Lamborghini says the Aventador is now in that most exclusive club of cars that will take you from rest to 62mph in under three seconds – 2.9sec, to be precise.

And when you factor in its 690bhp, the traction afforded by its all-wheel drive and mid-engine configuration, coupled with a gut-busting launch control strategy and a gearbox that’ll upshift in 50 milliseconds, you’ll not doubt the numbers. We’d expect a 0-100mph of around 6.5sec too.

Andrew Frankel Autocar

Andrew Frankel

Senior contributing writer
The clanking from the rear diff at parking speeds makes the Aventador sound like a 1980s Group C Le Mans car.

But while the car’s size, shape and power are undoubtedly intimidating, you acclimatise quickly. Indeed, so smooth and linear is the power delivery the actual kick in the kidneys feels less dramatic than a turbo car of probably fractionally inferior outright performance such as a McLaren 675LT. Although the Aventador SV upped the ante with its ballistic 740bhp under the bonnet, it is the Aventador S which is likely to be the more compelling car.

In the finest traditions of great Italian V12s, the Aventador’s pulls from 1000rpm as if that was what it was born for, and then just keeps going on and on gently building in urge, sharpening its sound by degrees, reaching a shrieking crescendo just the other side of its 8250rpm power peak. Although an Aston Martin V12 has a more musical note, this is undoubtedly one of the finest V12s even to be bolted into the back of a supercar.

If only the gearbox were able even to approach this standard. Small and light it may be, but it’s bad enough to knock an entire star off the rating for this section. It can be driven in manual or automatic mode, in either Strada or Sport setting, leaving the most extreme Corsa program as a manual-only option.

In any setting, the car is horrid to park because it appears unable to creep, while the automatic function is slow and jerky. So manual is the only sensible choice. In Strada, the gearshifts are simply too ponderous, while in Corsa they are so savage that the jolt can physically hurt; what it is doing to its mounts can only be imagined.

So Sport manual is the only one of five configurations that works effectively. Call it up and remember to lift off the gas between shifts and the Aventador can be driven smoothly, but it requires concentration – rather defeating the labour-saving point of having a paddle shift in the first place.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK