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Future models - Lamborghini - Centenario - Roadster

Lamborghini chops Centenario top

Charge: Upgrading to the Roadster from a Centenario Coupe costs the same as putting a Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe on your driveway.

Centenario Roadster carries Lamborghini flag at Monterey Car Week

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Lamborghini logo22 Aug 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

LAMBORGHINI has returned fire at Ferrari’s ultra-exclusive convertible LaFerrari with the reveal of a topless version of its hyperbolic Centenario at Monterey Car Week, carrying a whopping €2 million ($A2.96m) pricetag before tax.

The Centenario Roadster was announced when its coupe sibling broke cover at the Geneva motor show in March this year along with the news that just 20 of each would be produced, but the drop-top version has remained in hiding until now.

The Italian car-maker will not be taking orders for the Roadster at the renowned Californian car show, with all 40 examples snapped up by Lamborghini’s most esteemed customers before the first Centenario had been built.

Customers that opted for the coupe will have saved themselves a gargantuan $320,000 – one of the most expensive premiums ever asked by a car-maker to upgrade to a convertible variant, but that margin could be widened when Ferrari reveals the cost of its fastest cabrio at the Paris motor show in September.

Its dissected roof is the most differentiating feature compared with the Centenario Coupe, with significant changes to the area immediately behind the two seats and engine cover.

A pair of carbon-fibre hoops are integrated into each headrest and extend into the engine cover and house the AeroCatch fasteners in arrowhead-shaped vents. The additional hoops also extend down each side of the car behind the window, replacing the rear quarter-light pane of the coupe.

The windscreen is also reshaped to provide a more serene cabin environment for occupants, while the car on show in the United States was dressed up in a unique Argento matte silver, which is produced using a new metal dissolving technology.

Lamborghini does not detail how the roof mechanism operates or if the Roadster has a roof panel at all, and the only images released so far depict the Centenario alfresco.

Beyond the roof and paintwork, the Centenario shares all of the features of the coupe, including its mighty 6.5-litre V12 engine and a monstrous 566kW power output. Top speed is unchanged at 350km/h but the zero to 100km/h takes a tenth longer at 2.9 seconds.

Lamborghini does not explain the difference in performance but, as with many other convertibles, additional weight added by chassis stiffening is likely to be the culprit. Carbon-fibre is used for all body panels and some structural components resulting in a 1570kg dry weight – 50kg more than the coupe.

At 31 metres, the Roadster’s braking distance is a whole metre further than the coupe.

Like the Coupe, the Roadster uses the less exclusive but still vicious Aventador as its basis, but brings a significant number of changes to justify a threefold price increase over the $925,300 Superveloce Roadster.

The convertible version is arguably more understated in the colour scheme wheeled out in Monterey, with a more restrained tan interior, silver paint that hides the carbon-weave and matching wheels.

Conversely, the coupe rolled out with naked carbon-fibre body with contrasting yellow flashes over the exterior, Pirelli P Zero tyre walls and continued on throughout the interior. Customers wanting their own look have the full Lamborghini Ad Personam options list at their disposal and expense.

Notable features include the rear-wheel steering that tightens the turning circle and improves road-holding and handling, says Lamborghini, while a deployable rear spoiler extends up to 150mm and can alter its pitch depending on speed for greater downforce and stability.

Gear shifts are courtesy of Lamborghini’s robotised Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) gearbox that is said to provide faster gearshifts than a dual-clutch arrangement.

The body has been designed to maximise aerodynamic flow, not just over the panels but through them. Large air scoops at the front take in air and direct it out through the bonnet to contribute downforce, while air can also flow through the headlight casings and side skirts.

The latest instalment from the Raging Bull joins a line of outrageous production cars and concepts, following the Reventon, Sesto Elemento, Egoista, Aventador J and Veneno.

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