The SVJ is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre, quad-cam, 60-degree V12, and will be the last flagship Lamborghini not to use at least one electric motor to improve emissions. The high-revving L539 is by now a familiar engine, having been designed from scratch for the original Aventador LP700-4 in 2011 and subsequently sharpened for the Aventador LP750-4 SV, which lifted power from 690bhp to 740bhp.
Furnished with new titanium inlet valves and with less internal friction, for this latest application it reaches an all-time high, making 759bhp at 8500rpm and producing a flatter torque curve that peaks with 531lb ft at 6750rpm. A claimed mass of 1525kg without fluids therefore gives the SVJ a power to weight of 498bhp per tonne – a staggering figure, but somehow still adrift of the 488 Pista and 720S, which by the same measure each surpass 550bhp per tonne thanks to their smaller footprints, lack of front driveshafts and the use of forced induction.
Neither packs anything like the visual clout of the Lamborghini, however, not least because of a new Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva system of active flaps and air channels first seen on the Huracán Performante. With the system off, the SVJ generates almost 50% more downforce as the Aventador S, but with various vents open, it can stall the rear wing for reduced drag and greater straight-line speed. The wing’s inner passages also allow air to be ‘vectored’ from side to side, depending on the direction a corner takes. Lamborghini claims this means the SVJ can get its wide front axle into turns with less steering lock than would otherwise be required, which in turn allows its driver to chase the throttle earlier and maximise exit speeds.
Beneath the body panels and mounted to aluminium subframes themselves rigidly attached to a carbonfibre monocoque tub, the SVJ retains aluminium double-wishbone suspension controlled by pushrod spring-and-damper units housed inboard. The car’s relatively gentle spring rates are unchanged from the Aventador SV, but the magnetic dampers (50%) and anti-roll bars (15%) are dramatically stiffened with a view to track driving.
Four-wheel steering works in tandem with the car’s variable-ratio electrohydraulic rack, and the central Haldex coupling now distributes a further 3% of torque to the mechanical limited-slip differential between the 355-section Pirelli P Zero Corsa rear tyres. Our car was tested on track with the optional Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres, which are said to have won the SVJ roughly 10 seconds on that lap of the Nordschleife. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard.