You’d also find Lamborghini’s atmospheric 60deg 6.5-litre engine, with a firing order of 1-12-4-8-2-11-6-7-3-10-6-8. It spins out to 8500rpm and develops 730bhp (previously 690bhp) a scant 100rpm before that point.
Those figures alone tell almost everything you need to know about the frenzied experience of driving an Aventador S Roadster. Its response to throttle openings isn’t as savagely immediate as that of the Huracán Performante’s V10, but the tone it produces is broad, grittily metallic and seemingly without even a gram of fat. With the roof off, it’s a continuous delight. And when a downpour during testing necessitated a speedy roof installation (a scramble lasting at most two minutes), the tiny rear screen, once lowered via a toggle switch on the dashboard, allowed in a tremendous amount of cam scream and exhaust blare anyway.
Taller drivers won’t appreciate the pillbox-style view ahead, and the car feels big and intimidating out on the road in a manner absent in lesser supercars. Its width (and this is excluding mirrors) is such that even if you line things up to perfection, the bodywork still can't negotiate the 6’6” width-restrictors originally put in place to stop lorries. So extensive is the chassis that for those first few hundred metres, the steering column feels ten feet long, and adjusting the rudimentary air vents that bookend the dash requires a whole-hearted lunge, arm outstretched.
Those plain, plastic vents are illustrative of an ageing interior smattered haphazardly with switchgear and an infotainment display that’s pitifully small. The cabin is one area in which the Aventador’s replacement, due in the early 2020s, will need to make strides. As for rear visibility, forget it. You might as well have your back up against the Great Wall of China. And although the new four-wheel-steering system helps matters, the car's 12.5m turning circle is still a full metre more inconvenient than that of the Performante, which is itself no spinning top.
Even so, performance is extraordinary, and heightened not only by the grandeur of the engine but also buffeting from the wind, which is conspicuously bad at motorway speeds. Were it not for that and a paucity of stowage options (interior cubbies, and this is no joke, are limited to a wallet-sized tray at the back of the transmission tunnel), the Roadster might make a decent tourer.
That’s because the chassis is so stiff that the dampers can operate free from background interference, and they cushion the bodywork in a firm but controlled manner (at times, this car rides more sweetly than the Ferrari 812 Superfast). The car has immense reserves of stability and surprising agility, an element of which it owes to the four-wheel steering set-up.
On a related note, new to the Aventador Roadster is Ego mode, which allows you to mix and match the settings for the nicely weighted electrohydraulic steering, magnetic dampers and engine map. On British roads, we found a respective combination of Strada, Sport and Corsa to offer the best response, usability and, if you can stomach the deafening clack-clack-clack-boom that accompanies every lift of the substantially offset throttle pedal, bravado.
Less palatable is the transmission – that perennial Aventador bugbear. It’s an automated single-clutch manual that interrupts the power delivery to such an extent it erodes your patience and unsettles the chassis often. A dual-clutch replacement can’t come soon enough.