The Lamborghini Veneno, a LeMans race car for the road
Automobili Lamborghini SpA was founded by the late Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963, so when 2013 came around, there was a significant celebration on hand, the 50th Anniversary of the company, and they just couldn’t let that slide by without a big bang, and in fact, there were multiple ‘big’ events throughout 2013, most notably the Grande Giro, a road trip over Italian country roads in a convoy of over 350 Lamborghini car, ranging from the very early 350 GT over the legendary Miura and Countach, right up to the Aventador, even the at that time brand new Aventador Roadster took part, but there were also some special ‘celebration’ models unveiled in 2013.
One of them was the Aventador LP720-4 50th anniversary edition, limited to just 100 Coupe and 100 Roadster, and they even had a bespoke color for this special limited-edition model, Giallo Maggio, a pearlescent yellow paint that looked amazing, it was also the first time the Q-Citura stitching became available on the Lamborghini Aventador since its reveal in 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show, but the LP720-4 celebration model wasn’t introduced until April at the Shanghai Auto Show, so what was shown at the 2013 Geneva International Motor show you might ask … well, that would be the Lamborghini Veneno.
And this is where things get interesting, only three units of the Lamborghini Veneno were available to customers, at €3,000,000 each before taxes, and it gets better, all three cars were sold ‘sight unseen’, none of the customers saw the car before the unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show I was told, but that’s not even all, apparently, they had 24 hours to wire a 10% deposit to secure their spot, back in 2013 that €300,000 was about the full MSRP price of an Aventador LP700-4, to even get your name on the order form, in the end, two cars were sold to customers in the United States, the Veneno Rosso, and the Veneno Verde, while the third one, the Veneno Bianca was sold to a client from the Middle-East, who was rumored to be the same owner that bought the one-off Aventador J back in 2012.
So you’ve just spent €300,000 as a deposit on a car you’ve never seen before, and you couldn’t even choose your own color, each of the three Veneno sold to customers was finished in Metalluro, a kind of silver metallic paint, but that shade really made all the intricate details of the Lamborghini Veneno stand out, especially with the amount of clear carbon fiber on the exterior, and interior of this ‘few-off’ model, the show car in Geneva remained the property of Automobili Lamborghini SpA and was similar to the Veneno Rosso sold to a US customer, recognizable by the red Pirelli livery on the tires, and the red pinstripe on the bottom of the front bumper, side sills, rear diffuser, including the vertical fins, and the massive rear wing with the roof mounted air intake and central strut. On the Veneno Verde these parts were finished in green, this car was sold to another US customer while the Veneno Bianca had the white livery.
And rumor has it the customer of the Veneno Bianca wasn’t too impressed with the car when he, or she, saw it for the first time, and refused the delivery, forfeiting his €300,000 downpayment. If this is true or an urban legend, I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is that the Veneno Bianca has been for sale for a long time, traveled all over the world, and is rumored to still be for sale at the time of writing, now located in Germany, as far as I know only the Veneno Verde is still with the original owner as the Veneno Rosso also seems to have been sold recently, mind you, the owner of the Rosso also got a white Veneno Roadster afterward.
This brings us to the Veneno Roadster, revealed later on, and when Automobili Lamborghini SpA noticed they sold out the three Veneno LP750-4 Coupe within hours, they decided to build nine Roadster versions, this time at €3,300,000 each, presented in a stunning red metallic that reminded me of the 2012 Aventador J, and just like that one-off, the Veneno Roadster didn’t have a roof, this was a true Barchetta style supercar, Lamborghini didn’t even bother designing a roof for it, it just wasn’t there … and I’ve seen several photos of a Veneno Roadster where the occupants had large umbrellas as a roof when the car was driven or unloaded during a rainy day.
But it wasn’t as easy as they imagined selling all nine Veneno Roadsters at that price, most of them sold quickly, but I do remember the last two taking some time, but one of the final Veneno Roadsters built was truly something special, I’ve been fortunate to see that car in person before the owner even collected it, so I wasn’t allowed to publish photographs of it, but since then the car has been put up for sale at a showroom in the Middle-East, what was so special about this car was the fact it was a Lamborghini Veneno Roadster with a clear carbon fiber body with a satin finish. Remember this was before the Centenario could be ordered with a glossy clear carbon fiber body as a €300,000 option.
So what was so special about these three Veneno Coupes and nine Veneno Roadsters? For one the production numbers are a source of confusion, as in total, not 12 units exist, but 14 … which is easily explained, Automobili Lamborghini built one Veneno Coupe and one Veneno Roadster for themselves, a kind of production zero test mule, these were never intended to be sold to clients and ended up in the official Museo at one time, while just three Veneno Coupe were sold to customers and nine Veneno Roadster, so 12 units ‘on the market’ worldwide.
Another interesting detail was the three toggle switches on the central console, hidden underneath covers that were finished in the Italian Tricolore colors, red, white, and green, it was a secret what these switches actually did, and the function of one of them might be an indication on why some people call the Veneno a Lamborghini LeMans race car, as one switch is rumored to limit the Veneno’s speed to ‘pitlane speed’, see, this was always intended to be a race car based on the Aventador chassis.
So the 6.5-Liter NA V12 of the Lamborghini Veneno was also derived from the Aventador LP700-4 at that time, but because of the Veneno’s LP750-4 naming we know the total power output wasn’t 700 hp as on the Aventador at that time, but 750 hp, which would later also become the power output for the Aventador Super Veloce, the SV variant, another limited-production model from 2015, but I’ve heard from the owner of the Veneno Verde that despite having the same amount of power as the Super Veloce, the Veneno driving experience is completely different, the latter feels a whole lot faster compared to the Aventador counterpart, and let’s face it, a Lamborghini Veneno looks as wild as it gets … just like a Lamborghini should, but with just 12 units in the entire world, expect to pay well over the original MSRP if you are looking to add a Veneno to your collection, if you can even find one of the three Coupe for sale that is, a Roadster might be easier to source as usually at least one is for sale somewhere in the world.