Five-Point Inspection: 2014 Lamborghini Aventador

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Bleary eyed and nauseous, I woke up to an alarm chirping long before sunrise. For a moment, my knotted stomach teetered on the brink of convulsion as I drew deep, slow breaths. The sick feeling started to fade and I swore never to smoke cigars and sip scotch again. So it was a normal Sunday.

Standing up out of bed and jammed fists into my eyes, regretting my choice to sleep with contact lenses still in, I stumbled to the bathroom and started a shower while wondering why the hell I was up so early in the first place.

Then it all came flooding back. This was a special Sunday because instead of rifling through an AutoGuide review over a cup of reconstituted orange juice, I was scheduled to attend a cars and coffee event with the Aventador I somehow hoodwinked Lamborghini into lending me for the weekend.

I had no idea what to expect, but this is what I learned that morning.

Having never attended one of these events – my weekends are usually filled with remedial activities like browsing my local used car listings – I felt nervous. I’m not normally one to shy away from meeting strangers, but my head felt like a cement mixer and so did my gut. What if I was out of place?

Naively, I arrived on time at 8 a.m. when the meet was scheduled to “start.” The parking lot was mostly empty so I stood out that much more, but someone who owned a 964-generation Carrera walked over and shook my hand. I explained that no, this wasn’t actually my car but that I planned to film a video review the following day.

Soon, cars started to filter in and space to park seemed almost impossible to find in what felt like a few minutes. Exotic metal was not in short supply and at some point during that transition, a 2004 Gallardo pulled in.

You might know about the Stanford Prison Experiment. It put otherwise ordinary students into a simulation that separated the group into prisoners and guards with infamous results. In case it isn’t familiar, roughly a third of the “guards” behaved sadistically to their prisoners.

Point being, there is a precedent for people absorbing their environment and adapting to behave in a corresponding manner. Given that, I suspect some of the other caffeinated car guys and gals that morning were taken aback to see me, a skinny guy in his 20s, produce a key fob to the Aventador. Stranger still, I wasn’t apprehensive about opening the doors and letting people poke the cabin.

In the same way, I was surprised when the Gallardo owner was equally cordial to me.

In fact, he was willing to let me poke around the inside of his car and he even parked it beside the Aventador.

I know what you might be thinking right now. “Luke, you moron! The Gallardo has a V10 and the Aventador has a V12. You should be fired for making such a stupid comparison!”

That’s true, but I didn’t have any way of guessing what would or wouldn’t arrive that morning. Also, you’re looking at a 2004 Gallardo and that means there is exactly a decade dividing it and the Aventador I drove that day.

In the Lamborghini story, Volkswagen is practically Christlike. They took over in 1998 and saved the company from extinction, assigning Audi to direct the fighting bull brand.

Clean sheet designs were still reserved for the future tense, but it didn’t take long before the Germans got to work modernizing things in Sant’agata Bolognese. They increased the Diablo’s engine displacement from 5.7 liters to 6.0, updated its intake and exhaust and revised the exterior among other modifications.

Audi’s presence is obvious in the Gallardo. The vents look like they were pulled from the Volkswagen Group’s parts bin, but the cabin still looks and feels like an Italian supercar.

The same can’t be said about Lambo’s latest flagship. It feels like an Audi product through and through with a big infotainment screen and corresponding controls pulled straight from Ingolstadt.

Still, there are styling cues that continue into the company’s new products.

Airplane-style cockpit switches are shared between the two albeit in a more modern form for the Aventador. Little pieces of the brand’s design evolution like that peek through into newer products and that served as a reminder for how slowly design changes take place at a company like Lamborghini.

By the time I packed up and left, more than a few people had a chance to inspect Lamborghini’s flagship model. It was probably a closer look than any of them ever expected to have at what is, frankly, a ridiculous automobile.

And while I’m being frank, the weekend I spent driving it was a far more intimate experience than I ever imagined enjoying with anything bearing that badge.

Nobody needs a Lamborghini. You don’t. It just isn’t necessary. But as I lifted the red cover from the ignition button, something surprising happened. A small crowd armed with cell phones gathered to watch the car roll away and in that I moment finally came to understand something. The Aventador is as much about capturing imagination as it is about raw power, top speeds and taking your breath away during launches that happen with mind-bending power.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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