Short notice, off-season, rain imminent – I knew it was far fetched to expect Lamborghini to come up with a test car. So they really made my day when I got the call, saying my car would be ready in half an hour.
Having been a passionate Lamborghini enthusiast for as long as I’ve known what a Lamborghini is, the factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese is a very special place. This is where icons like the Miura and Countach were born, where Ferruccio Lamborghini inspired his mastermind engineers to try out things that would change the sports car world forever.
As I found myself at the factory, looking at a lovely blue Huracán Spyder, matching keys in hand, I felt exalted. The roof was up, due to the expected weather, and I soon found myself nicely tucked in. I’m a rather tall guy, which meant there was little room to spare in most directions. However, any lack of space was quickly forgotten when the V10 fired up – what a sound! As the 610 horses were warming up behind me, I told the GPS to take me to Rimini, where the forecast said I would find the sun.
I set off from the factory gates, and thought I’d visit the area where Ferruccio Lamborghini spent his early years, namely the comune of Cento. It seemed I did the right thing, as the sun beckoned me to lower the roof. And so – wind in the hair, engine rumbling, sun shining – I was flying low through the birthplace of the icon whose name adorned the bull badge up front. Everything else appeared irrelevant, and I soaked up every corner, overtaking and cheerful smile from passersby.
After a lovely prelude on rural roads, I joined the autostrada, which follows the ancient Roman route of Via Emilia. However, I’m sure the marching Romans would have found the speed cameras a baffling sight. Even today, it’s apparent that the speed limits are interpreted more as a suggestion by many a driver. It’s also possible that yours truly felt a sudden need for speed in an attempt to reach the horizon. Let’s just say that the wind-in-the-hair idyll is all a matter of relative wind velocity.
Oh the irony; shortly before reaching Rimini, drops started falling, forcing me to raise the roof. My plans of a sunny photo shoot in beautiful Rimini were cut short, and I did a 180-degree turn in the roundabout welcoming me to Rimini. The return voyage was rainy and grey, but the Huracán Spyder was excellent company, cheering me up with the occasional down-shift and following V10 roar.
This November day was luckily not a cold one, and weather and temperature weren’t real issues. Here I was, driving many a car enthusiast’s dream along the Italian autostrada – “the cold season” can offer warming experiences.
Is the Huracán too easy to drive? Lamborghinis of decades past will certainly demand quite a lot more of their operators, feeding the tradition that says that a Lamborghini should be slightly inaccessible and a handful to drive. Bah, humbug, I say! The Huracán is a genuine Lamborghini, ticking the right boxes. It can be outrageously fast and exhilarating in one moment, then glide through town with ease in the next. Isn’t that the best of two worlds?
I found it very hard to hide the pride I felt as I returned to the factory and parked the Huracán Spyder up front, sensing all the looks and smiles from visitors young and old. The Spyder was only happy to pose for a few more shots before I returned the keys and headed out. Of course, I had to turn around for one last peek before leaving the Spyder and the factory behind.
This story wouldn’t be complete without the small incident that took place in a narrow street in Sant’Agata Bolognese, within engine roaring distance of the factory. I was approaching an intersection and stopped for traffic, when I heard loud shouts of joy. I looked directly to my right, and saw kids in a kindergarten rushing to the fence, shouting, smiling and laughing. I thought they would be well used to a Lamborghini pulling up, but I put up my widest grin and revved the engine a few times. It was like a wave of utter excitement and joy rolled over these youngsters – they jumped up and down, holding onto eachother in shared exhilaration. I have never seen clearer proof that cars can be so much more than simply a means of transportation!