The new Aventador S might well be the Aventador we've been waiting for. It still looks utterly sensational, even more so out in the real world among everyday traffic. Watch it rumble by amidst a gaggle of Passats and Mondeos and you struggle to believe how low and wide it is.
We have sampled the S once before, but the conditions on the launch event in Valencia back in January were so poor we couldn't tell how effective the mechanical revisions really were. Now though, after a few hundred miles behind the wheel on some dry UK roads, we can say for certain. Not before we've run through those updates once more though.
There's a customisable driving mode now, too, which means you can turn the drivetrain up into one of the noisy settings without having to put up with unnecessarily hefty steering and rock solid dampers. They call it Ego mode, which works in a Latin-derived language, less so in English.
Is there a better, more thrilling performance car engine out there than this howling V12 though? I really don't think there is. Against all expectations it's actually quite subdued on cold start-up, much more civilised than, say, an Audi R8's V10. Even on a wide open throttle through third, fourth and fifth gears it isn't antisocially loud, at least not from within the cabin, but the quality of the soundtrack is breathtaking. And feeling a big, overpowered, unassisted engine pulling through the gears right up to the redline each time, the rate of acceleration building insistently as the revs climb and climb, is just about the most exciting sensation in all of supercardom.
What we really want to know, though, is whether or not the chassis revisions have made a nimble, fleet-footed car of the Aventador. You use less steering lock to navigate tight bends now and the front end is more resilient too, the overall chassis balance more neutral than before. You can place the car with real precision on the road now, but there's no steering feel so you have to build up steadily to the limit of what it can do.
Regardless of the changes Lamborghini's engineers have made, the Aventador still wants to be driven its way. It's like riding a half-broken horse - you sort of hold onto it and hope it'll go where you say, but you never feel like you've worked the thing out. The very best cars of this ilk are more engaging, more malleable and more adjustable, and more fun as a result.
Four-wheel steering or not, the big Lambo still feels exactly that; big. And heavy, too, which is no surprise given it weighs around 1700kg at the kerb. Driving the Aventador S at any real speed on a typical British B-road feels like flying a fighter jet through downtown Hong Kong; unbelievably exciting, but not really for the right reasons.
LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR S LP740-4
Engine: 6,498cc V12
Transmission: 7-speed ISR (Independent Shifting Rods) automated manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 740@8,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 509@5,500rpm
Top speed: 219mph
Weight: 1,575kg (dry)
MPG: 16.7 (NEDC combined)