It is hard to envisage a setting more alien to the SVJ than a typical British B-road, and with the ever-present temptation of such colossal performance, at first it feels like a match made in hell. The driving position does not inspire confidence, certainly not in tandem with the car’s dimensions, which seem to swamp what limited breathing space there is between the white lines and demand that you process any intricacies that lie ahead faultlessly. Concentration is required.
But with familiarity comes speed and an appreciation of the phenomenal accuracy of the steering, which is light but communicative and beautifully geared in Corsa mode, when the ratio finally becomes fixed. Where at first it seems enough simply to get so heavy a car slowed down for corners and then to pour its massive bodywork towards the apex before winding on the power again, the steering gives you the confidence to begin trailing the brakes, picking up the throttle early and exploring the character of this unusually long, inordinately wide chassis.
One thing quickly becomes apparent – because of its inherent stability and lateral grip, on the road the SVJ’s limits are almost incomprehensibly high. Anything remotely near the car’s true cross-country potential is unsustainable for anything more than a few seconds, and you’ll need a long line of sight.
And yet, the handling is just about engaging enough to offer satisfaction at nothing more than an enthusiastic flow. In the lower gears, you will invite understeer if your entry speed into corners is too high, and the power required to neutralise that is greater than for a McLaren 720S, but beneath the He-Man persona, the Jota is car of surprising balance, poise and subtlety.
The pushrod suspension is acutely responsive to a lift of the throttle mid-corner, whereby the nose will sling itself inwards and tighten the line, and the four-wheel steering – often a fraction too keen on turn-in, admittedly, especially with the onrushing momentum of the engine – will sustain a lovely on-the-cusp-of-yaw stance through slower corners. This latest take on the Aventador still doesn’t offer the last word in mid-engined dynamism, but it’s now good enough for a car whose métier undoubtedly resides elsewhere.
Driving the Aventador SVJ to its true potential on circuit is a task that, by Lamborghini’s own admission, requires quite a lot more commitment and concentration than doing the same in a Huracán Performante.