Most test cars come for a week, some for a year. But in a few cases, the tedious old laws of supply and demand exert more than their usual pressure.
In this case, the supply is easy to quantify: it is the only right-hand-drive Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce in the country, which for the purposes of this exercise we will call ‘one’.
The demand is every single person in the land with even the most slender claim to being even a rough approximation of someone who might loosely be referred to as a motoring journalist. This we can call ‘several thousand’.
Even if Lamborghini whittled this down to a couple of hundred and each had the car for a week, it would take four years to do the rounds. So, and for the purposes of this exercise, I had the car for just one clear day. How many different things, I wondered, could be done in that day, and how many different facets of its character would be revealed as a result? I resolved to find out.
1 - Go for a pre-dawn burn
Apologies for the rubbish photograph in the gallery above. I couldn’t persuade London-based Autocar veteran photographer Stan Papior that being in Wales before sun up to take one picture was a good idea, so I took it myself. And then I went and stretched the Aventador’s legs.
Unless you happen to live up a mountain or on remote moorland, the fact is that you can’t exercise a car like this in public, not safely at least. But the time before everyone gets up and gets into or onto their cars and bikes is perfect.
Besides, if you’ve got an Aventador SV outside and you’re not up early, you’re likely either to have died in the night or be thoroughly undeserving of 10 minutes’ wheel time in a car such as this, let alone an entire day.
This is not a time for redline ramming, but gentle leg stretching as you ease your way into this experience. A car as wide, low and powerful as this needs learning, even if you’re lucky enough to do this sort of thing quite a lot. And I learn that all-round visibility is far better than it looks, the headlights are adequate at best, the robotised manual gearbox is much improved but still not a patch on a dual-clutch auto and that, counter-intuitively, the ride is improbably improved over that of the previous Aventador I drove.
2 - Take it shopping
If you’re going to do more than 10 hours’ driving in a single day, it’s not just the car that’s going to need fuelling. Besides, I’ve never seen a Lamborghini in a supermarket car park and, by the look of them, neither had anyone in the Tesco, near Leicester, that I pulled into when hunger pangs grew too great.
To my surprise, the Aventador’s steering lock is excellent and it did many uncomplaining laps of the car park for Stan’s lens. I wondered what this would have been like 30 years ago in a Countach, with its weight-lifter’s clutch, submarine hatch steering, prison cell visibility and six twin-choke Weber carbs soaking the plugs. It’d be purgatory.
Lamborghinis have progressed in many ways these past 30 years, but few as far as this. And yes, it is important: the amount of enjoyment a car provides should be defined by how much fun it offers multiplied by the number of times you feel inclined to drive it. And I’d feel inclined to drive this one every day.
3 - Drive it as fast as you can around a quick track
A car like this needs space. There’s no point taking it to some tight, twiddly circuit any more than there’d be a point to riding a thoroughbred race horse around a dog track. Bruntingthorpe has that space, not to mention 100mph apices with which to really test this 740bhp supercar’s composure.