What is it?
Lamborghini’s V12 replacement for the ageing Murciélago supercar, the Aventador is a big, low, squat and wide monster from the old school. Sporting a mid-mounted 6.5-litre V12, a 0–62mph time under three seconds and a 217mph top speed, this is the meanest car in Lamborghini’s current range, built using a carbon-fibre monocoque and draped with aluminium and CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic) panels. There’s a four-wheel drive, bespoke ISR 7spd paddleshift transmission and bodywork that scares small children. We love it dearly.
Three modes exist in the Aventador driving experience, all worked from adjustments to the car’s centre differential: Strada (road), Sport (er… sport) and Corsa (race). Strada is full of lazy gearchanges from the seven-speed ISR ’box and relaxed – as relaxed as the Aventador ever gets – suspension settings, throwing up understeer more often then not. Sport is the best compromise, allowing a little slip from the rear and snappier changes, while Corsa is a full-on track mode which smashes gearchanges and turns the Aventador into a lunging, scary, smoky monster.
The Graziano gearbox is new: ISR (Independent Shifting Rods) works a bit like a DSG, meaning that shift times in Corsa-mode can be as low as 50 milliseconds. The brakes are exceptional carbon-ceramics, hauling the 1,700kg car down from three-figure speeds without fuss, the steering is positive and accurate and the body control fabulous. But it never feels small and – one would assume – will be a bugger to parallel park.
On the inside
Proper science fiction from Lambo means that the interior is a properly exciting place. Up front, there’s a digital dash that apes traditional dials, but can be configured to whatever spec you fancy, a pair of sports seats that are surprisingly comfy, and a starter button accessed under a big red ‘bombs away’-type arming flap.
There’s a distinct lack of anywhere to store anything – but who really cares? Plus there’s a front boot that should swallow a large soft bag should you be overnighting somewhere that requires fresh underwear. Which, given how fast the Aventador is on the road, you probably will need.
Remarkably, the Aventador has ‘gone green’ for 2013. It has both engine stop-start and cylinder deactivation (turning V12 into straight six), which helps improve economy by up to 20 per cent: officially, it’s 7 per cent better, now returning 17.6mpg. Lamborghini’s range-topper is currently looking at an 18-month waiting list – meaning premiums on used examples – even with a list price of £247,698 But the Aventador is a proper piece of street theatre – you’re doing the world a favour by driving it around and showing it off …