Bucket List: Drive a Lamborghini!
My usual habit, unfortunately, is to let the clutter pile up on my desk for a while, and then purge like mad on some random day. Last weekend, I found one of my “must-do” lists in the middle of one of the piles; some of the items had been crossed off, but one caught my eye: drive a Lamborghini.
I’ve always wanted a fast car. When I was a teenager, I balked at the Chevy Citation my parents wanted me to have. True story: the manual transmission scared the heck out of me. After a frustrating experience – my poor dad – trying to learn how to drive it, Dad gave up and offered me a two-door Dodge Duster he had, and I turned up my nose. Eventually, I picked out a 1977 Dodge Aspen and I promptly dubbed her Coppertone, because she was the same color as the iconic SPF 4 sunscreen from the 80s.
My neighbor bought that Duster from my dad for his teenage son Paul, who was learning how to drive at about the same time. Paul saw me outside one day and said, “Hey, I love this Duster. It’s fast!” And a wave of FCE washed over me. FCE = Fast Car Envy. My Aspen was solid, but it was a boat on wheels, and it didn’t have the nimble speed of the Duster.
Does a Lamborghini Feel Like A Tiger on a Leash?
Fast forward to 2012, when I spotted an ad for Lone Star Exotics, a company that rented out a selection of high-end sports cars to driving enthusiasts in Austin. I wanted to be in the driver’s seat of that Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Viper. I NEEDED to try out an expensive, fast car. Using all of my powers of persuasion – and calling in a few favors – I convinced the owners, Justin and Jacob, to trade me a test drive for blog post coverage on three different sites.
I thought I was going to get the Lamborghini that time, but when I arrived at the Lone Star Exotics garage, the Lamborghini was out but the Ferrari F430 was in. Jacob drove with me and encouraged me to punch it and test it out as much as I could, and I’ll never forget that he told me it was probably good that my first supercar was a Ferrari instead of the Lamborghini.
“The Lambo is pretty muscular,” he said. “It’s like walking a tiger on a leash.”
From what I understand, the tiger is in charge with older models of the Lamborghini; it wasn’t an easy car to jump in and zoom away.
Pinch Me. I’m Dreaming.
This September, I got to find out for myself. I received an invitation to spend the day with Lamborghini at the Texas Motorsports Ranch, and I kept reading the email over and over to make sure it was real. Upon arriving, a row of Lamborghini Aventador S gleamed in the sun. Don’t call them supercars, though – the Italian automaker insists that they are not supercars. They are simply Lamborghini.
After my disastrous manual transmission learning experience when I was a teenager, the only other time I’ve driven a stickshift was on a track in a Winston Cup-style car with the Richard Petty Driving Experience team. Not exactly the same thing.
I was expecting to have to fake it and lean on my scant experience on the track to make this car purr.
This Surprised Me Most about the Aventador S
When I opened the scissor door, I was surprised and elated to discover that it was an automatic!
Wait. That’s no fun, a true enthusiast might be thinking, that’s totally lame.
Have no fear, because the Aventador S has the same kind of paddle shifters that the Ferrari F430 had. And there is plenty of manual control to keep your hands busy, from the drive modes to the grip of the steering wheel as you roar around the corners. Don’t do that in a school zone, btw.
What used to be a tiger on a leash is now a cheetah on a leash; instead of muscular, raw power, what the Aventador S offers is a smooth, sleek, incredibly fast ride with fewer concerns. All you have to do is grab that leash and hold on. Anyone with some sense can drive it.
Was I nervous to drive a car that’s worth more than my house? Yes, at first. Once I completed the first lap, however, I didn’t even want to stop.
Specifics, in case you’re wondering:
- V12 engine
- 740 hp
- EGO driving mode allows you to customize your experience based on your driving habits
- New design offers more downforce (which means more efficient speed)
- New side air vents reduce turbulence (do you feel like we’re talking about a jet here, and not a car?)
- 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds
Bucket list drive, check!