As you will have seen in part I, I had a great time exploring new models from Ferrari, Bugatti and Ruf. I continue here with new models from Lamborghini and Aston Martin, plus we take a brief look at one of the rarest and most beautiful motorcars ever made.
Founded in 1963, Ferrucio Lamborghini began with a vision; to build a super sports car to compete with Ferrari. Owning a tractor manufacturing plant, he had become a wealthy man by his forties and, starting working on his project in 1962, by November 1963, the first Lamborghini, the 350GT was launched. It housed a naturally aspirated V12.
Just three years later, at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, the marque debuted the Miura; a car whose prototype design (created by the engineers Dallara and Stanzini) had only been completed four months earlier, with a 4 litre V12 engine transversely mounted behind the cockpit. It was Bertone, the Turin based coachbuilder who created the body for the Miura and when it was finally released to the public, it caused a sensation. In the Miura, the very first ‘supercar’ was born. Five years later, the very last and most hardcore version of the Miura, the SVJ, made its public debut.
Fast forward to 2019 and we see the latest in what has become a very successful model or the Sant’Agata based brand. With deliveries starting imminently, the Aventador SVJ roadster is yet another of those cars that stops you in your tracks. With a limited run of 800 it incorporates a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 760hp, helping it reach a top speed of 217mph. It also incorporates Lamborghini’s ‘Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva’ (first seen on the Huracan Performante) version 2.0 and aero vectoring system to minimise drag in a straight line and optimise aerodynamic load when cornering. It also receives four-wheel steering and active suspension, the latter incorporating magnetorheological shock absorbers with a pushrod system, which has been designed specifically with ALA in mind, allowing a constant aerodynamic flow between the underside of the vehicle and the ground.
It looks utterly incredible in the metal and the colour way chosen for the press car is inspired – the matte bronze perfectly highlighting the car’s muscular stance and the liberal use of exposed carbon fibre. It is, in my mind, a fitting tribute to the ‘original supercar’.
Aston Martin’s are, in general, beautiful machines to look at. If you were to construct a body out of car manufacturers, for example, the chances are you would choose their designs as the face. However, I have been a little critical of their recent aesthetics; the new Vantage is too colour dependent and overly squinty at the front, whilst the DB11’s rear looks like a space ship being flown upside down. I do love the look of the DBS Superleggera however, which somehow manages to combine all the best bits from those two and meld them seamlessly into one, stunning motorcar.
So when they teased photographs of the Vanquish Vision, Aston Martin’s first mid-engined super sportscar prototype, I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.
Here was a marque that was already travelling in a bold new design language direction. All of their new models are much more aggressively styled in this respect whilst at the same time distinctive to their purposes, yet retaining an element of Aston elegance. So what about this new concept?
Sadly I was somewhat underwhelmed and could not help but feel they had missed a trick. Whilst it is undeniably good looking, with elements of the futuristic about it, it is also a very safe design and does not take the fight to its would be competitors Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini like I hoped it would.
Now strictly speaking, whilst this pick is a Mercedes it was not on the marque’s stand. Instead I found it at the Kienle stand, a specialist in rare automobiles. A 300SL roadster from 1958, this machine really spoke to me, from the combination of the ivory (although this particular car started out in grey) paint over red leather interior to the sensuous curves, despite all the exotic metal on show, this car had just as much of an effect on me, if not more, than the rest.
It is, of course, by no means the fastest car ever produced. With a 3 litre six cylinder producing 215bhp at a not so heady 5,800 rpm and only four speeds to play with, this car is more boulevard cruiser than racing thoroughbred. You want to just drive this car, in fact I don’t think it would necessarily require an actual destination. Imagine relaxing in the warm Mediterranean sunshine, breathing in the smell of the leather all the while knowing you are piloting one of the most beautiful motorcars ever made. Sensational.