Compared with the Murciélago it replaces, the Lamborghini Aventador is as a supercomputer to an abacus, and were verdicts determined on such grounds alone, the Aventador would earn the full five stars.

In fact, it doesn’t even get near this ultimate accolade. In certain rare conditions where the roads are wide, open, quiet and immaculately surfaced, we can see a driver deriving as much enjoyment from an Aventador as he might from any other supercar – perhaps even more. But introduce even a few of the limitations of the real world and its composure starts to crack and crumble.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Improve the stereo. We know you’re meant to listen to the sonorous V12 engine, but there’s no excuse for tinny sound

Two issues in particular are its undoing. By the standard of modern paddle-shift transmissions, the gearbox is poor even in its optimal configuration and simply unpleasant in any other. More damning still is the ride, which means that while there are some roads in the UK where the car can be enjoyed, the journey there and back is likely to be so uncomfortable that you might not even bother.

There are aspects of the Lamborghini Aventador we truly love; its looks and engine, for instance, are unquestionably landmarks of design and engineering. But not even they can lift the sense of disappointment that surrounds the rest of this car.

While it is undoubtedly lighter, quicker, stronger and stiffer than its predecessor, it is as a device to grab you by the heart and never let go that is the first duty of all V12 Italian supercars. And while here the Lamborghini Aventador takes an equally massive leap, this time it is in the wrong direction.

Top 5 Supercars

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Lamborghini range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Audi Sport drops a sub-4.0sec-to-60mph bomb into Porsche Cayman territory
  • First Drive
    9 December 2016
    Plug-in-hybrid 3 Series shows the benefit of BMW's experience with the i3 and i8. Sophisticated, swift and broadly talented to drive – and sweet-handing, too
  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Italian brand emerges as a true luxury power with a large SUV
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    A smaller engine doesn't prevent the new Porsche Panamera Turbo being a ridiculously quick and capable sporting GT. We've driven it in the UK
  • 2016 Vauxhall Adam 1.0i Turbo Unlimited
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    The 1.0-litre turbo engine and Unlimited trim combine to make this the best Adam in the line-up