The Lamborghini Aventador has certainly made quite a name for itself since entering the car scene. Even during the brief time in which it was only available as a coupe, the jagged and sporty Italian supercar had garnered a lot of attention. Throughout 2012, the popularity and buzz surrounding the Aventador doubled with the unveiling of the Aventador J in Geneva, and subsequently the Aventador Roadster in LA. Both of these new models feature a topless version of the Aventador coupe, and some styling tweaks, but are still very different. In talking with the automotive community, and examining online chatter concerning the two models, we’ve discovered that there is a bit of confusion as to why two similar models were created. Let’s take a look at these two topless bulls in detail:
By the time the Aventador coupe had sold over 1,300 units, the demand for a new spin on the V12 Lambo had begun to nag at the marketplace. Lamborghini had to come up with something new – a teaser for the coupe’s eventual topless counterpart; and they had to do it quickly. This is where the story of the Aventador J begins. with just six weeks to go before the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann gave his in-house designer, Filippo Perini, some ambiguous instructions to design something special for Geneva. In an interview with Top Gear UK, Perini admitted to having drafted up the design for the Aventador J in just a weekend, saying his instructions pertaining to the design were literally to do what he wanted. Taking inspiration from the Lamborghini Miura Jota, the designer went to work on the newest creation.
As it turns out, leaving boundaries and restrictions out of the picture when dealing with designers is a sure-fire way to produce outstanding results built on passion. A mere month and a half after conception, the Aventador J Roadster blew away the audience at the Geneva Motor Show. With its even sharper-than-normal appearance, and the shock-factor of a missing roof and windshield like the Mercedes Stirling Moss, the Aventador J Roadster is certainly one of the most radically aggressive looking cars we’ve ever seen. The Aventador J Roadster features bigger front and rear diffusers than the coupe version. In fact, with the exception of the trunk lid, front and rear bumpers, and the headllights, every exterior part on the car was new. Immediately upon its unveiling, the automotive tabloids were all over it. Everyone who wasn’t at Geneva wanted a chance to see the car; a challenge seeing as there was only one built, and it came with a price-tag of $2.8 million.
Flash-forward a few months, and Lamborghini was ready for major production. At the 2012 LA Auto Show, the Aventador Roadster made it’s first official show debut. Complete with good looks and a functional windshield, the Aventador Roadster drew a lot of attention at the show. Unique to the Aventador Roadster, the model features stiffened and reinforced rear pillars to get around the natural loss of structural rigidity common with drop-top models. To our knowledge, that was not a feature available on the Aventador J, thus making the Roadster a potentially better performer around a track. The removable roof of the Roadster is comprised of two carbon fiber panels, which can be removed and stored handily in the trunk. Lamborghini has claimed that their topless bull perfectly balances the driving experience with sports car sophistication. We’re inclined to agree.
The two topless Lamborghinis do share a good number of similarities: Their power output, their 0-60 time, and their top speed. Despite the Roadster’s extra 110 pounds, they perform about the same. One might even say the Roadster performs better with its stiffened sills and pillars. What makes the Aventador J so special is its radical appearance and its exclusivity. The original Aventador J was sold before it was even unveiled to the public, and Lamborghini made a point of stating that no more would be produced, no matter how much money was offered. Rumors on the internet point to them going back on that claim, and producing one more for a very affluent client.
So there you have it: If you’re looking for a topless Lamborghini V12 with styling and power, you can’t go wrong with the $440,000-ish Aventador Roadster. But if you’re looking for a status symbol among status symbols, and a one-of-a-kind (sort of) extreme thrill ride, there isn’t much that can compete with the status of the Aventador J Roadster.