One of the rarest and most expensive Lambos of the noughties

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The Lamborghini Reventon isn’t just a styling exercise that sits on the chassis and drivetrain of the Murcielago LP60. It’s the pole bearer for a new direction in Lamborghini design, a direction whose cues can be seen in future Lamborghini models such as the restyled Gallardo or the Aventador. The source of inspiration? Fighter jets.

Marcello Gandini all but dictated that all V-12 Lamborghinis have to be brash and dramatic with razor-sharp edges, clean surfaces, and aggressive angles all around. The Italian manufacturer didn’t have a visual identity before the year 1974 so they went with it, seeing how well the wedge-shaped mid-engined supercar faired. Then came the Diablo, then the Murcielago, all of which following the same path. However, with each new car, Lamborghini refined the edges, added a few curves here and there, made things softer.

The Reventon looked like a return to the roots. It looked like an F117A Blackhawk with that bespoke grayish green color covering all of the pointy surfaces and, for all the work Lamborghini put into the car’s exterior, you can forgive them for leaving the underpinnings taken straight from the Murcielago LP640 untouched. Just 20 examples were made a decade ago - yes, it’s that old! - and then Lamborghini set to work again cutting the roof off the car to create a Roadster version. Some thought it’s a bit weird while others love it. The going rate for one of these suggests there’s not much interest in them now they’ll still turn heads anywhere they go.

  • 2008 Lamborghini Reventón
  • Year:
    2008
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    650 @ 8000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    487 @ 6000
  • Displacement:
    6.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    211 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

  • Styled ti mimic an F15 fighter jet
  • All 20 examples finsihed in ’Reventon’ green-gray color
  • Laminated glass so that you can peer through and see the 6.5-liter V-12 engine
  • Unique 5-spoke wheels
  • Lent some DNA to future Lambo models
  • Rocker panel air vents are different as they serve different purposes on each side
2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239914

The Reventon can be considered to be, in hindsight, a ludicrous bet made by Lamborghini.

The prototype was unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show and a 20-car production run was announced at the affordable price of $1,510,000 without taxes.

I say ludicrous because, by 2008, the worldwide economic crisis hit and the pockets of many millionaires went dry. Still, Reventon managed to get enough folks on the hype train before all the deluge of financial issues arrived and each Aventador was reserved by someone by the time Stephan Winkelmann, then-CEO of the company, stepped on the stage to utter his speech.

"The Reventon is the most extreme [Lamborghini] of all, a true automotive superlative. Our designers at the Lamborghini Style Centre took the technical base of the Murcielago LP640 and compressed and intensified its DNA, its genetic code," said Winkelmann as the wraps were taken off the menacing machine. Beyond the PR malarkey, the Reventon was at that time the most expensive car ever made by the craftsmen a Sant’Agata Bolognese.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239913

It featured a body styled to look like a jet fighter which, in turn, harkened back to the straight-cut edges and slopes of the original Countach. Lamborghini said that its main source of inspiration was the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle tactical fighter aircraft that’s hailed as one of the best of its kind for over three decades. I think it’s also similar to the Lockheed F117A Blackhawk stealth attack aircraft. It was designed entirely in-house at the Lamborghini Style Center and shares very little with the car it’s based on, the Murcielago LP640.

In pure Lamborghini tradition, the name ’Reventon’ is a tribute to an astounding fighting bull. Hailing from the Miura breed, Reventon became famous for killing Mexican bullfighter Felix Guzmán in 1943. The word itself also refers to a small explosion in Spanish, when used as a noun. With that being said, it would be an understatement to consider the Lamborghini Reventon as merely a ’small explosion’.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239911

This Raging Bull sports one of the most aggressive front fascias ever seen on a Lamborghini. You’ve got the protruding air inlets in the lower nose with recessed grilles that sit inside those quadrilateral nostrils. The nose of the car itself is pointy with the front lid following the same line as it also touches the inner edges of the triangular headlights - a novelty on modern Lambos. The air inlets in the nose are there to cool down the carbon brakes.

The two air inlets integrated into the front bumper are connected by a carbon fiber lip that extends forward from under the car’s acute nose.

The headlights, that feature LED technology just like the taillights, are bordered above by two air inlets that are carved into the bodywork and face towards the wide windshield.

It’s worth noting that not only the lip of the front bumper is made out of carbon fiber, but most of the bodywork. In fact, the only panels that are made out of steel are the roof and the exterior door panels. Talking about the doors, they go up, scissor-style, as you’d expect, but what’s interesting goes on below them. The rocker panels channel air to two air vents positioned just before the rear wheel wells. The air vent on the driver’s side is bigger because its purpose is to optimize the flow of oil to the radiator. Meanwhile, on the passenger’s side, the vent’s profile is flatter because it only has to ensure the flow below the floor.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239907

The Reventon comes with a modified electronically-activated rear spoiler as well as the electronically-activated air vents placed above the rear wheels that lift at speed to feed the V-12 with more cool air. This supercar also has a flat underbelly that’s designed to channel air to the massive diffuser that hangs at the back and features two strakes on either side of the central diamond-shaped exhaust pipe.

