Matt Prior
3 May 2007

What is it?

The car with the finest production engine sound in modern motordom. Recently I suggested that Aston’s V8 Vantage roadster sounded best. Not for the first time, I was wrong. Because since then I’ve driven through the Hatfield Tunnel in a Murciélago LP640 roadster.

What’s it like?

This car has a wonderful engine. The LP640’s 6.5-litre V12 is surely the last Lamborghini unit whose ancestry will be traceable from the Miura’s and, arguably, this is as good as the V12 has ever been. It’s certainly smooth, far more so than the previous 6.2-litre unit, and has an incredibly wide and responsive powerband. Given how big it is, it’s astounding not just how readily and eagerly it revs to 8000rpm (where it puts out 631bhp), but how much you’ll need to: peak torque of 487lb ft isn’t generated until 6000rpm.

This roadster feels every bit as urgent as the LP640 coupé does. As well it might: roof removal has added only 25kg to the Murcielago’s weight. The tubular steel chassis has been revised, but the most visible bracing is a web of carbon around the engine.

Does the body flex? A bit. On uneven roads you’ll notice it mostly through your eyes and backside; occasionally through the steering too. The coupé driving experience is otherwise largely intact. Springs and dampers are a touch softer, but this is still a firm, albeit well damped car, with fine body control.

The steering is accurate and feelsome, and the (optional) e-gear paddle-shift gearbox shifts quickly and smoothly if you lift slightly between upshifts. But despite the lack of a clutch, this is still a demanding car. The sense that there’s a chunk of weight behind you ready to push the nose wide (if you’re smooth), or the tail wider (if you’re not) never leaves you, either.

Should I buy one?

So it’s just as fast, not much floppier and sounds brilliant. Downside? The hood. I’ve built sheds quicker than you can put this thing up. Perhaps it’s some kind of conspiracy to make you buy the coupé as well.

Our Verdict

Lamborghini Aventador

The Lamborghini Aventador is big, bullish and ballistic, but it isn't perfect

  • First Drive

    Lamborghini Murciélago SV

    The ultimate version of the ultimate supercar on UK roads
  • First Drive

    Lamborghini Murciélago LP640

    A definite step forward over the old Murcielago, the LP640 has astounding grunt and levels of grip, blended with old-school Lamborghini qualities. Hugely desirable.

Driven this week