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.

Top 5 Supercars

  • Ferrari 458
    The radical-looking, mid-engined V8 Ferrari 458 oozes supercar charm

    Ferrari 458

    1
  • McLaren 650S
    The McLaren 650S is much faster and more exciting to drive than the regular 12C

    McLaren 650S

    2
  • The Huracán is the successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo

    Lamborghini Huracán

    3
  • Lamborghini Aventador
    The Lamborghini Aventador replaced the long-lived Murcielago

    Lamborghini Aventador

    4
  • Noble M600
    The Noble M600 might lack the pedigree of a Ferrari, but it is a wonderful drivers' car

    Noble M600

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    12 February 2016
    The slick-looking three-door Hyundai i20 makes sense for those who want safe dynamics and cheap insurance, but otherwise there are alternatives that are much more fun to drive
  • Mercedes GLC 220 d
    First Drive
    11 February 2016
    We try Mercedes' entry-level 220 d GLC on UK roads. It's cheaper to buy than the 250 d, but is it the better-value choice?
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    Our continued thirst for anything and everything SUV prompts Hyundai to launch this new i20 Active. We drive it on UK roads
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    Fourth-generation Prius promises yet-better eco credentials and a new dose of driving appeal. We find out if it delivers
  • First Drive
    10 February 2016
    1.0-litre triple brings added appeal to i20, but it’s still an unremarkable drive