Not every week does an incumbent Nürburgring record holder face the rigours of an Autocar road test, and yet the Aventador SVJ is the second such car to do so in the space of 12 months. The second Lamborghini, no less.
This fact alone says much about the marque’s evolution from purveyor of obscenely loud and visually brash supercars to one whose wares finally have the dynamic bite to justify their bark. If the 6min 52.01sec Nordschleife lap time recorded by the Huracán Performante marked an abrupt parking of the tanks on Porsche’s lawn, the 6min 44.97sec subsequently set by this Aventador SVJ shows they have little intention of leaving. Not even the 911 GT2 RS, a track-bred colossus, could match such a time last July.
Of course, as a road car, the Aventador SVJ must also be more thrilling than frightening, genuinely usable in places other than the widest, remotest and most perfectly surfaced A-roads, and rewarding at speeds well beneath the operating window of its sophisticated new aerodynamics. If not, the enviable status it holds as the only mid-engined V12 supercar on sale will count for little, and we can say straight away that you should instead plump for a Ferrari 488 Pista, a McLaren 720S or even the Performante.
That said, Lamborghini should have little trouble selling the 900 examples of this ‘Super Veloce Jota’, purely on the basis of its name. It originates from an out-of-hours project undertaken by fabled Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace, who developed the Miura to unprecedented levels of hardcore before the sole prototype burned to a cinder on the autostrada.
This is only the second time the name has been reprised since, and suggests Lamborghini is on truly unapologetic form. Too unapologetic? Let’s find out.
Price £360,000 Power 759bhp Torque 531lb ft 0-60mph 2.9sec 30-70mph in fourth 5.3sec Fuel economy 11.9mpg CO2 emissions 452g/km 70-0mph 40.8m
The Aventador range at a glance
Presently, the Aventador S represents the entry-level offering in Sant’Agata’s ageing, but no less awe-inspiring, line-up of mid-engined, V12 supercars. Available in both coupé and roadster guises, the S develops a ‘mere’ 730bhp.
The SVJ sees the V12’s wick turned up to 759bhp, and also gains a comprehensive roster of aero and chassis tweaks. As with its S sibling, the SVJ is available as both a coupé and a roadster. SVJ prices start at £360k, but can easily top £400k.