It’s broken the Nurburgring (and Hockenheim) lap record and impressed those who’ve driven it, but the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ can do pretty well on the slippery stuff, too.
The Lamborghini Winter Driving Academy is the perfect place to learn how to control the Italian brand’s supercars on snow or ice. Autocar was invited by the company to the Italian Alps to experience the magnificent Aventador SVJ on a purpose-built track. Mastering the weight transfer and balancing the steering and throttle of this brute isn’t easy, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to drift it from start to finish.
The winter adventure actually started behind the wheel of the LM002. The super SUV came out in 1986, long before Rolls-Royce, Bentley and the rest dared to dream about such a ride. To this day, it remains one very capable machine, and that’s understandable, given that it was initially designed as a military vehicle and uses the same engine as the Countach. Tipping the scales at 2.7 tons (5,952 lbs), it can accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in roughly 8 seconds. Sure, an Urus will smoke it, but then an Urus isn’t anywhere near as rugged as the Rambo Lambo.
Lamborghini first ventured into the world of SUVs back in 1977, when they presented the Cheetah at the Geneva Motor Show. It was a prototype built by Mobility Technology International (MTI) in San Jose, California, which, in turn, was contracted by the U.S. military to come up with a proper off-roader.
MTI was accused by FMC of copying the design of the XR311 prototype, so it never materialized. And that’s probably a good thing, since the rear-mounted 190 horsepower Chrysler V8 engine that powered it, mated to a 3-speed automatic gearbox, ruined the handling and made it impossible to drive. AM General was eventually awarded with the contract and ended up with the Humvee, which is still in service almost four decades later.
This failed attempt cost Lamborghini so much money that they couldn’t honor BMW’s contract to develop the M1. But that’s enough history for one day. Now, let’s see that Aventador SVJ glide on ice and snow, and find out how the LM002 feels like in the 21st century as well.