If the Lamborghini Aventador S coupe is akin to an earthbound fighter jet, the Roadster ($460,247) is a cigarette boat for the road. There is nothing like an open cockpit for two located just ahead of a naturally aspirated V12, and there never will be. Nothing can prepare you for slipping behind the wheel of a vehicle like this — you just do your best to comprehend what’s happening and put your faith in whoever designed the damn thing. When I did just that, it took all of a few minutes behind the wheel to find that my faith was well placed. On the surface, this car is intimidating as hell, but it doesn’t want to kill you. It just wants to play all day until you’re exhausted. And then do it all again when you’re back on your feet. This is everything we learned about the Lambo.
Crazy and Crazy-Fast
The Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster will do 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds flat and continue on to a top speed of 217 mph with the roof off. It’ll also eat your lunch, mow your lawn and take your sister out to nice dinner, then never call her again.
Tar snakes proved to be no match for the active front and rear steering systems. The front adapts to speed and the selected driving mode and becomes more passive, while the rear uses two electromechanical actuators that steer the axle parallel to the front at high speed, which virtually lengthening the wheelbase. The craziest part is you can actually notice it doing its job. That feeling is quite reassuring in a $460,000 car.
Not just more pretty carbon fiber for the sake of carbon fiber, the rear diffuser reduces drag, generates downforce and amplifies airflow by utilizing vertical fins.
Advanced Braking: Standard
Standard carbon ceramic brakes are tucked away under 20-inch/21-inch front/rear Dione rims wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires. They work very, very well.
The Sound Matches the Fury
The triangle offense, greater than the Pyramids of Giza: the new triple outlet exhaust of the Aventador S Roadster. Surrounded by carbon fiber and tuned to perfection, these three pipes unleash a most glorious assault on any ears within a few mile radius. 20 percent lighter than its predecessor, this beautiful exhaust system produces the kind of noise usually reserved for on-track competition.
This window at the rear of the cabin is effectively a volume knob for the 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 mounted just behind the two seats. Opening it all the way fills the cockpit with the sound of pure motorsport. It is my favorite feature of the car.
No Junk in The Frunk
With the roof panels on there’s enough storage space up in the frunk for two efficiently packed weekend bags. With the panels in their slots, you’re either using the passenger seat for luggage or wearing a single outfit.
Opt for Lower Seats
While the seats are crazy comfy, I’d recommend the lower, optional mounting rails available though Lamborghini’s personalization program, Ad Personam, in order to reduce the likelihood of loose gravel or any other road debris connecting with your head.
Going Clear: Optional Engine Cover
While the standard matte black carbon fiber engine cover blades are quite impressive, you can’t argue with transparent blades that let you have a peek at the power plant hidden below.
The fighter jet-style center console is your point of access to the LDVA vehicle dynamics system via four selectable driving modes including the customizable “EGO” mode.
Carbon Fiber Monocoque
Extensive use of carbon fiber throughout the vehicle, starting with its entire monocoque shell, keeps the dry weight of the Aventador S Roadster down to 3,583 pounds — just 10 pounds heavier than the coupe.
Up and At ‘Em
The doors aren’t the only thing that go up on the Aventador S Roadster. With the push of a switch you can raise the front end to give you an extra two inches of ground clearance for a total of seven inches overall.
If you want to shield yourself from the sun or the million camera phones aimed at you, just grab the lightweight roof panels out of the frunk and pop them on. The convex molding allows for a surprising amount of headroom and the damn things weigh less than 13 pounds. As an added bonus, when installed, they trap all the engine sound let in by the rear window for maximum auditory brain scrambling.
Unbeatable Fuel Door Design
Name a more iconic fuel door and tank cap, I’ll wait.
Four Driving Modes, Including EGO
There are four dynamic driving modes to select from: Strada, Sport, Corsa and the new EGO mode, which allows you to select elements of the other three for a total of 24 possible combinations.
Although appearing similar to the coupe, the styling of the rear of the Aventador S roadster is tailored to the aerodynamic needs created by an open cockpit. Its shape is dictated largely by extensive aero testing. Airflow to the rear radiators has been optimized by use of ducts in each side of the front bumper that reduce aerodynamic interference from the front tires.
Not just a nod to the original Countach, the rear of the Aventador S Roadster is dominated by air-sucking pods that feed cold air to the mid-rear-mounted V12.
Upholstery Is Up to You
I was quite a fan of the restrained grey/black/Giallo Spica (yellow) color scheme in this car, but being a Lamborghini, buyers get crazy with colors thanks to the Ad Personam program.
I wasn’t sold on rear-wheel steering until experiencing it in this car. The Aventador S Roadster is not small, but its wheelbase seemed to shrink while weaving around tight corners as the system more than did it’s job, offering outstanding grip and making placement easy.
A very satisfying click denotes each gear change executed by the seven-speed single-clutch automatic gearbox. While it’s capable of ripping off 50 millisecond shifts at full tilt in “Corsa” mode, driving the Avendator S Roadster like a manual — removing your foot from the throttle during changes — makes for a much smoother and enjoyable driving experience.
All Wheels Go
One car, many ways to enjoy it. Strada mode utilizes a 40/60 front/rear torque split and makes the car as easy to drive as any generic compact. Sport mode allows up to 90 percent of torque to go to the rear wheels, making things rather entertaining in the oversteer department. I found it to be the sweet spot for the suspension and steering as well. Select Corsa for track use: it uses a maximum 20/80 torque split to achieve optimal balance and performance.
Engine: 6.5-liter V12
Transmission: seven-speed automatic; all-wheel drive
Torque: 507 lb-ft
0-60: 3.0 seconds
Top Speed: 217 mph