Sixteen miles north of Bologna, in a small town named Pieve di Cento, in the Emilia-Romagna region, is one of the largest tractor companies in Italy. It was founded in 1948, using old military hardware to build one of the toughest farming machines in the country. On the side of the factory floor was an office with tall glass windows. Inside the office was a wide partner's desk made of ebony and leather. Behind the desk sat a man, Ferruccio Lamborghini.
Ferruccio's successful tractor company allowed him to indulge in purchasing exotic cars. One of these cars was a Ferrari 250 GT, which had a problematic clutch that required multiple repair visits to Maranello. He tried to express his disappointment to Enzo Ferrari, who simply dismissed the complaint. Frustrated with the outcome, Ferrucio decided to take matters into his hands and fixed the clutch himself. This triggered a desire to build his own sports car company.
That desire resulted in the founding of the company, Automobili Lamborghini that would one day produce arguably the most sought-after supercars in the world. At the base of the hood would be embossed the iconic logo, inspired by his star of the Zodiac - the charging Taurus bull in metallic gold set in a jet-black background.
Driving a Lamborghini Huracan in the Magic City
A need for speed
And in the year 2021, in Southeast Florida, I had the privilege of stepping into the driver's seat of a gorgeous Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2. From the moment I was inside, the seats felt like an old friend wrapping me in a warm embrace. The Lamborghini was surprisingly comfortable, with sporty and luxurious seats made of premium leather and carbon fiber trim. The steering wheel fit perfectly in my hands, and the controls were within easy reach, allowing for total focus on the road ahead. The car is ideal for high-speed driving and long scenic drives.
To get started in this fighting bull, I pressed the hexagonal red ignition button on the center console, and the naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine with 572 horsepower growled into action. All that power allows the car to go from 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds and max out at a top speed of 198 mph. It felt like I had F-14 afterburners running down both flanks of the car. Not being very vast in the inspiration behind Lamborghini cars at the time, I was later told a fighter jet was the inspiration for the design. I guess that's why it appeared to have the power to take off from an aircraft carrier.
With the exquisite-sounding V10 waiting for my next move, I slipped into first gear, and with the most tepid press on the accelerator, I moved away from the 'starting blocks' and onto the open road.
The acceleration was smooth and effortless, making it easy to achieve top speeds in mere seconds. The engine sounded like thunder over the Everglades, and every up-shift triggered an indescribable thrill. Palm trees flashed past me, other cars on the road seemed to vanish, and soon I could see the distant peaks of Brickell beyond the half-empty, four-lane highway just north of Coral Gables.
I took the exit onto the Rickenbacker Causeway, the long, wide arching bridge that leads down to Key Biscayne.
No stranger to the flash money of Miami, where the 80's classic movie Scarface was filmed, are the beautiful waterfront mansions with the city skyline backdrop. The white Lamborghini Huracan would fit right in.
As the car straightened onto the bridge, I pressed down the accelerator a little too hard, and the speed pressed me into the seat, my head jamming against the rest. The adrenaline rush was like something I had never felt before, as if an entire migration of monarch butterflies was inside my stomach.
The engine jumped several octaves, from a low thunder to the high-pitched whine of a speedway bike, rounding one of those hairpin turns at the Ulster Grand Prix. But the weight of the Lamborghini felt as solid as one of those giant tractors. Never for a minute did I question the car’s safety, and as I gripped the maroon leather steering wheel, only the lightest vibration was felt from the Pirelli tires ripping across the tarmac on a hot Florida afternoon.
When I reached Crandon Park, I turned into the lot, looped around, and headed back to base, winding through the leafy streets near The Biltmore, unable to believe what I had just driven. The door swung open like the wing of a phoenix, and I begrudgingly stepped out of one of the greatest cars I had ever driven.
Would I recommend it?
But the question is, would I recommend it? Could I recommend anyone drive such an engineering masterpiece? And my answer would be no. It will forever change you, and you might have a really hard time going back to a regular automobile once you've driven one of Ferruccio's fighting bulls. But if you can live with that, step right into the Italian supercar, and go for the ride of your life.