Automobili Lamborghini would have you believe that it is not a maker of supercars, but a purveyor of an indulgent lifestyle. Yet behind the marketing tagline are a pair of massively capable collections in the form of the Huracan and Aventador. The Huracan’s presence at the Sepang International Circuit for Lamborghini Esperienza however, was not for posturing, but rather for perspective. Introductory laps for the day were in the rear-wheel drive variant; oversteer within easy reach of any driver and controlled slides for those with a measure of skill.
By comparison, the Aventador S (RM1.8 million without taxes) has been optimised five years on from the launch of the original for maximum grip, both aerodynamic and mechanical. Traditionally, only the most technically superior of the bulls in Lamborghini s stable is bestowed with an S in its name. The Aventador’s knighthood to this exclusive set brings the total to just five, joining the ranks of the Miura, Islero, Urraco and Countach.
From the ground up, new specially developed Pirelli P Zero shoes are matched to its individual dynamics, especially the new four-wheel steering system. On the bodywork, form follows function in the visual aggression afforded by the lengthened front splitter and side air ducts of the fanged front bumper. The same holds true for the massive diffuser around the rear which can, of course, he specified in carbon fibre. This translates to a 130 per cent increase in down force and. when working in tandem with the three-position rear wing, increases efficiency by 50 per cent at high speeds.
The secondary effect of all this airflow management is the improvement of brake and engine cooling through underbody vortex generators and directed channelling. Minor updates on the inside, such as Apple CarPlay integration and a TFT colour display for the instrument panel, bring the Aventador S up to speed with its competitors. In Corsa mode — one of four including Strada, Sport and the customisable Ego — the display changes to become a pure rev counter with bright graphics.
Along with the comprehensive improvements are tweaks to the 6.5-litre V12 heart, bumping up the horsepower to 73ohp — roughly 40hp up from the non-S. The salient numbers are 2.9 seconds to reach 100km/hr, a blistering 8.8 seconds to hit 200km/hr and on to a top speed of 350km/hr.
It is difficult to unsettle the big bull around Sepang, even with deliberately shoddy inputs. The most noticeable chassis evolution on the Aventador S is four-wheel steering. At low speeds, the rear axle turns in the opposite direction to the front, improving agility tremendously, while the opposite occurs at high speeds to reduce yaw.
Over the course of a compact slalom, the virtual shortening of the Aventador’s wheelbase was hugely apparent which makes it beneficial not only in off-track daily use, but for a quicker turn in when pushed. The Lamborghini Active Vehicle Dynamics is the most advanced ecosystem of body control in the company’s history, encompassing the four-wheel steering, four-corner active suspension, the flexibility of the four driving modes and of course, four-wheel drive. The best settings for every driving condition. Perhaps adding such technology to the Aventador can be viewed as testing the limits of the brand’s flagship doctrine — that of ballistic unruly power. But if there is potential in the big bull for said power to be better harnessed and transferred to the ground with a side of added stability, then it is all the better for it.