The many creases and lines across the body make the color, a special ’Reventon’ gray-green shine in interesting ways under the sunlight as, although it’s almost matte, there’s some gloss to it. The rear hood features glass louveres that let you take a peek at the 6.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-12.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239915

The back end of the car is also radically different to that of the Murcielago. The narrow taillights and the rear air vents are still framed by bold, multi-faceted sections of the rear end but the whole thing looks much more aggressive. Special heatproof LEDs - so as not to be damaged by the heat coming from the exhaust - are used for the indicator and hazard lights, as well as the stoplights and rear lights that have a triple arrow optical effect. In between the taillights, there’s a center panel, recessed under the top edge of the bodywork, with the Lamborghini lettering on it.

The Reventon’s wheels are unique to this model.

The five-spoke design is reminiscent of a Propeller and have carbon fiber fins on each of the rims.

They are cradled by Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires from the factory.

Lamborghini Reventon exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 104.9 inches
Length 190 inches
Width 81.0 inches
Height 44.7 inches

Interior

  • Covered in Alcantara leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum
  • Three TFT (LCD) screens in instrument cluster
  • The housing for the instrument cluster is milled from a solid aluminum block and features a carbon fiber cover
  • G-force meter
2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239923

The interior of the Reventon is a very special place to be in. From the molded seats that follow the shape of your body and are wrapped in army green Alcantara leather mated with black leather of a different variety, to the gauge cluster behind the steering wheel that has the appearance of an airplane information screen, it’s a whole different gig compared to the Murcielago’s cabin.

The steering wheel, with its rim wrapped in leather and carbon fiber, is identical to the ones you find in a Murcielago but what's new sits right behind it.

The TFT display comprised of three LCD screens offer the driver the choice of two vehicle information modes, one of which is similar to the display of an airplane. In the middle of the gauge cluster, there’s a G-force meter that shows the dynamic drive forces, longitudinal acceleration during acceleration and braking, as well as transversal acceleration around bends. These forces are represented by the movement of an indicator on a graduated 3D grid depending on the direction and intensity of the acceleration.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 197966

The gauge cluster is housed in a curved structure milled from a solid piece of aluminum that’s protected by a carbon fiber-plated case. The center console, with the customary handle on the passenger’s side, is covered in carbon fiber. The top part, where the two central air vents sit, is covered in leather as the rest of the top of the dash. Below, there’s a screen and the Lamborghini lettering with chromed letters.

The military green Alcantara used on the center of the seats is also present on the transmission tunnel and the headliner. The ’Reventon’ name is written in the door panel upholstery with white letters.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 197967
As you'd expect, the Reventon has pretty bad exterior visibility especially when we talk about rear visibility.

As with other Lambos, your best bet is opening the scissor door, sit on the door sill, and look behind yourself. The narrow, but wide side mirrors aren’t of much help and, frankly, you’re a bit in trouble if you’re shorter. The Reventon isn’t a daily driver although Lamborghini says it can be daily-driven and that it won’t let you down like its predecessors.

Drivetrain

  • Drivetrain is lifted straight off the Murcielago LP640 with no modifications
  • Almost 400 pounds lighter than the Murcielago LP640
  • 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12
  • 642 horsepower
  • 487 pound-feet of torque
  • 6-speed e-gear semi-automatic transmission with flappy paddles
  • RWD
  • Rop speed of 211 mph
  • 0 to 62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds
2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239920

There are no novelties under the skin of the Reventon. Everything you get on an LP640 you’ll find here, with 10 added horsepower. Granted, Lamborghini says that the Reventon cuts its way better through the air which is proved by the car’s top speed of 221 mph, about 8 mph more than the LP640.

That shouty V-12 behind the seats develops, as you can guess, 650 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 487 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm.

All the power of the engine is sent through a 6-speed Lamborghini-developed e-Gear semi-automatic transmission with paddle shifters to all four wheels. Each of them receives power with help from the viscous traction system. Besides a 221 mph top speed, the Reventon boasts with a 0 to 62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds.

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 215010

The suspension is by hydraulic shock absorbers over coaxial coil springs with dual front and rear struts, anti-roll, anti-dive and anti-squat bars at all four corners. Steering is mechanical, but assisted, of the rack-and-pinion kind. The self-ventilated disc brakes are made out of carbon fiber with six-piston calipers up front.

The Reventon has a bit more power than a Zonda F, but the Pagani has a much lower curb weight of just 2,710 pounds compared to the 3,670 pounds of the Lambo. Of course, there’s no AWD system on the Pagani but this didn’t stop the Clubsport version from lapping the Nordschleife in just 7:24.7 seconds.

