• Lamborghini Aventador
    The Lamborghini Aventador replaced the long-lived Murcielago
  • The 'Y' graphic in the headlights is a standout design feature
  • Five-spoke alloy wheels measure 19in at the front and 20in at the rear
  • The Aventador is surprisingly refined, most of the time
  • The Aventador's dials look like they've been lifted from a fighter jet
  • With a long enough straight, the Aventador will reach 217mph
  • The old Bizzarrini V12 has been replaced by an all-new unit
  • The Aventador may look more dramatic than other recent Lambos, but most of the time it is undramatic to drive
  • The Aventador feels more mature but more usable than the Murcielago
  • Few would argue that the Aventador is one of the wildest-looking cars currently on sale

Unlike the Murciélago, which was a highly evolved Diablo, the Aventador is entirely new, so Lamborghini has taken the opportunity to sit down and draw up what appears to be the dream supercar specification. Full carbonfibre monocoque? Check. Clean-sheet 6.5-litre V12 motor? What else? Race-derived pushrod suspension? Natch.

But it wouldn’t be a Lamborghini without looks as distracting to motorists as an Eva Herzigova Wonderbra billboard. Design in-house by Lamborghini Centro Stile, its shape alone is all that some will need to be convinced it’s a good place to park a quarter of a million readies. It includes a deployable rear spoiler and also huge cooling vents that emerge from its flanks when the variably valve timed, quad-cam, 48-valve motor threatens to overheat.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The car’s transparent engine cover looks incredibly cool, as it should for the £5000-odd it costs

The gearbox is a robotised seven-speed manual with, says Lamborghini, the quickest shift ever to be achieved from such a configuration. The company says it chose it over a dual-clutch automatic system like that now favoured by Ferrari because it is both lighter and more compact. There is no three-pedal option.

Power flows through the gearbox to all four corners of the car in a ratio governed by a central Haldex coupling. There’s an electronically controlled differential at the front and a mechanically locking item between the rear wheels.

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