The Lamborghini Aventador always deserved better. Any car that counts the F117 Nighthawk among its design inspirations and an in-house 690bhp V12 as its power source ought to live permanently in the upper echelons of our affection. But it doesn’t. Not even close.
The Murcielago’s replacement was too crude and uncommunicative from the get go; as fast as a theme park ride, certainly - but it was a ride you were as happy to get out of as to get in.
Lamborghini has addressed these problems in a manner wholly typical of its traditions: by heading to a track and making the Aventador go faster and faster with the steady application of money, power and added lightness.
Even more typically, it has then called the car something slightly different, jacked up the price and offer a Roadster version. Fortunately, the Superveloce badge already means a great deal to the Lamborghini faithful. Meanwhile, the 50bhp gain at even higher revs, combined with 50kg less where it counts, had Prior in a twist when he tried it round a circuit.
The resulting near-500bhp-per-tonne sounds suitably outlandish, but pace was never the problem. Feel, comfort and finesse were the Aventador’s deficiencies, but early suspicion is that these have been straightened out, too. The SV’s overhaul incorporates an improved dynamic steering rack, adaptive dampers, a recalibrated all-wheel drive system and a fixed rear wing that generates enough downforce to apparently make the V12’s extra grunt necessary beyond 125mph.
The interior certainly sets the right tone. Huge swathes of the letterbox cabin are trimmed in Alcantara, which gives it a tactile fleeciness that makes a pleasing if somewhat superficially soft epidermis for the bony lightweight carbon fibre tub in which you’re sitting. While the instrument cluster is dominated by a liquid crystal display showing all the key instruments in Lambo yellow.
The new SV-branded bucket seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel look great and play their part in an eccentric, pared-down cabin of utter splendour, from the machined, screwed-down, gorgeous austerity of the floormats to the lacquered carbonfibre skins of the scissor doors.
The V12’s ignition button is still nestled under a red safety catch, and although its starter has the charismatic noisy whine, the engine’s idle tends to get lost beneath the maelstrom of radiator fans that kick in to variously chill the SV’s components.