Lamborghini Centenario: This Car Demands Your Attention
Designed as a carbon fiber backhand to the pleasantly plump, the Lamborghini Centenario was recently unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show amid mixed feelings. Never one to shy away from extreme styling, the car you see here commemorates the one-century celebration of the birth of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. According to the automaker, only 20 coupé and 20 roadster versions of the Centenario will be produced, with all 40 vehicles already finding homes around the globe at $1.9 million dollars a pop.
Sticking with a tried and true V12, the naturally aspirated engine produces 770 horsepower, making it possible to hit 62 in just 2.8 seconds before topping out around 217 miles per hour. The engine speed limiter has been raised just for this special occasion and now redlines at 8,600 RPM, making it the most powerful engine ever produced by Lamborghini.
The introduction of a rear-wheel steering system is another notable attribute as it increases both agility and stability, and a set of Pirelli P-Zero tires have been specially developed to wrap the 20- and 21-inch forged wheels with the best grip possible. Accented in carbon fiber, these rims have been designed to cloak the ducts that extract all of the scorching air off the carbon ceramic brakes, and come complete with a central-locking wheel nut.
Long, low overhangs can be found both out front and in the rear here, with massive air scoops accenting the hood, which remain entirely functional in order to supply downforce along the front axle. Another clever aerodynamic touch is the front headlight casing, which has channels in it that flow to the side skirts and around the wheel arches, further improving the airflow to the rear-mounted radiators for additional cooling.
The roof is equipped with air scoops as well, and comes clad with a hexagonal carbon fiber and glass engine cover. While the body of the Centenario can be painted in any color owners want, in standard trim it comes in the dark gloss carbon fiber seen here.
But probably the most noticeable thing about the Centenario is its massive, integrated rear diffuser, which “dominates the back of the car.” We agree with this statement, and even though it supposedly helps with things like air flow distribution and maximizing downforce, it strikes us as a bit overkill and causes the vehicle to look more like an oversize safety razor than a supercar.
Depending on driving conditions and the driving mode selected, the rear wing can extend to 150 millimeters, and rotates up to 15 degrees in order to offer better aerodynamics when under power. Since virtually the entire body of the Centenario is built from carbon fiber, it weighs a feathery 3,351 pounds. The interior is carbon and Alcantara, including the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, sun visors, rocker covers, and inner door panels, too.
Utilizing a permanent four-wheel drive system, the Centenario continues to take an unusual approach to agility. When cruising at lower speeds, the rear tires turn in the opposite direction of the steering angle, which leads to the car handling like it has a shorter wheelbase. This effect is reversed at high speeds, which leads to a virtual increase of the wheelbase, and depending on what driving mode is selected, the rear-wheel steering can be intensified in order to provide a boost in lateral dynamics.
The final piece of the performance puzzle lies in the “magneto rheological suspension,” which works in tandem with Lamborghini’s Dynamic Steering (LDS) and is recalibrated for tighter rear-wheel steering and superior driver feedback. All of this performance insanity is punctuated by onboard helmet holsters for track day events, a tri-piped exhaust that screams at any RPM range, and a slew of interior tech touches that include available cabin-facing cameras for recording the moment your girlfriend realizes she doesn’t trust your driving skills.