I recently decided to find out if the Lamborghini Aventador (one of the wildest, widest, and least practical cars on the road) could transport two people and luggage to a wedding four hours away without ruining a suit or setting itself on fire. And guess what? It can! Kind of.
(Full Disclosure: As I've said before, Lambo and I worked on pulling this together for a while, they provided the Aventador and a tank of fuel. I did the rest. They asked that I not destroy the car. I didn't!)
You typically look for a number of features in a car when you're roadtripping. For me, the perfect road trip car would have a stellar combination of storage space, reliability, fuel economy, and comfort.
On paper, the Lamborghini Aventador has precisely none of these things. In practice, it has some of them. Not that it really matters. It's a got-dam Lamborghini.
The biggest concern heading into the trip was if the Aventador would be able to fit our luggage. I packed as lightly as I could as did my roommate who was making the trip with me. Between us, we had two duffel bags and two garment bags.
I was told to ship stuff ahead of time. I was told not to risk it. I decided to risk it, because that's the kind of guy I am: A man too cheap to ship luggage. It was a tight squeeze, but it all actually fit, which is a miracle as big as Shaq hitting a free throw. For a short weekend trip with people who don't actually pack a lot of clothing, the Aventador gets a solid pass.
Since all the luggage fit in the car, I suddenly thought that my idea of a challenging trip was over before it even started. You even get used to driving the Aventador rather quickly. Sure, you can't see out of it, but you start to feel like you can just nail it and move over and nothing bad will happen.
So for 20 miles, everything was going great. I was just driving a gigantic missile in traffic leaving Long Island on a Thursday afternoon. I took the opportunity in congestion to drop back, then blast up to third gear a bunch of times, just to hear that sound. Then my roommate said something concerning.
"Do you smell that? It smells like burning."
Mere seconds later, a warning popped up on the dash: Catalyst Over Temperature. Oh. That's not a good thing.
We got off the highway, pulled into a train station, and popped the engine cover. It smelled very hot. I thought that was it. My supercar adventure was over within miles of where it started. I called Lamborghini.
They asked what sort of traffic I was in, since that warning apparently only pops up occasionally if you're on throttle/off throttle in quick succession. I had been doing that. They politely told me not to do that.
Basically, the car was getting hot because I was driving like a jackass, not because of some sort of Italian supercar shortcoming. When you don't drive the car like a 12-year old, it's totally reliable. Thing is, this car wants you to drive it like a 12-year old, and that's probably why you see pictures of Lambos burning to the ground.
Other than that, every single part of the car worked as it should. The Italian supercar unreliability faults of old are long in the past.
No. It got about 13 or 14 MPG average the whole time. That's not great... Though it is great when you realize that you're driving a V12 supercar.
Initially, you think, "hey, this ain't that bad, it's snug, like a $433,000 cocoon." Then you spend an hour in it. Then two hours. Then, without thinking about it, you notice a shooting pain in your lower back. Then you notice that your leg hurts.
The next two hours of your drive become a race to get to the place where you can get out of the Lambo as quickly as possible. What's good is that you have 691 horsepower to use for that second half of the trip and that helps distract you from the aches and makes time pass quickly enough that you won't need to get a spine transplant.
That's a thing, right?
In addition, there's another, less tangible form of comfort, and it has to do with people. People feel a new level of comfort around the Aventador, a comfort where they just ask any question, no matter how personal, of the person with the car.
People wave, give the thumbs up, and snap pictures. That's the extent of the attention I expected. In fact, here's one shot of us driving that popped up on the instagrams:
However, on the highway, some people will actually order you to go faster so they can film it. They'll swerve through traffic with no regard for anyone else and tailgate to get a picture. The Aventador creates its own moving jam.
In town, it's more outrageous. I had a man pass about 17 people and then shout at me to pull over so he could check out the car. When it's parked, you get very personal questions from people like "can I sit in it," "how much does it cost," and even "can I drive around with you today?" A gas station stop took 10 to 15 minutes longer than normal, just because of the sheer amount of people looking at the car.
Think of it this way. You see a guy in his yard, and he has a nice house. You don't walk up to him, ask him how much his house costs, ask for a tour, then ask to take a shower, do you?
Now, since this car wasn't mine, I was more than happy to let people take a seat in it and ask whatever questions they wanted. But it's amazing to see the effect that the big Lambo has on the human condition.
Towards the end of the time with the car, I have to admit I began to find the attention overwhelming. The on-the-road attention was what I was most tired of because it can get uncomfortable with someone riding your ass. Having a conversation about the car is great. Getting crashed into by somebody looking at the car is the opposite of great.
The Aventador is not a GT car. It doesn't coddle your ass with comfort, it doesn't have loads of space for the passengers or for storage. The suspension is stiff. This will sound outlandish, but that makes it quite similar to my Miata, except that people don't try to run a Miata off the road while staring at it.
The difference is that a Lamborghini is an amazing experience and a Miata, no matter how much I love it, is not. It's one of the most impressive looking cars I've ever seen with an amazing engine note and more thrust than an F-18 pilot would know what to do with. I'm thrilled that I even had a chance to see one, let alone drive one. Is it ideal for a road trip? No. No it isn't. But you should absolutely take a trip in one if you can.
What you shouldn't do is expect that trip to go to exactly to plan.