Lamborghini Aventador SV vs. Ferrari 488 GTB
Lamborghini vs Ferrari
Updated September 25, 2017
With the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed wrapping up, the car community has received our fill of supercar goodness from the new world records set at the Festival to the outrageously fast hill climbs from many of the contenders. Many automotive manufacturers brought along their brand new 2016 models to be displayed at the company’s booth as well as most of these 2016 cars running the hill climb.
Amongst the new 2016 models tantalizing the crowd was the new raging bull out of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy from Lamborghini. Titled the Aventador SV, this new SuperVeloce, translated from Italian to English as “superfast,” is Lamborghini’s most powerful V12 to date and is the first SV since the 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago lp670-4 SuperVeloce.
From Maranello, Italy, Ferrari proudly displayed the new Ferrari 488 GTB, a fierce competitor for the likes of the Lamborghini Huracan and even the new Aventador SV. This graceful and brilliant successor to the 458 Italia uses only one piece from the old 458 Italia, the hyper-rigid aluminum space frame. Everything else about the car is new and improved, including what everyone is most excited for, the powertrain. Aimed to compete against the likes of the Lamborghini Huracan and the McLaren 675LT, the new Ferrari may even be good enough to take on Lamborghini’s newest top dog, the Aventador SV.
While the Ferrari 488 GTB is nearly 40 percent cheaper than the SV, at only $230,000 compared to the Lamborghini’s whopping base price tag of $493,069, what is the reason for such a difference in price? Is the Lamborghini really that much better than Ferrari’s new ringer? Let’s find out.
2016 Lamborghini Aventador SV
When the first Aventador came out of the factory doors in Sant’Agata Bolognese, it was clear that Automobili Lamborghini just raised the bar yet again in terms of what a supercar actually can do. Nobody was aware that this was only a platform for Lamborghini’s most powerful V12 hyper car ever. When Lamborghini presented the new SV with the caption “Crazy acceleration.” The word “crazy” is rarely seen, especially from a company that is trying to sell its own product.
One of the impressive, exclusive features of the new SV is that the V12 has undergone the same engine tuning as the exquisite Veneno, a car that Lamborghini only sold three to the public. Being Lamborghini’s most powerful V12, everything has been optimized from the variable valve timing to a new exhaust system setup to raising the redline limit from 8,350 to 8,500 rpm, raising the power output to 740 horsepower at 8,400 rpm. While the power output has been increased, the amount of torque remains the same, at 509 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm. Proving Lamborghini’s statement of “crazy acceleration” as true, the Aventador SV lapped the Nürburgring in less than seven minutes before the speed limits were put in place.
Due to the addition of many composite materials in the chassis build of the SV, weight loss over the standard Aventador comes in at an impressive 110 pounds lighter. Composite rear fenders and rocker panels, as well as the addition of a manually adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, are only some of the new pieces of composite that can be found on the SV. Fixed C-pillar aero scoops and the rear wing replace the electronically actuated wing and scoops featured on the standard Aventador in order to further reduce weight. In order to reduce the weight even more, Lamborghini removed much of the sound insulation and carpeting, leaving a lot of beautiful, bare carbon largely exposed on the inside and outside the car.
Lamborghini states that the new SV has a feature that is a production-car first for any automotive manufacturer, lateral strut-type magnetic shocks. This type of suspension system has only been seen on the racing circuit, never on the street. When the drive systems are set in the most aggressive drive mode, Corsa, variable-ratio steering pairs perfectly to the suspension to reduce lock-to-lock motion.
All of these extra features, aggressive looks, and lower mass will cost precisely $88,400 more than a standard, non-SV Aventador, and bespoke treatments increase that price even more, not to mention the fact that only 600 units of the SV will be built. The Base MSRP for the new SV is just around $493,069. According to many Lamborghini officials, including CEO Stephan Winklemann, a future Aventador SV Roadster is “possible.”
2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
Ever since Ferrari debuted the new California model back in 2015 that featured a 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V8, there has been a flurry of commotion around Ferrari’s decision to stray away from naturally aspirated engines. Engineers are no longer looking to squeeze as much power as possible out of the naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 unit found in many of Ferrari’s models, but instead moving over to the way of turbocharging in order to gain more power.
Based on the same 3.8-liter V8 engine from the California T, a 3.9-liter V8 will be mounted in the 488 GTB, producing over 600 horsepower. An interesting thing about the new GTB and its new engine is that while the 488 GTB is more powerful than its predecessor, the 458 Italia, it is also more fuel-efficient and emits less carbon dioxide due to the turbochargers and some clever tuning. The specific output works out to be 172 horsepower per liter. Gathering the rear torque is a little trickier due to the car’s computers, but it has been figured out. At 3,000 rpm in seventh gear, torque is measured at 560 lb-ft.
The body of the new 488 GTB takes inspiration from the likes of its predecessor, the 458 Italia, some homage from the classic 308 GTB, and even the 2014 LaFerrari hypercar, which costs an eye watering $1.45 million and is out of reach for the majority of car enthusiasts worldwide. Impressively, the 488 GTB lapped Fiorano, Ferrari’s test track, a full second faster than the 458 Speciale. Compared to the 458 Italia, the body of the new 488 GTB produces 50 percent more down force at speed, a whopping 440 pounds of down force at 124 mph, and this is without resorting to a rear wing-and-pylon design, unlike the Lamborghini Aventador SV. One crucial piece lies at the front of the car and is a little more difficult to notice. This piece is a double airfoil with one wing channeling cool air to the radiator and one to generate down force. These radiators are 20 percent larger than in the 458 Italia.
The hot topic with the 488 GTB is that twin turbocharged V8 and what it can do. A twin-scroll turbocharger with a turbine wheel made of low-mass titanium-aluminide offers a 50 percent lower inertia than normal. In order to increase the efficiency, Ferrari engineers built the turbochargers to use abradable housing seals and ball bearings, making the 488’s response time a bit sharper than the 458 Italia.
Speed, performance, refinement, and drivability have all been improved on with the new 488 GTB. Some may say that the euphoria gets diminished due to the sound of the turbochargers, but Ferrari has found a way to retain much of the V8’s resonance and aurality. Long, complex single-cast exhaust runners at an equal length allow for the sound to flow freely and clearly. Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa stated, “This part [the exhaust manifold] is practically impossible to make.”
While it is sad to see the ways of naturally aspirated engines being left in the history books, turbochargers and superchargers open new doors to more power and efficiency that have never been seen before. It will be interesting to see what both Lamborghini and Ferrari bring to the table in a year or two from now.