Lamborghini celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2013 and amongst the many and varied events that took place was an announcement that the factory would mark this significant birthday with a very special car.
Actually, to describe the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster as a mere car is a travesty. Even by the wild standards that the folks at Sant'Agata Bolognese display on a regular basis, it is hardcore. The numbers tell their own tale, especially the price tag €3.3 million (plus taxes)...you could acquire three Bugatti Veyrons for that sum.
You would have had to be quick off the mark though, just nine examples were built to be launched late in that year. Launched is perhaps the appropriate term as the Veneno Roadster was first unveiled to the automotive world on the deck of the Italian aircraft carrier, Nave Cavour, in the Mina Zayed docks, Abu Dhabi.
I caught up with this extreme automotive statement at the recent Techno Classica located on the Lamborghini stand with the fabulous P400 Miura Roadster (you can see that HERE). In the flesh the statement is certainly as extreme as described in previous dispatches.
Like the earlier Roadster, the Veneno has no roof because "open means truly open" as the Italians declare. There is a rollover bar that is like a racing roll cage all within a monocoque made from carbon-fibre reinforced polymer that also forms a major element of the car's interior.
The bucket seats are made from Lamborghini's patented Forged Composite. Woven carbon-fibre CarbonSkin clads the entire cockpit and seats, all of this contributes to the lightweight design principles of the Veneno. The benefit of this obsessive attention to detail is reflected in the car's dry weight of 1,490 kilos (3,278 pounds).
Powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine giving a claimed 750bhp to all four wheels through Lamborghini's ISR (independent shifting rod) transmission. The racing chassis has pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. The performance figures claimed are correspondingly sensational - 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 221 mph.
The aim of Lamborghini with the Veneno Roadster is to focus on optimizing aerodynamics to balance downforce with minimal drag, creating a racing prototype that unlike the Sesto Elemento is fully legal for the road and not just a track day special. The design of the alloy wheels is also a product of aerodynamics at work, a carbon fiber ring around the wheel rim acts like a turbine to provide additional cooling for the brakes.
The brake discs are carbon-ceramic for the greatest stopping power.
Of course the color of each Veneno Roadster is unique, this example being finished in "Rosso Veneno".
Automotive statements such as the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster are wild products of almost unlimited imagination (and budgets!). We should treasure their existence, some would legislate their disappearance. If you are in the Bologna region at any time, take a few hours to visit the Lamborghini Museum at Sant'Agata Bolognese, the spirit that created the Veneno Roadster is everywhere on display. You can see some of this HERE and HERE.