The latest in a line of otherworldly supercars that includes the Miura, Countach, Diablo and Murcielago, the Aventador is Lamborghini’s technology- and performance-packed flagship. Stupefyingly quick, aggressively angular and awe-inspiring in a deeply primal way, it’s also more comfortable and refined than its feral predecessors.

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Underneath its attention-grabbing stealth jet/alien snubfighter exterior, the Aventador is underpinned by a carbon-fiber chassis that teams with a number of other carbon and aluminum components throughout the car to keep weight down. These measures help the Aventador tip the scales at about 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor, although at just over 4000 pounds it still isn’t exactly dainty.

Concerns about weight – and most other rational thoughts – are extinguished once one experiences the Aventador’s operatic and absurdly potent V12. Displacing 6.5 liters and boasting a lofty 8500 redline, this beast of a motor makes 691 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm.

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When you couple that much power with the car’s Haldex all-wheel-drive system, what you get is a zero-to-62 mph time of just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph. These figures put the Aventador proudly atop the Lamborghini range and easily in the company of the most impressive supercars in the world.

Fuel economy is likely the last thing on the mind of anyone considering a Lamborghini, but the automaker added two new technologies for the latest model year in the interests of efficiency and the environment.

The first, a start-stop system that shuts down the engine to save fuel at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic, is a supercapacitor-based system that’s both lighter and faster to restart the motor than a traditional battery-based system. The second is a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down half of the V12’s cylinders during light-throttle situations, temporarily turning the motor into a straight-six. When the driver lays into the throttle, the other six cylinders fire back up for full power.
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