Though it has historically been a neutral territory, Switzerland is the epicenter of the hypercar wars today, with the Lamborghini Veneno arriving in Geneva to battle the McLaren P1 and Ferrari's 'special series car.'
Taking the limited production concept to its extreme, just three Venenos will be built, one in each color of the Italian flag--although technically, there will be four, as the car on display in Geneva is "number 0," built for testing and development. The Veneno is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the brand.
Designed to look like a racing prototype, but still be road legal, the Veneno (its name means "venom" in Spanish, and originates, as ever, from the name of a Spanish fighting bull) offers 740 horsepower and a top speed of 208 mph.
Driving the Veneno is a 6.5-liter V-12 engine paired to the ISR manual gearbox found in the Aventador, but "adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno."
The car's construction is almost entirely of carbon fiber and CFRP, much like the Sesto Elemento, including the carbon fiber-based fabric called CarbonSkin first shown on the Aventador J one-off prototype at last year's Geneva Motor Show. The carbon monocoque and aluminum subframes are derived from the Aventador. Despite the heavy reliance on carbon fiber and composites, Lamborghini hasn't published the Veneno's curb weight.
But the real design aim of the Veneno is aerodynamics. Unlike most aerodynamic endeavors in the car world of late, the Veneno isn't about reducing drag exclusively, but also about adding usable downforce for high-speed grip. The entire front end is designed to function as a wing, with large channels guiding air through the hood and around the front wheels.
The front fenders are separated from the body both for airflow and as an homage to sports racing prototypes. At the sides, airflow is optimized to also aid engine cooling and air intake for the big V-12 engine.
A smooth underbody and large diffuser accelerates airflow under the car for ground-effect downforce, and a large splitter over the tail adds to the effect. Over the engine, six wedge-shaped openings aim to extract as much heat as possible.
The 20- and 21-inch wheels are attached by a single center lug, and a carbon fiber ring around the rim acts like a turbine to cool the brakes.
Chassis number 0 is painted in a grey metallic color, and will be the only Veneno to display all three of the colors of the Italian flag.
The three consumer-bound Venenos will be built over the course of 2013, but if you're not already an owner, you probably won't be--at least until one of the original buyers decides it's time to upgrade.
(c) 2013, High Gear Media.