First things first with a full disclosure: Driving the recently launched Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 wasn’t an option, but the invitation was certainly extended to get behind the wheel of a new Gallardo and several fellow scribes did just that by showing up a few hours before last week’s grand opening celebration of Lamborghini Las Vegas.
Having test-driven the Gallardo LP560-4 a few years ago, we were more interested in the new brick and mortar Las Vegas home of the iconic Italian manufacturer. Now cradled in the solid foundation of the Findlay Automotive Group, Lamborghini Las Vegas will be the go-to dealership for Southern Nevada owners who drive the tony symbols of excellence, status and lifestyle.
“This is a great addition to the Findlay Automotive Group,” said Lamborghini Las Vegas and Audi Henderson General Manager Jim DiGuilio, who compared the nearly 3,000-square-foot Lamborghini Las Vegas showroom to a chic jewelry store.
“We wanted the cars to be the artwork, not the building,” DiGuilio said. “Our customers and the cars are the focus.”
DiGuilio also explained Lamborghini maintenance services will be performed next door at Audi Henderson by a certified Lamborghini technician who is “one of the best Lamborghini techs in the country.” Keep in mind, Audi AG (which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group) became the sole owner of Automobili Lamborghini in 1998, yet the tradition continues as one of the most desirable super sports cars in the business is still built in the small Italian village of Sant’Agata Bolognese, near Bologna.
“Las Vegas is certainly an important market,” said Lamborghini America Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Hoffmann. “We want to establish meaningful relationships with our customers who are not only purchasing an exclusive car, but are also buying into a lifestyle and brand. Our customers are unique and so are our cars.”
The grand opening, however, was indeed a celebration of the three Lamborghini tenets (the cars are Italian, extreme and uncompromising). Because of the cozy confines of the actual Lamborghini showroom, which already housed an Aventador, Gallardo and recently restored 1968 400GT 2+2, outside accommodations offered elegant cocktails, gourmet appetizers and live entertainment for more than 150 guests.
Outside, the centerpiece was unquestionably the new V-12 flagship, the Aventador LP700-4. At $387,000, Aventador certainly fulfills Stephan Winkelmann’s, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., proclamation that the supercar has no competitor.
First introduced at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the LP700-4 has been lauded for its remarkable achievements in technology, speed and design. It boasts a 700-horsepower, 6.5-liter, V-12 engine which, when combined with the vehicle’s lightweight carbon fiber chassis, accelerates from zero-62 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph.
With the addition of Lamborghini Las Vegas, the manufacturer boasts more than 120 dealerships worldwide, where it will continue to build on its succession of dynamic and elegant super sports cars including the 350GT, Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago, Reventón Coupe, Reventón Roadster, Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupé and Spyder, Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera and the last open version LP 570-4 Spyder Performante.
Hoffmann, however, is most proud of the Aventador, which bears the name of a bull, a particularly courageous specimen from the world of the Spanish corrida.
“We created something that is perfectly balanced,” Hoffmann explained, noting the complete carbon fiber passenger section and lower center of gravity. “Nothing on this car is a carry-over part, meaning it’s all new. It’s a leap of two generations of development.”
Orders for the Aventador are sold out for 2012 with delivery dates now moving into early 2013, according to Hoffmann.