What makes a good supercar? Well, throw in a powerful engine, a good-sounding exhaust, some exciting styling and you have exactly that, a good supercar. But what makes a great supercar, a car that stands out from the crowd and really gives you the fizz? The Lamborghini Aventador S is what I would consider a prime example of a great supercar. It takes all the elements I just mentioned and turns all of it up to eleven.
My love affair with the Lamborghini Aventador started when it came out around 2012. I saw an episode of Top Gear where Richard Hammond tested it and absolutely loved it. I then watched the episode where Jeremy take it across Italy and around the Imola race circuit. Ever since then I have been dreaming of sitting, never mind actually going in it. So when the opportunity came this year to go in it, I could hardly believe it. My dream was about to come true and the fact that it was the new, faster Aventador S made it all the more special.
In a world where supercars are becoming just so perfect, it seems like speed and refinement are their only focus. Manufacturers keep on asking themselves how they can make their next car that little bit more perfect and flawless than the previous one. There’s no more sense of occasion when you’re driving. Yes, when you put your foot down your diaphragm gets compressed into all different, unnatural positions but sitting in traffic after work, what else do you have? This is where Lamborghini absolutely nailed it with the Aventador S. You don’t have to be going at crazy speeds or accelerating exuberantly to make driving an occasion.
Many people criticised the Aventador S for still having the old single-clutch mechanism, in a world where the double-clutch seems to be the way to go. I am not one of those people. Pop the Aventador S into its most hard-core setting, Corsa mode, and you’ll never want to put it into any other setting. Once you’re in Corsa and you shift up through the gears, you really experience the anger of the raging Italian bull and the pure excitement of the screaming 6.5-litre V12 engine.
Lamborghini isn’t the brand you go to if what you’re looking for is a pure, track-focused precision tool. Lamborghini is the brand you go to if you’re looking for a great time on road as well as on track. As I drove around Johannesburg I just knew that there would be nothing that would rival this car in terms of looks and presence, nothing at all. It isn’t bothered with being quiet and refined to give you the impression that you could just well be in a BMW 5-Series. The exhaust is of such a level of volume that you’re always aware that there is an encaged animal about 20 centimetres behind your cranium. Push down the throttle pedal and your ears thank you for providing them with the most evocative ear candy imaginable. V8’s are nice but I tell you now that nothing comes close to the scream and ecstasy of a V12.
I should probably go on to the styling. Now I know we have cars like LaFerrari, the Mclaren P1 and the like, but those are limited-run, super rare cars that you hardly ever see, certainly almost never in South Africa. How do you describe this car? There is not one angle of this car that looks anything less than jaw-dropping. Open up the frankly super cool scissor doors and get out and you’ll feel like a rock star, which is just as well because everyone will be taking pictures of it. The Aventador S features one of the most exciting exhaust designs of any car ever. Two cylindrical pipes on each side of the car are all fine and well, but the centre-mounted, trapezoidal, triple exhaust will make any car coming up behind it cry for its mommy and wet its pants. The headlamps stare at you like some demon-possessed monster looking at you angrily. I mean, how much cooler would you want a car to look?
They say that you must never meet your heroes because they might not be what you thought they were. Having had a preconception of what the Aventador would be like for half a decade, dreaming of opening up those iconic scissor doors and experiencing the might of the 740 Italian horses living under the bonnet. But when I got into the car and felt the emotions taking control of my eyes and giggling all throughout the journey, I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I met my hero and it was everything I expected, and a whole lot more. Bravo, Lamborghini. Bravo indeed.