Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Dare to press the throttle pedal all the way and you'd better hang on as the Murcielago will hit 62mph from zero in 4.0 seconds, and finally call quits when the speedo is registering more than 200mph. And that's in the less potent 580bhp model. The LP640, which arrived in summer 2006, has a 6.5-litre engine with 640bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in a mind numbingly quick 3.4 seconds.

Both use a V12 engine that trace its heritage back to the Countach. It's a truly astonishing engine with a banshee howl when allowed to rev hard, yet it will tolerate dribbling through traffic without complaint. You'll need a strong left leg to work the clutch in town, but the six-speed manual gearbox is still a better choice than the E-Gear paddle shift transmission that arrived in 2004.

All Murcielagos come with four-wheel drive as standard, but don't accuse it of being an overgrown Audi TT. The all-wheel drive in the Murcielago is there to give the tyres a fighting chance of coping with the brutish power and makes this Lamborghini one of the best handling supercars out there. It has huge reserves of grip that will never be taxed safely on the public road, yet the Murcielago shrugs off most minor bumps with cultured good manners.

Even mid-corner surface lumps are ignored, helped by ideally weighted power steering. With equally capable brakes, and carbon ceramic discs that offer eye-popping stopping an option - as well as ESP traction control - the only fly in the Lamborghini's ointment is its sheer size which makes many British roads too small to be enjoyed.