LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR LP 700-4 ROADSTER
POWERTRAIN: V-12 ENGINE, 700-HORSEPOWER, SEVEN-SPEED DOUBLE-CLUTCH TRANSMISSION
PERFORMANCE: 0-60: 2.7 SECONDS. TOP SPEED, 217 MILES PER HOUR
STEREO: TWO WOOFERS, TWO TWEETERS, 4 X 135 WATTS (OPTIONAL)
PRICE: $441,600, AS TESTED $493,775

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 revs on…

How can one describe a stunning 700 horsepower, 217 mph, two-seat roadster, built with carbon fiber? How about a Formula One racecar lined with a leather interior, an additional seat, and packed with luxury accruements?

First, the exterior is truly stunning and crowd-pleasing. Super low with huge radiator side scoops and sharp lines is the starting point. Even the cover over the V-12 power-plant is unique with its small see-through windows and openings highlighting the engine. And, of course, and to be expected are the famous Lambo doors which open upward rather than out. Huge 19-inch and 20-inch wheels with wide openings reveal the carbon ceramic brake calipers.

In keeping with theme, the two leather seats have high bolsters to hold you in place for those 1g turns. Once in the driver’s slot, a high-tech video screen faces the driver.

To say the least, tons info can be displayed with the tachometer dominating the view. Another bigger screen is in the center of the dash with navigation, a rear view camera and the usual stereo info being available.

With a seven-speed double clutch gearbox, there are choices. Push a button, and it shifts automatically with the gear chosen shown. Or if you prefer, you can manually choose your gears with big paddles behind the steering wheel. An interesting highlight is the start button is hidden under a jet fighter red flip cover.

And when the start switch is hit, the powerplant jumps to life with a high RPM song, which is music to any motor head’s ears. Even when idle, there is no mistaking the power. Zero to 60 mph takes a mere 2.7 seconds. And there are multiple suspension and shifting variations available with the push a button. In other words, the choices are city driving or being at the track.

Slipping and sliding is not part of the program with this Lamborghini, since it is four-wheel-drive. Likewise on the safety front, six airbags provide protection.

For those who favor the sun, there are two removable tops, one over each occupant. The tops are stored in the rather small trunk in the front of the car.

To say the least, the driving experience is exceptional and clearly aimed at those favoring performance. Acceleration at any speed is jet plane-like… exhilarating would be an understatement. Even in the “automatic” transmission mode, the gear choices are appropriate. The ride is definitely on the firm side with the independent shifting rod suspension, and as one would expect, cornering is flat and tight. Steering is direct as they come with racecar precision.

There is no mistaking the uniqueness of this Lamborghini. This car is not for the shy and retiring, because you can expect a lot of attention. But perhaps more importantly, you will have driving experience, which is hard to immolate in any vehicle.

AMERICAN MUSCLE

The 2014 and 2015 models years have seen and will see the resurgence of America’s greatest sports cars and sporty cars.

After being out of production for a number of years, the super powerful Viper is back with a slight name change. It is no longer a Dodge Viper, but the SRT Viper (SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology, in case you wondered). Nevertheless, the basic theme of the original edition remains in the form of a huge 8.4-liter V10 powerplant pushing out 640 horsepower tied to six-speed stick. Styling continues with some upgrades, but everyone will recognize the low hood line, large side vents and sweeping roofline. Pricing begins at about $120,000.

Among the American manufacturers, General Motors’ Chevy division has been producing a sports car the longest. The last couple of generations of the Corvette were not as warmly received as in the past, mostly because of the less than exciting interior. But the 2014 Corvette Stingray has changed all that. The exterior completely restyled, and in some ways not in the traditional Corvette look. Fortunately, interior was considerably spiced up. With the base V-8 producing 460 horsepower and higher-powered versions coming, power is not an issue. But the killer is the relatively low starting price of $52,000. In a word, Chevy cannot produce enough to keep up with demand.

In the sporty car category, one cannot forget its founder-the Ford Mustang. It was first introduced in April of 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. To say the least, it was an instant hit. In celebration, Ford is bringing out a brand-new 50th year anniversary version as a 2015 model. Mustang clues are present in the styling, but with some different spins. And this time around, the suspension will be modernized with an independent rear end, the weight will drop, and a turbocharged four-cylinder with more than 300 horsepower will be available. And fear not, an more than 420 horsepower V-8 will still be in the stable. Pricing is estimated to start at a very reasonable $23,000.