Lamborghini bids Ferruccio a happy birthday with exquisite Centenario Roadster
Car manufacturers love giving themselves birthday presents, perhaps none more than Lamborghini. Celebrating a milestone brings out the best of the raging bull, encouraging designers in Sant'Agata to get even wilder and edgier. Earlier this year, the appropriately wild and edgy Centenario was launched to celebrate what would have been Ferruccio Lamborghini's 100th birthday. Now, it's getting a drop top cousin.
Although it's a convertible, the Centenario Roadster won't ever be confused with your hairdresser's MX5. Power comes from a V12, pumping out 770 hp (566 kW) for a 2.9 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). Top speed is 350 km/h (217 mph), undoubtedly helped by the car's 1,570 kg (3,461 lb) kerb weight.
Lamborghinis are known for being imposing to drive, both at the limit and around town. Perhaps with this in mind, engineers have fitted the Centenario with rear-wheel steering. At low speed, it turns in the opposite direction to the front wheels for a tighter turning circle, at high speed they turn in the same direction for a feeling of greater stability. The way the system operates changes depending on which drive mode is selected.
Also working to keep the Centenario Roadster stuck to the road at high speeds is the clever body. This might not have always been the case with classic Lambos (we're looking at you, Countach) but all of the wings and flics on the Roadster have been fitted to serve a practical purpose. This includes the massive rear diffuser, though we're not sure it needs to be quite that pointy to do it.
Aerodynamic design has also been directed at keeping cabin buffeting down. By allowing air to flow through smoothly through the cabin's rear wall and onto the rear deck, the designers say they've solved the problem, although the fact the Roadster's roof opening is barely wider than the average sunroof might have helped as well.
Although a lot of Aventador shines through, the Centenario's cabin has been kitted out to try and match the exterior drama. Gone is the button-heavy center stack, and in its place is a 10.1 inch touchscreen with a huge range of race telemetry and tracking options. There's also Apple CarPlay, a nice inclusion considering it's now standard in exotics like the Honda Civic. The system is able to record outside and inside the car thanks to two cameras, making it easier for the drivers to share their experiences later on.
The interior leather and trim can be fully customized through the Lamborghini Ad Personam project. Think of the standard brown-and-white seats, grey exterior and glossy carbon highlights as a canvas upon which owners can paint their wildest fantasies.
Pricing for the Centenario Roadster will kick off at a crazy €2 million (US$2,546,650) and there are 20 available. The supercar was unveiled at the 2016 Quail Motorsports Gathering.