This picture was taken a few moments after we parked our Arancio Argos Lamborghini Aventador with all its 700 horsepower in front of an unsuspecting Italian family’s home. They didn’t speak English (or Magyar) and I didn’t speak Italian, but Lambo’s V12 speaks an international language everyone understands.
So there we were, a bunch of journalists flying 13+ hours to see that Audi finally figured out how to glue aluminum to carbon fiber sufficiently well enough to satisfy Ulrich Hackenberg, Head of Future VW Stuff.
I’m not saying we had a bad time. Bologna is lovely, I love buffalo mozzarella, our sneak peek at the Huracan was interesting and the Lamborghini Museum is a place one should check out in person, too.
And when it came to long flights, I wasn’t the one to complain having arrived from Budapest. CarAdvice’s guy, on the other hand, flew in all the way from Melbourne. In return, he only asked for a car to drive. Literally, he would take anything Lamborghini could throw at him for a few hours.
Dave and I got on very well on the bus to the factory. I used to have Aussie flatmates in London, so we had some crazy stories to share, and he got my politically incorrect convict jokes.
Upon arrival came more mozzarella with an Aventador Roadster nailed to the wall providing a shiny background to our feast.
While I tried to avoid dropping any food into the displayed Aventador chassis, Dave came to me with an offer. He got an Aventador with body panels attached to drive, but needed someone to help him navigate and shoot videos. I won the candidate lottery because I was younger than anybody and seemed like a guy up for such an adventure. Also, having no children was a bonus in this case.
He was of course right. I said goodbye to my barely touched glass of local wine and the upcoming factory tour (no photography!), grabbed my camera and headed outside with him knowing that we wouldn’t even make it back in time for the hotel shuttle.
But you’re not supposed to care for such minor things when outside looks like this:
The first thing you need to know about the Lamborghini Aventador is that it’s not something you want to drive with summer tires on while it’s raining in February. The second thing is that’s exactly what we did.
We needed hills, the navigation was on, but instead of trying to add a destination, I switched to my phone after climbing in with two cameras and my bag at my feet after Dave’s stuff took up all the space in the trunk. There’s really not much space in the cabin, but at least they went all Italian and put coat hangers behind the seats on both sides as standard.
Now, a 700 horsepower supercar would be scary enough without knowing that the guy behind the wheel has never driven in Europe before, nor on the right side of the road.
Narrow country roads demand a fast learner and Dave didn’t disappoint, although the Aventador’s massive Pirellis did touch the grass on the side more times than my trusty psychiatrist would recommend.
Unfortunately, shortly after we got passed by a twenty-years-old Ford Fiesta, Dave started to get comfortable, pressed the Sport button, which made the car sound right, and the accelerator soon after that, which made it jump in space.
As a passenger, it’s not the adrenalin rush you need to worry about during a flat out run to 100 mph. In the Aventador, you’re not in a seating position. You lay down in a tight leather bed, strap yourself in and wait until fluids move upwards in your body, leaving the lower half empty of speeding red blood cells.
Pressing the Corsa button remained a distant thought, for the better.
We found some good roads, and as more and more GoPro footage made its way onto the cards, it was time for me to get behind the wheel and see how Lambo’s new V12 feels like. Not that I know how the old did, but anyway.
While stationery, the sound of its cooling fans alone command respect. And enough electric horsepower to drive a small car, probably.
Before this, the most powerful car I’ve driven was the C7 Corvette. Also on summer Pirellis during winter. It’s just my thing.
The Aventador is very intimidating because it’s exactly as wide as it looks, and even faster. That 6.5-V12 has the power delivery of cold fusion. It just pulls and pulls, with enough torque at any revs to turn those performance claims into reality. And yes, the single clutch gearbox will break your neck if you shift above 2,000. Which you will, and that’s how it should be.
Doing above 1o0 mph on a hidden B road in order to get some flybys on video taught me that no carbon brakes can help you when the tires can’t find enough grip to slow down around 3,747 pounds of mid-engined amphetamine. It stops, but not before wobbling all over the place. Spoooooky.
Just about the same time, a local farmer started waving at us, but instead of complaining about the glorious noise we made, he pointed towards his house on a small hill as a potential photo opportunity. We took his advice, doing an Italian thumbs up of course.
Showing up at somebody’s home and parking your loud car right in front of their door is very inappropriate unless you do it with a V12 Lamborghini at a house just half an hour from the factory. In that case, it’s more than acceptable, especially if the kids are at home.
This fellow put the whole experience on Facebook faster than we could climb out of the the car gracefully enough, but under his mother’s watch, we let him push a different button for once.
That’s right! This guy set twelve cylinders on fire. He did it for the kids too.
We waved goodbye soon after, pushed the very same button and pointed that sharp nose towards Sant’Agata Bolognese for the last push. I don’t have to tell you that my Australian friend got much more confident on our way back.
A bit of grass touching here and there, speeds I don’t want to write down and a furious V12 I’ll never forget. We were so close after all.
Lamborghini got back a slightly muddy Aventador, because AWD=off road.
So, they hid it behind two clean ones. Just another day at work.
Photo Credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik