Back in March at the Geneva Motor Show, the phrase on everybody’s lips was “hybrid hypercars.” The Ferrari LaFerrari and a production-ready version of the McLaren P1 were the centers of attention at their respective makers’ displays (if not the show as a whole). Two months later Porsche pulled the wraps off the production specification 918 Spyder. All three of these mid-engine marvels feature powerful gasoline-chugging engines mated to hybrid electric drive systems designed to both increase fuel efficiency and provide extra on-demand power in short bursts. They are, in other words, responsible road rockets.
Lamborghini, on the other hand, has exactly zero interest in joining this touchy-feely (by exotic car standards) trio, and instead created the Veneno, a Le Mans prototype-inspired, Aventador-based hellion that’s far more interested in polar moments of inertia than polar bears. Sadly, even if you have a net worth enormous enough to absorb the roughly $3.9 million asking price, you can’t buy one; only three Veneno coupes were made, and all three were snapped up faster than you can say “The.” However, Lamborghini has had a change of heart, and is extending the Veneno’s production run exponentially. But be warned: There are some noteworthy catches.
The first and most obvious catch is the fact that this is the Veneno Roadster. Sure, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of an open-top version of the Veneno, especially if it retains the coupe’s big rear wing, dorsal fin and other aero appendages. But when we say the Veneno Roadster is open-top, we mean it has no top; there’s no latch-on composite panel or folding fabric toupee or anything like that, and there are no provisions for any kind of roof. Basically, if you get caught in a sudden rain shower and want to stay dry, you have two options: Put on a parka, or drive so fast the water flies over the cockpit.
And you’ll definitely be able to go fast enough to keep the rain out (whether or not you should do so is a different story) thanks to the screaming 6.5L V12 engine that’s shared with the enclosed Veneno. It’s rated at the same 740 horsepower, and is connected to the same 7-speed single-clutch paddle-shift transmission and all-wheel-drive system. Even the claimed 220 mph top speed is the same as the coupe. The only real performance stat we can spot that’s different for the roadster is the 0-62 mph acceleration time which, at 2.9 seconds, is a fraction of a tick of the watch slower than the coupe.
So what are the other big downsides to the Veneno Roadster? Well, it will retail for about $4.5 million, and it will be made in very limited numbers. But wait, you say, didn’t we mention that the roadster will expand the Veneno’s numbers exponentially? Well, yes; Lamborghini plans to build no more than nine Veneno Roadsters, which is the number of Veneno coupes made squared. Lamborghini makes no mention of the roadster being sold out, but even if you get your order in today, we have a feeling you might already be too late.