador was designed to replace the ten-year old MurciÄ?lago as the new flagship model in the Lamborghini line-up starting in 2011. Soon after the unveiling, Lamborghini announced it had already sold over 12 months of the production vehicles, with deliveries starting in the second half of 2011. Suggested retail base price in the U.S. is $393,000-plus with production limited to a mere 4000 units. Lamborghini says that the Aventador is two generations ahead of anything else on sale, using Formula One-style suspension and a lightweight carbon fiber outer shell.

What else is so special about the Aventador? To begin with, I like its size. It's about as long as a Toyota Camry, wide as a Honda Odyssey and as tall as a Tesla Roadster. It resembles an F-22 Raptor with its sharp, angular sheet metal styling. Enter the futurist cockpit full of dials and high tech gauges through the trademark scissor doors, and you instantly know a takeoff is imminent, especially when you see the 'Top Gun' center console-positioned start button-complete with ominous red cover. The Aventador can blast from 0-62 mph in a scant 2.9 seconds, with a projected quarter-mile run in a scorching 10.5 seconds. When other car manufacturers are downsizing and compromising on engine size and horsepower, Lamborghini has refined, re-tuned and continues to stick with its 6.5 liter V-12. The L539, as it is also known, produces 691 horsepower at 8250 rpm and 509 pound-feet of torque at 5500. All that sound unecofriendly? This engine consumes 20 percent less fuel than its predecessor and emits 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions. And now for the "Pièce de résistance," a single-clutch 7-speed semi-automatic transmission built by Graziano Trasmissioni. Although being single-clutch, gear-shifts are accomplished in a sizzling 50 milliseconds!

The Aventador met with mixed reviews by Top Gear BBC's Richard Hammond who was impressed by the performance and handling, but was dismayed by the lack of temperament and danger when compared with previous Lamborghini supercars. It was missing the fear factor! In the past, Lamborghini's, according to Top Gear, are going to terminate you. They are dangerous, adrenaline pumping vehicles that like the bull they are named after, want to decimate you. The Aventador doesn't fit that picture. Time will tell if this is true, but I think the Aventador still has the fear factor, it's just more sophisticated, more subtle and more covert. In other words, it's sitting in someone's driveway, thinking about ways to annihilate them.

Before the Aventador, despite all the previous competition, my favorite supercar was the Lamborghini MurciÄ?lago. When I heard of the upcoming Aventador, I thought there could be no possible way you could replace the MurciÄ?lago. But after seeing and reading about the new Aventador, I think it's more than a suitable replacement. Its new futuristic look, an intense focus on handling and a V-12 engine management system that is capable of 500 million operations per second, make it a want-to-have, dream car to me. It's the kind of car that could change the world, at least the world of supercars as we know it.

Now, for those of us without the moola to buy an Aventador (or a driver's license, in my case) we can still drive one in the following video games: Forza Motorsport 4 and Need for Speed: The Run. Every time you drive one, is an adventure-the Lamborghini Aventador. Let the adventure begin ...

Cody Facteau is a 16-year old homeschooler from East Burke. He enjoys anything to do with cars, particularly the Classics. He loves Le Mans racing, his favorite TV show is Top Gear (BBC), hobbies are Legos and PlayStation. Career goals? What else, cars!

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