Lamborghini’s V12 supercar, the Aventador, tackles its illustrious prececessors, the Countach QV, Diablo 6.0 VT and Murcielago SV!
They look like nothing else, they sound like nothing else; they ensnare us with their ludicrous coachwork and outrageous proportions, but there is a paradox that is both central to and responsible for the greatness of many of Lamborghini’s road cars. It is this: despite the strutting-peacock styling and shameless exuberance of their silhouettes, these cars are actually best defined by the way they drive.
It is a fact that the foundations of Automobili Lamborghini were based on Ferruccio Lamborghini’s dissatisfaction with the performance and refinement of his Ferrari road cars, not with the way they looked. The story of his falling-out with Enzo Ferrari is well-known, but in the context of this test – one that sets out to discover the greatest Lamborghini road car – it’s important to remember that for a brand immortalised for a generation by vast aerofoils and pornographic Pirellis, the company was conceived through mechanical conviction, and not otherwise.
There are four great cars here; four great Lamborghinis. In a way it’s unfair to judge the Aventador directly against its predecessors because in being so accomplished it cannot quite satisfy the cravings of those who, for want of a better word, want that visceral experience. But there can be little doubt that the Aventador is the best V12 Lamborghini ever made.
The other three all suffer from unfortunate cultural associations – the poster generation for the older two, the R&B video for the youngsters – and this means people still see them as plumage rather than substance. The truth is they are truly great drivers’ cars. The 6-litre Diablo VT is the ultimate incarnation of Italian wackiness and Audi-Technik; the LP670-SV nails the generic role of the flamboyant Lambo V12 supercar even more convincingly than its successor.
I loved driving both, but where they were pleasant surprises, the Countach was a shock. It has no right to be such a great driving machine, and much as I hate the thought of bolstering the residual values of Harry’s latest toy, the world needs to wake up to the Countach as a driving machine. This is the alarm call.
Watch a video with a lamborghini gathering in Rome, Italy.