With their badass fighter plane looks, state-of-the-art components, high-tech electronic driving/riding aids and gobs of power, the Aventador (for drivers) and the ZX-10R (for riders) are some of today's most ridiculously impressive machines. These marvels of engineering are designed to ignite passion, deliver mind-boggling thrills and satisfy our deepest, wildest urges.
Sure, one costs $412,000 more than the other (an undeniable advantage for the two-wheeler), but it isn't completely illogical to try to compare them in terms of technology and overall performance ... is it?
Aventador: tech on four wheels
With its oversized body, oversized wheels and extremely low driving position, the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador feels a little awkward on the road. And when you throw in a 6.5L V12 that deploys 700 furious ponies, it becomes immediately obvious that this fire-breather needs to be tamed on the track first. Nimbler than its predecessor, the Aventador is also lighter thanks to a carbon fibre coque. Lamborghini's engineers made every effort to ensure their latest masterpiece was less bestial than the Murciélago.
With its oversized body, oversized wheels and extremely low driving position, the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador feels a little awkward on the road. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Auto123.com)
Much less complicated and physically demanding to drive, the Aventador benefits from the latest technological doodads when it comes to electronic driving aids: traction and stability control, ABS brakes, 7-speed robotized gearbox, adjustable exhaust valve and launch control. This comprehensive arsenal allows you to tear up the track without the risk of having to take out a second mortgage on the house.
ZX-10R: tech on two wheels
With a confining riding position, an ultra stiff suspension and 197 hp punched out at 13,000 rpm, the ZX-10R doesn't inspire confidence on the road either, and indeed it's mainly designed for the track. Like its impromptu rival, the ZX-10R benefits from all the know-how its engineers could muster in terms of electronics, suspension management and horsepower. Sophisticated frame, phenomenal power, a very nearly sentient Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), S-KRTC traction control and menacing looks: the ZX-10R is a worthy representative of the two-wheel genre.
Like the Aventador, the ZX-10R is much easier to live with than its predecessor, which was known for its sometimes overly aggressive personality. The new-generation 4-cylinder that motivates the Kawasaki is characterized by greater availability and a more linear delivery of power. The same goes for the frame. The ZX-10R emphasizes efficiency and accessibility. And like its Italian opponent, but for a different reason, the electronic riding aids allow the average Joe to have a little fun at the track without worrying about going home in a full body cast.
One minute we're straddling a 30-degree banked granite incline, stones pinging off the car's undercladding, the next we're chasing a Porsche 911 around a FIA-certified racetrack featuring corners modeled after some of the world's most challenging circuits.