This is it: the big one for the year. Having missed out on attending the international press launch of Lamborghini's Aventador, now my time has come. And I'm excited. Because, if I think back long enough, it was a Lamborghini that really got me into cars at a young age. My parents bought me a radio-controlled Countach when I was all of seven years old and the die was cast. The Aventador is today's Countach and not in my wildest pre-pubescent dreams could I have imagined that one day I'd get to have one at my disposal for three whole days. I feel like a kid again.
V12 Lamborghinis have always been outrageous. Since the Miura invented the whole mid-engined supercar genre back in 1966, every successive V12 has been more extreme than the last. Lambo doesn't even refer to them as supercars anymore; the company calls them "Super Sports cars". And it's easy to see why, when you even cast an eye over the lithe body of the Aventador. This is extreme. It's the bad boy. And I've been biding my time with a sense of anticipation that's way more intense than the time I found out I was getting a Veyron to play with.
Just look at it. There isn't a single duff line, not a single piece of unnecessary addenda on its angular frame. No wings, no stupid decals, no bolt-on wheel arch extensions - just a perfect amalgam of cutting edge minimalism and brutal statement of intent. It looks like it's doing 300kph when it's stood still. This is what a V12 Lambo should look like. I park it outside my apartment between two SUVs and the roof doesn't even come close to reaching their window lines. It's ludicrous. It's utterly stunning, and that's before I've even lifted its scissor door and taken my seat.
But take my seat I must and, thankfully, the drama and ludicrousness continues inside. The first thing I note is that there is absolutely zero storage space in here. There's a daft keyless fob thing but nowhere to put it, so it'll have to remain in my pocket. I notice that what look like metal door pulls and instrument surrounds are actually plastic, and this is disappointing in a car that costs so much, but the quality of build seems to be up there with the products of Lamborghini's parent company Audi. The design of the cabin is light years ahead of its predecessor, the Murciélago, too, and manages to be nicely laid out and utterly dramatic at the same time. I can feel my pulse quickening - I need to get this mental machine on the open road, away from the concrete jungle and out towards the desert and mountains that exist between Madam and Hatta. Game on.
To start the 6.5L masterpiece that's right behind my head, I have to first lift a small, hinged, red cover that hides the start/stop button. It's a brilliant touch, perfectly in tune with the Stealth fighter looks. I press it and hold it for a second; there's a hum, a whirr, then bam! Twelve cylinders burst into life with a most unseemly racket. The sound is violent and intimidating - again, perfectly in tune with the way the car looks. Even before I've turned a wheel, this thing feels like the polar opposite of a Veyron. Turning wheels, though, is what the Aventador apparently does best, so I ease its pointy nose away from Dubai for the camera - and traffic-free roads that exist an hour away. In this car I could probably halve that journey time without breaking a sweat. 100kph from rest takes 2.9 seconds. Top speed? How about 350kph?
Low-speed manoeuvres are a pain. The four-wheel drive causes the front tyres to grab, rather than just steer, and the entire car feels like it wants to burst. There's so much pent up energy here, it's positively desperate to get off the leash and enjoy some proper exercise. And weirdly, the gear changes in Strada mode, which should be the easiest, are jerky and uncomfortable. So I switch to Sport mode and things are far smoother - it makes no sense.