The Aventador, Lamborghini's replacement for the Murcielago, has arrived. Predictably, it's an absolutely stunning machine, with eye-popping looks, jaw-slackening performance and an engine that delivers more drama than the Royal Shakespear Company. It represents the ultimate Lamborghini in the current range and will certainly pique the interest of the richer-than-thou minority who are after a new super car. Pay close attention if you see one, because they will be a rare sight. The standard Aventador costs £242,280.
Lamborghini doesn’t do subtle and this car is all the better for it. With cars like the Murcielago, Diablo and Countach as its predecessors the Aventador was never going to be anything less than stunning. It is comically low to the ground, pointy and wedgy in all the right places and fantastically aggressive. It’s more tidy than the Murcielago though, thanks mainly to the absence of a rear wing. Only someone without a soul or a heartbeat could fail to love the way this car looks; it has an almost overwhelming presence and standing next to it is not unlike being up close and personal with god. Probably.
If you buy supercars because of their practicality then you ought to have your brain examined, but in the interests of being thorough, we should tell you the Aventador isn’t too bad given its size. They may look flash but the scissor doors do make it easier to get in, especially given how low the car is. They also make it easy to park next to other cars -- just watch they don’t hit the roof in multi-storey car parks.
There are only two seats, of course, but both provide you with reasonable room. The driving position is much better than older Lamborghinis, although headroom isn’t especially generous. There is a boot up front but it isn’t massive and will only swallow a medium-sized suitcase. There are a few storage spaces in the cabin but you’ll want to travel light.
Performance & handling
To say the Aventador's performance and handling are excellent would be the understatement of the century. Underneath the transparent engine cover lies a 6.5-litre V12 that, despite having the same configuration as Lamborghini's old 6.5-litre V12, is brand-new. It pumps out 691bhp, making it the most powerful road-going Lamborghini every made, and that power is channelled to all four wheels through a seven-speed automated manual gearbox.
As you’d expect, the performance is absolutely mesmeric. Use the launch control function and the Aventador will demolish the 0-62mph sprint in only 2.9 seconds. Keep your foot pinned to the floor and in around 30 seconds the speedometer will be reading 217mph. The numbers are only half the story though, because that massive V12 is feels and sounds very much alive. It's like a caged animal, with a whole range of sounds that will send shivers up your spine.
The same goes for the handling. Press on and you can feel the four-wheel drive helping you out, but it’s worth remembering it is still rear-biased and will flick out its tail if you abuse it – just like a Lambo should. That said, once the Aventador is surprisingly easy to pilot once you settle down.
Economy & environment
It's best not think too much about the environment or your wallet when you’re browsing through an Aventador brochure. The new engine is more efficient than before, but don’t expect to get the seal of approval from Greenpeace. This is a thirsty CO2-coughing car however gently you drive it.
However it’s unlikely you’ll be driving it every day (even though you could) and so it might actually produce less CO2 over the course of a year than an ordinary car. Yes, we know we're clutching at straws here.
Equipment & value
Quite rightly, a car costing almost a quarter of a million pounds should be well equipped, and the Aventador is exactly that. You’ll get electric everything, sat-nav, climate control, a rear parking camera and fine leather to sit on. There are no trim designations, so the one Aventador model gets you most things. There are a few options, but these tend to be more about personalisation. Metallic paint being a £1,000 option is a little galling, though.
On the one hand you could argue that no car costing £242,000 could ever be good value, but a 200mph supercar with a carbonfibre chassis, four-wheel drive, carbon ceramic brakes and a newly-developed V12 engine is never going to be cheap.
Binning your Lamborghini is not something you want to think about, but the aforementioned carbonfibre chassis, four wheel drive, carbon ceramic brakes are all reassuring. It even has ESP, which will surely come in handy at one point or another.
Supercars like the Aventador are all about making fantasy into reality, and if you’ve ever dreamed of what it would be like to own a hyper car then this car will tick every single box. It is a stunning piece of automotive sculpture that is a joy to look at even when standing still, it is packed with technology and is thoroughly modern yet still manages to maintain the aura of madness that makes Lamborghinis so appealing.
The Aventador has few serious competitors. Next to this, McLaren’s stunning MP4-12C seems almost mundane, and Ferrari’s 458 Italia can't match the drama. It’s all a matter of taste at this end of the pricing scale, but to dismiss the Aventador would be to miss out on a truly special Lamborghini.
Model tested: Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
Engine: 6.5-litre V-12 petrol
Acceleration: 0-62 in 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 217mph
Emissions: 398g/km CO2