March 6, 2012
Geneva, Switzerland — Lamborghini made a splash at the Geneva Auto Show with its wild Aventador J supercar. Based on the Aventador LP 700-4, the Lambo ice carving team took their chainsaws to the roof of an Aventador and didn’t stop there. The J is a one-off, one-of-a-kind, open-top roadster that demonstrates the full range of Lamborghini’s design, technical innovation and singular showmanship.
While the J is based on the Aventador and its carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, the J has custom grill, sill and bumper work for more aggressive aerodynamics. Not only does the bodywork provide more downforce, it is constructed of the brand’s signature carbon fibre, and the rear of the car is covered in open mesh to aid in heat dissipation. The wheels look like they were inspired by the weapons rack of a space-samurai sci-fi movie set, and mirrors poke out of the bodywork like stabilizers on a cruise missile, which is probably pretty accurately describes the J’s performance potential.
Power comes from the same 6.5-litre V12 in the conventional (ha!) Aventador, making the same 700 hp, though achieving the car’s 300-plus km/h top speed requires a special suit and helmet. Suspension and transmission are likewise carryovers. In addition to the chopped roof, the J boasts even greater weight savings over the Aventador by leaving out air-con and navi, using wind deflectors instead of a windshield, and vestigial windows.
On the innovation front, Lamborghini introduced “Carbonskin,” its latest development in carbon-fibre, throughout the exposed cabin. While the exterior paint flows into the cabin through the centre console, the seats and parts of the cockpit are dressed in Carbonskin, which is made by woven soaking carbon fibres in a custom epoxy resin that stabilizes the fibre structure and keeps the material soft. This high-tech fibre can be used as a fabric, and Lamborghini has used it to full effect in the J’s extroverted interior. Apparently, Lamborghini is also suggesting that they will use the Carbonskin to expand the range of their Collezione Automobili Lamborghini clothing line. Ooooh — matching carbon-fibre Lambo jackets for you and your lady friend!
While not detailed for production, an open-top Aventador is surely in the works, and the carbon fibre bodywork looks ready for use on the Superleggera and Super Trofeo models that are also likely in the product pipeline. If you have half a million bucks to spare, call your local Lambo dealer and get in line. The rest of us can only hope it will make a stop at an auto show near us.