It doesn’t seem like the most natural place to unveil such a loutish machine, the Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey, but Lamborghini went ahead with it anyway. Not sure how impressed the audience were of cream coloured suit wearers (probably with monocles too, why not) with the new record-breaking supercar, though.
No matter, the rest of the world can hopefully appreciate the SVJ (Super Veloce Jota); a car that will be the final evolution of the Aventador during its reign as the V12 flagship of the Sant’Agata automaker. Limited to just 900 units, this car had been making headlines well before its official debut, and had been rumoured for much longer.
The past year and a half has been witness to many production car lap records being broken, some sillier than others, but the most prized being that of the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Last year, Lamborghini broke the standing lap record with the Huracan Performante, showcasing its proprietary advanced active aerodynamic technology.
It was an impressive feat, especially given that, in true Lambo style, its 5.2-litre V10 engine remained naturally aspirated and its all-wheel drive system not eschewed to save weight. Up until then, nobody had really thought to consider the Raging Bull to be even interested in such focused engineering pursuits.
However, the glory lasted just a few months as Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS stole the Performante’s crown, supporting a narrative of a self-started feud of honour between two brands within the Volkswagen Group. Everyone wondered what Lamborghini would be capable of should they have applied the same aero tech and murderous engine tuning to the Aventador.
In July 2018, the company confirmed the existence and upcoming launch of the SVJ upon announcing it to be the new heir to the Nurburgring lap record after setting a time of 6 minutes 44.97 seconds.
Achieving this required a total downforce gain of 40 percent over the standard car in addition to a rigorous weight reduction regimen as well as an atmospheric 6.5-litre V12 taken to 574kW and 720Nm thanks to a new titanium intake valve and matching cylinder heads and many hours of calibration and tuning. Resultantly, the 0-100km/h sprint takes just 2.8 seconds.
Lamborghini pairs this lightness, downforce, and sheer power to a drivetrain that remains all-wheel drive but supplemented with an rear-wheel steering system that makes the car considerably more agile. Furthermore, the SVJ’s transmission, a modified version of the 7-speed single-clutch ISR, has been strengthened and recalibrated for maximum quickness and response.
There are numerous other alterations too, such as the more minute ones done to the steering rack, anti-roll bars, and dampers, but the final one worth mentioning is the car’s bespoke set of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, developed specifically to suit the SVJ more aggressive levels of downforce, its ultralight Nireo wheels, and even surface and weather conditions of the Nurburgring in order to maximise its chances at claiming said lap record.