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 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined