This Monday, Lamborghini was nice enough to invite me to participate in their Lamborghini Esperienza, which I believe is Italian for "let's make sure our cars won't explode if we put a dipshit in them." Happily, they don't, and even better, I learned a bunch of stuff about Aventadors I'd like to share with you.
We've actually covered the Lamborghini Aventador pretty well here at House Jalop already: Mike got to go to Rome and try the beast on a track when it first came out, and then he got a crack at the roadster for a full review. Later, Travis took one on a road trip to some wedding in a desperate attempt to either get the bride to leave with him or convince everyone he was some kind of sheik or ambassador or something. I wasn't really listening.
The point is, the basics of this remarkable, house-priced car are pretty well covered, so I need to bring you dashing readers something new. I'm sure an Aventador is on everyone's list for potential next cars (right between full-size locomotive on rubber tires and since I'm dreaming, a fucking robot unicorn) so I wanted to try and give you some bits of information about the car the more comprehensive reviews may have missed.
Let's see what we've got here:
• It's the best new car for kidnappers.
Hands down, if you're a kidnapper, or at least interested in pursuing kidnapping as a career, you can stop looking right now. The Aventador coupé is by far the best car to use to kidnap people.
Why? Great question, kidnapper. That's the inquisitiveness that makes you so damn good at what you do. The key, of course, is in the trunk — or, specifically, what's not in the trunk: an emergency release handle.
See, since 2002, all new cars have to have an internal, glow-in-the-dark trunk release. Even for trunks you'd never think could fit a person, like a Tesla frunk or a RamBox. But they all do, making them useless for the kidnapper that wants to buy new. Except for the Aventador.
See, the Aventador has this little flimsy, removable divider that is the loophole to having to include an internal trunk release. Not only is there no release handle, you can't even reach any of the latch components, making all traditional trunk-escape methods obsolete. If you're in an Aventador trunk, you're boned.
I think the trunk can fit a fetal-positioned person probably up to about 5'5" or so and about 140 lbs or so. That covers almost all kids and a lot of women and it's even alarmingly not too far from my own dimensions. Plus, the fact that it's a Lambo makes it far easier to attract victims than some tired old Econoline with "free candy" Sharpie'd on the side.
• The brakes defy physics
I got to do an awful lot of fun track stuff with the car — in addition to many laps of the track at Fontana, there was also a slalom, acceleration test, and a panic/emergency stop area. While I was hugely impressed with the car's grip, handling, and power, the brakes may be the most shocking component.
I'm not exactly sure what or how they're doing it, but those 6-piston carbon ceramic brakes are doing some unholy conversion of speed into heat and pheromones. On the emergency brake test, you stop from about 50 MPH to 0 in the space of what I swear is no longer than some dining room tables I've seen.
My brain couldn't quite process what was happening, since it's such a radically different set of experiences than what I'm used to. You keep mapping out a normal-physics stopping distance in your head and then you find yourself, at rest, staring at that point in the distance.
It's strange and powerful, and I'm pretty sure it employs some of the blackest magic. Maybe they have a little quantum singularity mounted in a box on the frame that alters the laws of physics in a small sphere around the car. Because I've never seen anything Aventador-sized, moving so fast, stop so quickly.
• It has the smallest storage compartment known to man
They must have really been going for all the superlatives here, because when it comes to inability to store pretty much anything, this little center-console compartment in the Aventador has them all beat. It's impressive.
It houses the cigarette lighter 12V socket, and I saw it used to hold the proximity key, which pretty much maxed out the bin, save for maybe a half-deck of cards. It's carpeted inside, which is a bold move, since that carpet probably ate up a good 25% of the available vertical space.
While any normal human-scaled sunglasses won't fit in there, you could use it as a very handy sunglass crusher, by simply placing the glasses in the bin and attempting to close the lid, applying mild pressure until you hear that satisfying 'crunch.'
• With engine lid up, it looks like a Sea Monkey
Here, see for yourself. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and could suggest some compelling advertising tie-ins.
• There actually is a chance in hell you maybe could drive it even though it costs as much as a house
I'm not saying it's a good chance, but it's something, and it's through the same program via which I got to try the car, the Lamborghini Esperienza. Remember, this is a $400,000 car making about 700 HP and it sure as hell doesn't drive like most cars you're used to. It's painfully exclusive, and that's all by design. Half the point of why people buy these is because it's so hard for anyone to actually even get near one.
Even so, Lamborghini does have this program in place to let you get behind the wheel of an Aventador, on a track, with real, highly skilled instructors, most of whom have Italian accents that make being told you have no talent for racing sound so very sexy.
The program is an invite-only thing, and is usually for prospective or current Lambo owners — but not always. A number of people at the event I attended managed to get there via various other means, and I'm sure a determined gear head with a local Lambo dealer could figure out something.
Lamborghini's program is like a pyramid scheme (well, in that they use a triangular diagram) that starts with the Esperienza and goes to a more intense racing academy, and then on up to their one-make "Gentleman Racer" Super Trofeo, and then on to a point where you're racing for a living.
So, it's probably really expensive, and you'll have to cozy up to some Lambo-connected people, but I think it's at least possible. Which is more than you can say for a lot of cars in this class.
• It shifts like a robot trying to start some shit with you
The shifts on the 7-speed paddle/robot controlled gearbox are incredibly fast — like 50ms fast. And when you shift, it feels like a huge robot standing behind you just gave you a massive kick in the kidneys with his big, cast-titanium foot.
It doesn't feel like any regular road or sports car shift — it's more like gravity shutting off for one incredibly brief moment, and then starting up with an angry lurch.
It's pretty fun, and further evidence that this is not a car to enjoy a Slurpee in.
• For most buyers, it's their fifth fucking car
Want to feel like an insignificant, broke-ass loser? Of course you do. So get this — for most Aventador buyers, the Aventador is their fifth car. That's 5th, as in there's four other freaking cars these people own. There's almost no daily driver Aventadors, cars that a normal but-still-pretty-well-to-do person could save up years for and buy and drive to work every day and use and love. These are almost all sold into fleets.
I'd like to think that most of those fleets consist of four AMC Hornets and then the Aventador, but their market research doesn't really support that.
I hope these little snippets add something to your appreciation of the car, even if the vast majority of us will never get a chance to own one of these outside of pulling one out of the rubble after the Giant Monkeys come or something.
They really are remarkable cars in almost every driving characteristic, and getting some track time in one was an amazing experience. It has the brutality of a Viper, but with more refinement and controllability than a look at the raw numbers would suggest. Too bad most of these are locked away in rich guy garages, where you know they're dreaming about a simpler life with almost any of you delightful readers.
We can dream, right?