It’s a rivalry that spans close to five decades. In fact, Ferruccio Lamborghini created his eponymous automobile brand back in 1963 because he thought he could create a better car than Enzo Ferrari. Mr. Lamborghini owned a few Ferrari vehicles himself but thought that the clutch and the after-sales service were lacking. When he made known his dissatisfaction to Enzo, the latter dismissed him. Hell hath no fury like a proud Italian man scorned and thus, the Raging Bull icon was born.
Today, both luxury car brands are icons in the motoring world and ignite a heady kind of desire rarely seen in other automobiles. You don’t just drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini; you become one with it. This year, the duo are once again going head to head with two new releases – the Ferrari 812 Superfast and the Lamborghini Aventador S. We break the both of them down.
Ferrari 812 Superfast
You’re looking at the most powerful Ferrari ever produced. We’re assuming it’s not counting the LaFerrari concept coupe because, well, mere mortals like us will never be able to afford it. Of course, we also don’t think we could afford the 812 Superfast anytime soon unless we’re planning to sell our houses and live in the car.
It’s created in a new colour called Rosso Settanta. We put it through Google Translate and the algorithm translated it as “red Seventy”. Make of that what you will.
Beneath the hood is a new naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine that’s been engineered to give you more torque at lower revs. That means faster acceleration and more comfortable driving even at low speeds.
In fact, believe it or not, the new generations of Ferrari automobiles are incredibly easy to drive at low speeds. You can cruise around the city without feeling like the engine is being unfairly restrained.
It’s also the first Ferrari to sport the Electric Power Streering (EPS) system. There’s a lot of engineering techno-babble involved but essentially, it makes driving the 812 Superfast even easier for those who have never had the pleasure of commanding the Prancing Horse.
Unfortunately, the 812 Superfast will probably be the last of its kind. Ferrari has revealed that from 2019 onwards, its new models will be powered by hybrid engines. News that might trouble Ferrari fans who love that full-throated growl but good news for the environment, at the very least. Here are the other important numbers.
0 to 100 kph in 2.9 secs | Maximum speed of >340 kph | Dry weight of 1,525 kg
Lamborghini Aventador S
Within five years of its launch in 2011, the Italian marque moved 5,000 Lamborghini Aventador units, making it the fastest-selling Lamborghini ever produced. So Lamborghini has high hopes for the Aventador S.
Unlike the soft, sensuous curves of the Ferrari 812 Superfast, the Aventador S is blocky, angular and in your face. For some people, it’s too aggressive and masculine. Those are not the customers Lamborghini wants. The brand wants men (or women) who are brash, cocky and like being at the centre of attention, and the Aventador S warmly embraces these ideals. After all, the slogan of the Aventador S campaign is “Dare Your Ego”.
The Aventador S also comes with a naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. What separates the Aventador S from the 812 Superfast is its full carbon fibre monocoque frame, engine bonnet, movable rear spoiler and air inlets. Those that cannot be constructed in carbon fibre is made in aluminium instead. That makes the Aventador S incredibly light and on par with the 812 Superfast despite its longer length – 4,797 mm for Aventador S versus 4,657 mm for the 12 Superfast.
Due to its weight, the engineers had to create even more downforce to ensure that the car doesn’t take flight. The team redesigned the nose and front splitter, and added a black diffuser at the back to amplify its aerodynamism and improve downforce by over 50 per cent.
But we reckon the most talked about feature of the Aventador S will be the aptly-named EGO driving mode. There are the typical Strada (daily use), Sport and Corsa (track) driving modes but the new EGO mode lets you change the traction, steering and suspension to whatever you fancy. So if you prefer Strada traction with Corsa steering, you’re free to do so.
Here are the numbers that matter.
0 to 100 kph in 2.9 secs | Maximum speed of 350 kph | Dry weight of 1,525 kg