Just looking at the Reventon Roadster, the newest offering from Lamborghini, you know things are going to be different. The usually angualy Lambo design aesthetic is even more angular, making the car look like a fighter jet from the future. And, even though the above photo is from the Frankfurt Auto Show where the car recently debuted, those girls still stand next the car wherever it goes. And considering that there’s only 20 Reventon Roadsters slated to be ever be made, that might actually be possible.
In addition to the very limited production run, the Reventon also features a more exclusive price than most other Lamborghinis; $1.6 million. So, if you find the over-the-top styling to be ostentatious, don’t worry, because you can’t get one and will probably never see one anywhere besides the Internet. On the engineering and performance side, though, the Reventon truly is a marvel to behold.
The roadster is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine that puts out 661 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque, which rockets the car form 0-to-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The top speed is 205 mph, ridiculously fast for an open top car that has to handle more air resistance than a hard-top supercar. That power is also mated to Lamborghini’s Viscous Traction all-wheel drive system. The system normally sends most of the power to the rear wheels, but if those wheels spin, it causes the Viscous Traction system to reroute up to 35% of the engine’s power to the front wheels. This system, while expensive and certainly not feasible for a lot of average cars, is perfectly suited for Lamborghini. It allows the rear-wheel drive feel of a true supercar, but at the same time provides a bit of the safety net of all-wheel drive.
The body and frame of the Reventon also displays a fair bit of engineering. At the heart of the car is the high-strength steel profile cell, complemented with carbon fiber components. The cell is surrounded by a mostly carbon fiber body (with the exclusion being the door panels, which are steel) that is both structurally rigid and very light weight. In 2007, Lamborghini produced a limited run of Reventon Coupes, and the roadster version only weighs 55 pounds more than its coupe predecessor, tipping the scales at 3,725 pounds. When most supercars lose the roof, they usually end up adding a few hundred pounds (like the Audi R8 Spyder we looked at yesterday), so 55 pounds is an incredibly modest gain.
The styling, as noted earlier, is a bit extreme. Lamborghini’s designers cite jet aircraft as a major influence, both aesthetically and aerodynamically. The underbelly of the Reventon is completely smooth, to facilitate air flow, and a large rear diffuser negates lift. Also, the rear spoiler deploys at around 80 mph, and then rotates to create a steeper angle, and therefore more downforce, when the car hits 135 mph.
Lamborghini, perhaps more so than other supercar manufacturers, are at their best when creating these limited-run special vehicles. They are allowed to take their unique styling attitude and push it to the max. I, personally, am not a big fan of the styling on most Lambos, like the Gallardo. It seems like they couldn’t decide if they wanted the car to be angular and bold, or to be flowing and smooth, so they ended up with an odd mix. The Reventon doesn’t worry about compromise, allowing it to excel in all its hard-edged glory. Of course, the one recent Lamborghini that I like is also the most expensive and exclusive. Go figure.