Lamborghini Aventador at Phillip Island

It might have been launched more than two years ago (replacing the Murcielago in the process) but so rarefied is the Lamborghini Aventador’s air that only now has MOTOR managed to get its mitts on one. That the occasion happened to be at Philip Island was just the icing on one hell of a cake.

If you haven’t physically stood next to an Aventador, you probably won’t appreciate how freaking big it is. Well, not high, but certainly long and definitely w-i-d-e. Yet the cockpit is cosy for taller folk and you’re kind of left with the impression that this is a platform for keeping 12 cylinders off the hotmix, not some prissy gadget for pampering over-paid footballers. Not that that has kept the latter out of the things, but you get my drift.

Hit the key and there’s theatre. The starter whirrs for a satisfying few seconds and then the big atmo V12 whumps into life and settles into a fast idle. Snick first gear home via the right paddle and let the big guy ease out of the pits. First impressions are of that epic width, but beyond that the all-paw Lambo is stupidly easy to drive.

Plant the clog and it gets very serious very quickly. With 700 neddies (515kW) and 690Nm, whacking the tacho needle into the red bits is also stupidly easy and you really do have to keep a close eye on the dial to make sure you don’t bump into the limiter. Down the P.I. main straight? Call it 280km/h and you’re getting close. Turn 1? Dunno, but it’s faster through here than most things with number-plates.

Curiously, the coupe seems faster and more stable than the roadster version, but the Lambo boffins on hand reckon the car is really sensitive to tyre pressure changes and that a pound either way can make a difference. I also wouldn’t mind betting that the cleaner aero of the coupe makes for better downforce which, at the speeds we were seeing, would definitely have been a factor. And that’s the point: even Muggins here could wind the Aventador up to 11 and get away with it. Not too many Lamborghinis you could say that about.

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