New and improved, but Lambo’s still in thrall to its history

Lamborghini has updated the Aventador with more power and new tech. Jack Evans went to see how it stacks up

WHAT’S NEW?

The original Aventador was launched in 2011, and so it’s high time that it received some attention to bring it up to date — which brings us to this, the Aventador S.

The original was one of the most successful models ever produced by the Italian supercar maker, so the new 730bhp Aventador S has a huge amount of weight upon its shoulders.

It’s armed with four-wheel steering, as well as uprated software, which should make it even sharper to drive than the previous generation. It also gains ‘Ego’ mode, which gives the ability to split the separate driving modes to suit the individual and makes it easier to set up the car just as you’d like it.

LOOKS AND IMAGE

Here’s where a Lamborghini really needs to succeed, and thankfully the Aventador S doesn’t disappoint. Its new look, upgraded for 2017, looks impressive in the flesh. It’s close to the original — there’s no doubt about that — but it’s the subtle differences that really make it stand out.

The front end, for instance, now has additional inlets, or ‘teeth’, as Lamborghini calls them. At the side, the air intakes have been cleaned up and the overall impression is of a simpler, more purposeful vehicle.

The iconic scissor doors remain, which means that wherever you pull up, you’re sure to make an entrance.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY

As a two-seater, the Aventador doesn’t offer too much in terms of practicality.

You do, however, get a small boot in the front, just about large enough for a soft weekend bag.

If you’re looking to transport a lot of items, you may have to look elsewhere.

There’s a bit of space behind the seats, but this is suited to only two jackets or a small bag. The golf clubs will have to stay at home.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Rejoice, as the Aventador S retains that original car’s iconic 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12. It puts out a staggering 730bhp — 40bhp more than before — as well as 690Nm of torque.

This is sent to the road through all four wheels via a single-clutch automatic gearbox. It’ll reach 60mph (96.5kph) in just 2.7 seconds, and continue ferociously accelerating until it hits a top speed of 217mph.

The biggest change comes in the form of four-wheel steering, which aims to improve handling and stability at high speed, as well as making the car easier to drive at lower speeds. It has the ability to virtually shorten the wheelbase by 500mm for low speed movements, or increase it by 700mm for better stability.

The first Aventador was somewhat of a brute, with very little finesse in terms of handling or dynamics. The same cannot be said for the S, which now demonstrates a delicacy to its handling.

In truth, our testing conditions weren’t perfect — the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia being used had been sodden by unseasonably wet Spanish weather, but it still allowed the Aventador S to showcase just how far it had come.

Now able to send up to 90% of its drive to the rear wheels, the Aventador S feels far more adjustable than before. Go too hard into a corner and it will naturally push into understeer, but plant the throttle and it’ll quickly match that with far more oversteer than you might expect.

There’s actually a fair amount of feel translated from the road through the steering wheel too, which makes placing the car — and given its size it takes a lot of placing — a little bit easier.

The performance afforded by that incredible V12 is addictive. In all-out Corsa mode it is truly brutal, with each gearshift intensifying the fury. It revs out insatiably, and continues pulling throughout the range.

However, rather than being matched with rather blunt steering as found in the original Aventador, that fury is now applied in a far more composed way. More direct, it’s a car that feels keen and eager to attack corners just as hard as the straights.

The Aventador S’ ride is also something special. It’s firm, there’s no doubt about that, but it remains composed. Out on the road, it has a tendency to crash through larger potholes and bumps, but this is to be expected of an out-and-out supercar.

One point of contention is that gearbox. When pushing on, it makes complete sense, with crisp up and downshifts completing the racing package. However, around town it’s simply too jerky — and when compared with modern dual-clutch units it feels a touch outdated.

VALUE FOR MONEY

At more than £270,000 (no prices for Ireland), the Aventador S is not what you’d call cheap. However, for that money you get a mechanical masterpiece in that V12 engine. You also get a hugely impressive design, which stands out in the presence of almost any other car.

That price tag also brings you a part of history. Flagship Lamborghini cars aren’t released often, and this latest car is just another part of that iconic story.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE?

The Aventador S is ideal for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd.

It’s for people looking for supreme performance, high levels of craftsmanship, and a serious attention to detail.

It’s a truly impressive package, and one that is hard not to fall for.

There are foibles — the gearbox, for instance, might become annoying in day-to-day usage — but the overall impression is of a car that has been refined and given a well-needed level of finesse.

AT A GLANCE

¦ Model: Lamborghini Aventador S

¦ Engine: 6.5-litre V12 (730bhp, 690Nm)

¦ Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

¦ Performance: 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds, 217mph top speed

¦ Economy: 16.7mpg

¦ Emissions: 394g/km



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