A man walks into a Lamborghini showroom and, after proving himself a gentleman of means, is offered a test-drive in the 700hp Aventador. After some time, he returns and hands back the keys.
“What did you think?” asks the salesman, eagerly. The man walks slowly around the car, kicks the tyres and sucks air wistfully through his teeth.
“Very nice,” he says, “but do you have anything a bit… quicker?”
This scenario – however unlikely – surely haunted the thoughts of Lamborghini engineers as they toiled over the Superveloce (literally ‘super fast’). The latest in a long line of lightweight Lambos dating back to the Miura SV of 1971, the hardcore Aventador boasts an extra 50hp and 50kg less weight. So yes, it’s a bit quicker.
How fast are we talking? Well, straight-line stats of 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 217mph flat-out are near-identical to the ‘normal’ Aventador LP700-4. But the way the SV goes around corners is something else.
Its Nürburgring lap of 6min 59sec shaves an incredible 26 seconds off the standard car’s time – and is just two seconds adrift of the 887hp Porsche 918 Spyder.
This particular SV belongs to Andrew Bagley, who I find waiting outside the suitably grandiose gates of Blenheim Palace. The venue is doubly apt: Andrew fell for the Aventador after first seeing one at Salon Privé, the exclusive supercar show hosted at Blenheim that he organises with his brother David.
Last year, Andrew realised his Lamborghini dream, travelling to Italy to buy an SV, then proudly displaying it at Salon Privé.
Where the Miura SV has voluptuous curves, its modern equivalent is all aggressive angles. It’s low, wide and impossibly dramatic. If you asked a child to sketch a supercar, this is how it would look. There’s plenty of theatre inside, too. The SV’s doors are clad in naked carbon fibre, its instruments are a Manga-style digital display and the starter button is concealed under a red ‘bomb switch’ cover.
Enough of the prologue: time for the main act. The 6.5-litre V12 erupts into life with a hard-edged yelp, then settles to a throbbing idle that echoes off Cotswold stone walls. We’re the main attraction here now – not Churchill’s ancestral home.
Exiting the palace, we hit a stretch of dual-carriageway and I bury the right pedal. My head snaps back and my torso is compressed into the thinly-padded seat as the Lamborghini hurls itself at the horizon. I barely have time to click the right paddle into third gear as 750 Italian stallions are unleashed, exhausts blaring as heat haze rushes from the louvred rear window.
The SV is viciously quick, but – unlike some of its forebears – it doesn’t have aspirations to kill you. The racing-style inboard suspension feels pliant and composed, while four-wheel drive ensures ample traction. Steering is slower than a typical Ferrari set-up, but that makes the car less intimidating to drive swiftly, while the carbon-ceramic brakes are brutally effective. On British B-roads, our speed is limited only by the Aventador’s sheer size (and, ahem, the skill of its driver), not by any shortcomings in its chassis.
I step out with head buzzing and fingertips trembling. Can a car this outrageous and exciting really be legal? Apparently so – and with only 600 SV coupés made, it’s a savvy investment, too. Like the Miura, Diablo and Murcielago Superveloces of the past, the ultimate Aventador will be prized by collectors.
As a crowd of camera-toting tourists gathers once more, I hand the keys back to Andrew. “Yep,” I declare with a wry smile, “that’s quick enough.”