If you’re going to drive a new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, especially when clad in the optional vivid Arancia Argos paint, you should slap a couple of accident black spot roundels on its flanks.

As a thing to drive, the Aventador is as safe as anyone could reasonably expect a 691bhp supercar with sub-3.0sec 0-62mph capability to be, but as a device to distract other drivers from the road ahead, its powers may be unprecedented. You might never crash yourself, but you’re going to see plenty.

Senior contributing writer
The Aventador is pitched against the likes of Ferrari's F12

But is this not exactly what owners seek from such a car? Is a Lamborghini Aventador, like its forefathers the Murciélago, Diablo and Countach, not an attention-seeking device first and a thoroughbred driving machine second?

Maybe, but that doesn’t mean its existence is not to be celebrated. Among mainstream production cars – which excludes esoteric models such as Paganis and Koenigseggs built in single or double-digit numbers – the Aventador now stands alone.

Although the Aventador is laden with state-of-the-art technology, at its heart it remains a supercar of the old school, a massively wide, impossibly low machine powered by a outrageously powerful and classic normally aspirated V12 – words that would have applied no less accurately to the Countach at its first public showing more than 40 years ago.

Lamborghini also offers an Aventador Roadster variant, as well as the coupé, with a two-piece carbonfibre targa top weighing just 6kg that can be removed and stored in the Aventador’s nose.

Outlandish looks aren't all that's required of a supercar, however, and the Aventador has some seriously competent rivals in the form of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, McLaren 12C and Mercedes-Benz SLS. Does it do enough to justify consideration? Let's find out.