Look who’s back on top.
Within two years, Lamborghini has managed to twice beat the Nurburgring Nordschleife’s production car lap record. The newest to wear the crown is their Aventador SVJ (Super Veloce Jota), which was just revealed to have went round the 20.6km German circuit in 6 minutes 44.76 seconds.
That’s an astonishing time by itself, but more so in context, being a full 3 seconds quicker than the previous title holder: the 2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Lamborghini did have its pride on the line here the Zuffenhausen automaker and their most potent rear-engine sports car that claimed the accolade from Lamborghini’s own Huracan Performante not but months after it had set the fastest time in early 2017.
It’s somewhat amusing to witness this rivalry, particularly because both marques are both owned by the Volkswagen Group. Of course, they use very different means of achieving their interpretation of high performance, but the whole exercise now feels more than slightly artificial.
That isn’t to detract from what Lamborghini and team have achieved here. The SVJ is nothing short of a monstrously fast car and the fact that it will be road legal beggars belief. It’s also quite an apt way to send off the Aventador, which made its debut in 2012, to make way for its eventual successor.
That said, there is a chance that we are collectively experiencing lap record fatigue. Every car wants to be the fastest around some track, it seems, if nothing else but for bragging right and marketing. Time was that a real record was broken much more infrequently, making each occasion special and worthy of prestige a sign of a technological leap. Not anymore.
The car itself has yet to be fully unveiled to the public, hence the layers of camouflage it had to sport as it was vying of the lap record. Apart from the distracting patterns, there isn’t anything left hidden as that would any major alteration would have disqualified it and any false panel would have impeded its performance.
Lamborghini’s factory test driver Marco Mapelli was in the hot seat, tasked with piloting the Aventador SVJ to glory. On hand were also a stuff crew of support engineers and a handful of Pirelli technicians to monitor the bespoke P Zero Trofeo R tyres they’ve developed for the car.
Fitted with cameras inside and out and full telemetry, under the formal scrutiny of Remak personnel who managed time and GPS certification using VBOX-Racelogic instrumentation, the lap attempt of the Aventador SVJ was performed during an exclusive session on the Nürburgring.
This new car is the convergence of Lamborghini technologies to produce a super sports car that transcends current performance benchmarks,” says Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stefano Domenicali.
“Its tenure as the Nürburgring lap time record holder, even before its unveiling during the Monterey Car Week in California in August, endorses Lamborghini’s competence in applying superlative design engineering and ground-breaking technologies. The SVJ is a super sports car at the zenith of performance, while also ensuring unrivalled driving pleasure,” he adds.
Its full specifications will not emerge until the car is officially unveiled, but we can speculate that the naturally aspirated V12 produces somewhere around 800 horsepower 596kW - a meaningful advantage over what is currently the most hardcore Aventador variant, the LP-750-4 SV.
Copious amounts of superfluous weight was also removed, no doubt, but the real deal breaker was the addition of the ALA system (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva, or Lamborghini Active Aerodynamics). The engineers also focused on fine tuning the car’s four-wheel drive system, rear-wheel steer, steering, and stability control to squeeze out the quickest time possible.