By IOL Motoring Staff

Monterey, California - The undoubted star of the Quail Motorsports Gathering at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster.

The Centenario project was created to honour the 100th anniversary of Ferrucio Lamborghini's birth, starting with the Coupé and continuing with the Roadster, shown in public for the first time at the weekend.

But it’s not simply a Coupé with its roof sawed off; although they share a platform and running gear, the Roadster's styling more closely echoes the original Countach with its clean, sensuous monobody profile and short overhangs.

Like the Coupé, it's built on a carbon-fibre monocoque clothed in carbon-fibre body panels, featuring an extending rear wing that's integrated into the body at low speeds and then extends rearwards by 150mm at high speeds and rotates up to 15 degrees for optimum downforce.

The Centenario models share the most powerful engine yet made by Lamborghini, a naturally aspirated V12 with its rev limit raised from 8350rpm to 8600rpm, for a quoted output of 566kW.

The Roadster weighs in at only 1570kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 360kW per ton; Lamborghini quotes a 0-100 launch time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 350km/h.

Four-wheel steering

It runs adaptive suspension with electromagnetically variable damping, carbon ceramic brakes and four-wheel dynamic steering. At low speeds the rear wheels turn away from the front wheels to tighten the turning circle, while at high speed they turn in the same direction to improve stability, as well as steering response.

The show car is finished in a special matte silver paint formulated using a high-tech process that dissolves the metal and reduces grain size for a silky finish. Customers can, however, specify any colour and finish they want from Lamborghini's Ad Personam portfolio.

The same goes for the interior; a 25cm infotainment touchscreen allows you to surf the net, connect to e-mail, web radio and social media, as well as the full Apple CarPlay menu. It also has a telemetry function that records speeds, lap times, lateral and G forces, as well as onboard video using two built-in cameras.

The show car is trimmed in light brown alcantara synthetic suede with white leather insets, stitching and piping, with detailed cross-stitching on the seats, dashboard and rocker cover - but customers can raid the Ad Personam catalogue to create their own cabin trim.

As with Centenario Coupé, only 20 Roadsters will be made, at a base price of €2 million (R30.77 million) each ex factory - but all 40 Centenario models are already sold.

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