2017 Lamborghini Aventador S
While we’ve been spending a lot of time in Lamborghini Huracans lately, we all know it’s the Aventador and its V12 engine is much higher in the brand’s pecking order. Though that gap between the two is not quite as wide as Lamborghini would like it, thus a highly-revised Aventador comes our way…and with it a brand new 2017 Lamborghini Aventador S.
The Lamborghini Aventador has always been much more than just your standard rich guy garage trophy, with serious on-track credentials that most owners barely ever get more than a whiff of. Well, for those few who actually do seek to get the most out of their Aventadors, they’ll love the new 2017 Aventador S.
That affection starts with additional power for the naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine. A boost of 40-horsepower puts it at 730, only 10 less than the still lighter Superveloce, with 509 lb-ft. of torque. Thanks to valve-timing and intake adjustments, it revs higher while also delivering peak torque sooner. No complaints about that!
But, the big heart throb is new four-wheel-steering; which of course comes with an acronym, LRS for Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steer. Combined with the front steerers, and you have LDS, or Lamborghini Dynamic Steering.
You can feel it in action right away, as it has an almost unnatural feel at first; but once you learn to trust it and put it to good use, there’s no doubt it makes you faster on the track.
Laps around Spain’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo revealed that not all of the all-wheel-drive understeer has been eliminated, but you can feel bags and bags of torque going to the rears on corner exit, and plenty of grip to deal with it; aided by improved stability control.
Turning can still feel heavy and the overall experience remains intimidating, depending how much experience you have throwing half a million dollars around a corner.
We had a chance to drive the S back-to-back with the previous Aventador, and the S noticeably turns in a lot quicker.
We could also easily get a feel for the stiffened suspension, as the magnetic dampers have been recalibrated. All-wheel-drive software has also been altered, and the S adds a new driving mode, appropriately named “EGO”, which allows you to dial in your own custom setup.
The Aventador S sticks with the Independent Shifting Rod transmission, which can feel downright brutal at times, hampering the daily driving experience, but apparently it has been smoothed somewhat. Engineers claim a true dual-clutch would add weight, and that buyers really like the classic race car feel of the current setup.
Lamborghini also claims to have taken some mass out of other parts of the car, so that even with four-wheel-steering bits, overall weight remains about the same.
And not to worry, it will still deliver you to 60 in under three seconds.
Obviously the four-wheel steering helps shorten the turning radius for parking or maneuvering around the pits.
But even with all of the updates and oodles of electronics controlling everything, this car still has a raw nature that gearheads will love…we sure do!
Visibility remains atrocious and the ride is stiff even in its softest suspension settings. If you want comfort or refinement, seek out a Huracan and save a few coins.
The Aventador S’s look is still mostly the same, but the bodywork does see a mid-cycle massaged.
There’s a new nose designed for increased airflow, and certainly looks more aggressive as well. Likewise, in back, the rear diffuser is redesigned; constructed of carbon fiber should you choose the upgrade.
Exhaust fumes spill out of three single outlets in a new triangle arrangement.
The active rear wing can deploy in a number of ways depending on speed and drive mode.
Altogether, downforce has been improved dramatically; without sacrificing any top speed.
Updates inside include a new configurable TFT digital gauge display, and Apple Car Play. Lambo could have gone a little farther here, but since most Aventador’s are highly customized, they’ll leave that up to you.
You’ll have to tap into a significant portion of your trust fund if you want to play with an Aventador S, as prices start at $424,845; just 20-grand more than a “base” Aventador, but still way less than a Superveloce.
The Lamborghini Aventador is unlike anything else on the road. Just about everyone knows what it is when they see one, and don’t easily forget about it when they do. And now with the S, Lambo has taught this old bull some new tricks, making their flagship supercar is more capable, and more captivating, than ever.
- Engine: 6.5 liter
- Horsepower: 730
- Torque: 509 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined