Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2011: Lamborghini Aventador
Aventador replaces Murciélago; power up to 691bhp; 0-62mph in 2.9sec; 217mph top speed

Lamborghini is making a “two-generation leap” with the Aventador LP700-4, its new V12 range-topper launched at today’s Geneva motor show.

The new supercar promises savings in weight, increases in power, greater efficiency and more performance than its successor, the long-serving Murciélago. Its 6.5-litre, dry-sumped V12 has eight per cent more grunt, at 691bhp — enough for the 1575kg, four-wheel-drive Aventador to reach 62mph in 2.9sec and a top speed of 217mph. But CO2 emissions fall by around 20 per cent compared with a Murciélago’s, at 398g/km.

See Autocar's exclusive studio pics of the Lamborghini Aventador - now updated with Geneva show pics

Named after a bull that fought in Spain in 1993, the Aventador makes extensive use of carbonfibre in its construction, including a central tub that weighs just 147.5kg. The car’s technical set-up includes aluminium double wishbone suspension with a pushrod spring and damper concept, similar to that adopted by many Formula 1 teams, and a new seven-speed, single-clutch, robotised manual transmission.

Called ISR and developed by Lamborghini and Graziano, the new gearbox uses ‘Independent Shifting Rods’ to actuate the shifting sleeves. There’s still just one clutch, but Lamborghini claims that because the shifting process can run almost in parallel, the shift times are superior to those of dual-clutch systems.

The unit can shift around 40 per cent quicker than the old single-clutch robotised transmission (e-gear) in the Gallardo, but despite its complex arrangement it weighs just 70kg.

ISR will offer three ‘manual’ modes: comfort-oriented Strada, the quicker Sport and the full-blown Corsa, which also includes launch control. There are also two automatic modes.

Options will include a transparent engine cover, black-painted wheels and coloured calipers for the carbon-ceramic brakes, plus parking sensors and a stereo upgrade.

The increases in sophistication and efficiency over the Murciélago — and the fact that the old model served Lamborghini for nine years — have prompted the firm’s CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, to describe the Aventador as “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology”. He added, “It’s the result of an entirely new project, but at the same time it’s a direct and consistent continuation of Lamborghini’s brand values.”

With the Aventador launched, Lamborghini is now likely to shift its attention to a limited production run of the all-carbonfibre Sesto Elemento — perhaps with a price tag north of £1m — and turning the Estoque saloon into a third model for expanding markets such as Russia and China.

In the meantime, the Aventador has already been showcased to regular Lamborghini customers. UK deliveries are set to start in the summer; the car will cost from £242,280.

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