I was under the impression that buying a wrecked supercar and fixing it up is a bad idea, but that's not exactly true. Buying a wrecked Lamborghini
and trying to fix it, while upgrading it, isn't the smartest thing to do, it turns out. You see, Lambos, unlike other makes, aren't "overbuilt" as much as many would think, or quite as much as they should be. The Ford GT didn't have those issues, it was so overbuilt and so well designed (40+ yrs of design into that single platform, FYI) that it handles forced induction (and 80-100% more torque) with minimal alterations, largely just a better cooling system and a more heavy-duty diff. I'm sure there's more, but those are the two major things.
Likely if I'd stopped at simply restoring it, things would have been great, at least for a while. Even the suspension, exhaust, and drivetrain upgrades were fine. After reworking the heads, larger crank, billet hemi pistons, and more robust headers, we gained a solid 80-90hp. That would have been a good place to stop, but I didn't, and after adding 7lbs of boost (x2) lots of little things started going (warped 2 valves, broke a belt, seized the oil pump, etc.), until we finally snapped the front driveshaft (it's an AWD car), not deterred, we replaced all those parts with much beefier forged or titanium replacements. Let me tell you, titanium components are expensive (conrods, bearings, driveshafts, valves). Then, of course, the transmission had to be gutted and rebuilt w/ forged carbide-alloy gears, and 1300ft/lb two-stage, carbide-titanium locking rear differential and stronger clutch plates. To make this shorter, I'll just say that we could come close to rebuilding an Aventador drivetrain with what we removed, provided the part isn't already broken. The car ended up gaining ~60lbs, but that's not bad at all, ATC. My initial dollar estimate for the rebuild was off... by close to 75%, not counting the MoTeC EM system and custom fab work that my business partner did himself, which would have been in the 10s of 1000s of dollars. Underground Racing has a summary on their site of what they do to build a TT Aventador, and they're way off, at least in terms of something that will last for more than a few months. I sincerely hope they're simply omitting some parts for brevity, otherwise their customers are getting hosed.
However, now I can say, with a reasonable amount of certainty, that the Beast is sorted out (we're still working on a name). We don't have an AWD dyno, though we're getting one soon, so what we'd done was test with the front driveshaft disconnected, which worked fine, ATC. So we finally took the car to tune it at a friend's shop, making sure his dyno would handle it, of course (it does). The way the system in that car works is the power goes to the rear wheels, until there's slip, then as much as 20% of the power goes to the front to correct under or oversteer, so you always have traction, but it's not really like most other AWD systems (the Ferrari FF is similar). So eventually we worked up to full pulls, setting fuel/air and compression (staying within pump gas and E85 requirements), and we got a total of 1225whp and 1466 at the crank @9250RPMs. And it'll do it every time, all the time, all day long. We set-up multiple fuel profiles; street, sport, track, and valet (which is a slower throttle response and a 5500 RPM rev limit). In track mode, it'll go from idle to new redline in .5 seconds, and shift time is reduced by >30%. Surprisingly, we didn't ruin street driving, provided you set it to "strada" or valet, and the auto mode is still intact, and is even more smooth now. While we were at it, we upgraded the AC compressor too, since the factory unit was a little anemic. Though I'm not mentioning them, there were lots of little changes, but again, what the hell? If you're in for 90 cents, might as well throw in the whole dollar.
Today we went to the track, which I'll talk about more in-depth in a minute, and we also took the Ford GT for comparison. That's nearly 3000bhp from two cars. Seriously. We had some nice conditions today; 20C, low wind, lots of sun, so I was able to make the most of it. Times: 0-60mph in 2.17sec (w/ launch control), 1/4mi in 9.19 (GT in 9.4 dead, which is great for a stick), 1/2mi in 13.3, and on the big oval, I got up to 218mph according to readout (GPS claims 215) on the back stretch and still had 2700RPM to redline. I didn't go any faster, because the aerodynamics of the car haven't been modified very much, just a minor change to the front spoiler. Lamborghini says the top speed for the stock chassis is 225, so I still had a little cushion. The main thing to take away from it is the stability. It felt very calm, even over 200. When I backed off, it wasn't because the car felt bad, it was because I chose to (and my wife was with me). I'll feel better about it after I've had it longer and gotten more accustomed to how it handles and feels. It's a big car, at least in width, which for that type of thing is something it has going for it. The only fault all day was a little temperature problem after an hour on the road course, we can fix that, and fuel economy... which at high speed was down to 4mpg.
Frankly, the GT did every bit as well, though its RWD didn't feel quite as stable on the track. It has 90% of the grunt of the other at the same weight, so it's not a slouch at all. If anything, it felt more nimble at lower speeds (though it's not quite as well-mannered on the road). Both are truly awesome cars and we had an amazing time.Edited by Magick Man - 3/16/13 at 11:35pm