Compared with the Murcielago it replaces, the 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.
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 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 Aventador takes an equally massive leap, this time it is in the wrong direction.