Inside the Lamborghini Veneno, the world’s most expensive production car

The Lamborghini Veneno is, without a doubt, one of the most radical, high-performance sports cars to ever hit the automotive scene. It’s angular, high-tech design turned heads when it was first introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The limited-production car series was developed to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary and what a gift it was to collectors. Only nine roadsters and five coupes were produced by the Italian automobile manufacturer between 2013 and 2015. The Veneno debuted with a starting price tag of $4 million, making it one of the most expensive cars ever produced.

The ultimate road-legal racing car

Lamborghini pushed the boundaries when it developed the Veneno Coupe and the Veneno Roadster. The company’s goal was to create the ultimate racing prototype in a car built for the road. Everything about the car screams performance. The car’s radical angular design was developed to direct cooling air into the engine compartment. It also improves the downforce, which aids in handling and stability even when cornering at the car’s maximum 1.4G. The sleek and smooth underbody, along with the car’s crisp lines, help direct airflow under and over the car, reducing drag.  Consequently, the Veneno has an extremely low wind resistance allowing it to accelerate to 100 mph in a mind-blowing 2.9 seconds.

Light in weight, heavy in power

Carbon fiber plays heavily in the lightweight design of the Veneno Coupe and the Veneno Roadster, which has a dry weight of 3,278 pounds. All exterior parts and the monocoque are made from a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), which is visible in the central tunnel and door sills of the car.  Even the interior is dominated by carbon-fiber with the cockpit, a part of the seats, and the headliner all covered with futuristic CarbonSkin, a high-tech, woven carbon-fiber fabric. The carbon-fiber clad interior makes the Veneno look stunning both on the inside and out. Lamborghini incorporated carbon fiber not only for aesthetics but also for raw performance. Thanks to its lightweight chassis, the Veneno Roadster packs a punch with a power-to-weight ratio of just 4.38 lbs/hp, which contributes to the car’s ability to scream down the highway at a top speed of 221 mph.

A twist on a familiar design

Lamborghini borrowed heavily from the Aventador when it developed the Veneno Coupe and Roadster. Not only is the interior inspired by the Aventador, but the engine in the Veneno is based on the 6.5-liter V12 monster found in the Aventador. The Lamborghini engine packs a whopping 750HP of power at 8400RPM. The Veneno is also equipped with Lamborghini’s 7-speed, semi-automatic Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) transmission, which shifts fifty percent faster than competing dual-clutch transmissions.  New to the Veneno transmission is a track setting designed for optimal performance on a race track.

An auctioneers dream

Most, but not all, of the Veneno models are tucked safely away in the collections of wealthy car enthusiasts. A few models of this Lamborghini showpiece, though, have landed on the auction block. In 2019, an off-white and cream-colored Veneno Roadster sold for a whopping $8.3-million at an auction held by Bonhams in Switzerland. This particular Roadster was number seven of the nine that rolled off Lamborghini’s limited production line. It was initially purchased by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. The car was seized in 2016 by Swiss authorities during an investigation into Mangue, who was accused of money laundering and mismanagement of public funds. Police not only confiscated the Veneno Roadster, but also acquired Mangue’s other luxury automobiles, including a Koenigsegg One:1, Ferrari LaFerrari, Aston Martin One-77, and a Bugatti Veyron.  All of the high-performance sports cars were sold at auction as part of a settlement between Mangue and the Swiss government. Proceeds from the sale went to a charity to help the people of Equatorial Guinea.

A second Veneno Roadster became available in a high-profile Sotheby’s auction in 2020. This model, number two of the nine that were produced, had a striking matte black exterior with mile green pinstriping and matching black and lime green leather interior. Dubbed the batmobile because of its ominous color, this specific Veneno Roadster was hardly driven. It had a mere 280 miles on the odometer and was in like-new condition inside and out. Originally purchased by a member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the car was sold to a collector before making its way to the auction block.

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