Lamborghini Reventon specifications
Engine Naturally-aspirated, DOHC, 48-valve, 6.5-liter, 60-degree, V-12 with a light-alloy block
Lubrication Dry sump
Fuel feed Lamborghini LIE electronic engine control unit, multipoint, sequential timed
Compression ratio 11.0:1
Suspension 4-wheel independent articulated quadrilateral system. Hydraulic shock absorbers and coaxial coil springs. Suspension with dual front and rear struts, anti-roll, anti-dive and anti-squat bar.
Steering: Mechanical rack-and-pinion, assisted
Brakes 4 self-ventilated rotors with pedal control, hydraulic transmission with dual independent circuits, one for each axle with vacuum servo
Top speed 220 mph
0 to 60 mph 3.4 seconds
Weight 3,670 pounds

Pricing

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239910

At launch, back in 2007, Lamborghini announced that each of the 20 Reventons will cost about $1,51 million. In spite of the financial crisis that hit, the car’s price went up, some of them selling for as much as $2.5 million in years to come. However, more recently, the asking price for one of the 19 examples out there - one is in Lambo’s museum - has gone down.

In fact, there was one example for sale at just $1.3 million and, now, Joe Macari in the U.K. sells a roadster version, of which just 15 were made, with roughly the same money although the roadster had an MSRP back in 2010 of $2.1 million. It’s clear that the Reventon is a very niche product.

Competition

Pagani Zonda Roadster F

2006 Pagani Zonda Roadster F
- image 54938

The Zonda Roadster F was launched in 2006 and featured a removable carbon fiber roof section while the Mercedes-Benz-sourced V-12 engine was made to develop 640 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. A couple of dozen of these exotics were slated for production originally although more were built on order. The amazing thing about it is that, although the roof comes off, the Pagani works were able to keep the weight identical to that of the Pagani Zonda S Coupe by not strengthening the sills and, instead, deciding to toughen-up the firewall and linking it with billet alloy braces that connected the points where the roof rails would have joined.

If you’re wondering, the F in the Roadster F’s (and standard F’s) name comes from the name of Juan-Manuel Fangio, five-time World Driver’s Champion in the Formula 1 World Championship for Ferrari, Mercedes, Alfa-Romeo and Maserati. The Roadster F extracted its power from the same 7.3-liter version of the V-12 bespoke Mercedes unit as the standard F but upped the ante with almost 40 more horsepower and more torque.

Read our full review on the 2006 Pagani Zonda Roadster F

Aston-Martin One-77

2012 Aston Martin One-77 Exterior
- image 379283

The Aston-Martin One-77 was, at the time of its launch in 2009, the fastest road car ever built by Aston-Martin. It had a price tag of $1.7 million in today’s money and was powered by a 7.3-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 that developed 750 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, all transmitted to the wheels through a 6-speed automated manual gearbox.

The One-77, the name is a nod to the fact that only 77 examples were built, features a bespoke carbon fiber monocoque wrapped by an aluminum body. The DOHC, 48-valve engine, touted by Aston-Martin at the time as ’the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever made’ gets the car from a standing start to 62 mph in just under 4 seconds while the top speed is 220 mph. The One-77 has 120 horsepower on the BMW-engined McLaren F1 that still has a faster top speed since the front-engined One-77 weighs 3,594 pounds, over 1,000 pounds more than the McLaren.

The One-77 is a very exclusive car and, right after the production run ended and all cars had been sold, a dealer tried to sell one for neigh on $3.0 million. Currently, you’ll need about $2.3 million to buy one.

Read our full review on the 2012 Aston-Martin One-77

Conclusion

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 793520

The Lamborghini Reventon is, without a shadow of a doubt, an extreme machine, at least from the outside. It features an outlandish design that was further pushed by another limited-edition Lamborghini, the Veneno and, most recently, the Centenario. You can’t deny that the airplane-inspired design is interesting although many don’t like the Pikachu ear-shaped headlights.

Obviously, 10 years on, there are hypercars out there, including Lambo’s own Aventador, with bucketloads of power on top of what the Aventador offers but this Lamborghini is interesting because it’s one of the last with the original style of scissor doors and, also, it’s one of the rarest.

Take into consideration also that the color on this car is pretty much unique and, given its jet fighter credentials, you could slide past some gates and get it on an airstrip, at least, if your name is Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who bought one of these at the time. It still comes with all the disadvantages of old mid-engine Lamborghinis since rear-view cameras were a few years away still so you’ll have to look funny when backing up, not only upon ingress and egress. Then again, looking funny while getting out of a car that’s worth over $1 million can’t be that bad.

  • Leave it
    • Maybe not the most appealing mid-engined V-12 Lamborghini ever
    • Performance figures make the car feel much more outdated than the design does
    • While not as expensive as it once was, you still need boatloads of cash to buy one
Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
About the author

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