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Driving on air

Piloting Lamborghini’s 2018 Aventador S Roadster

Climbing in behind the wheel of a Lamborghini is an emotional experience.

This is a car that commands respect, and piloting a 735 horsepower Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster turns out to be as exhilarating as flying.

I was shopping for an electric car the week prior to joining a group of Canadian journalists to pilot Lambos around Muskoka, but this west coast hippiecryte still loves some horsepower when she can get it.

Total worldwide sales for Lamborghini in 2017 were 3,815 units (1,173 Aventadors, 2,642 Huracans). 211 cars were purchased last year in Canada, and more than a few have been spotted on the streets of Vancouver.

If you’re looking to meet new people, the Aventador – just like the Miura, Countach, Diablo and Murcielago before it – might be the ultimate icebreaker. The unmistakably super-sleek, sharp-lined body is cut like no other, and when you line up several of these fantasy rides in front of the Canadian woods, as our group did, the parking lot emptied out like the last day of school.

Imagine how much fun the designers in Sant’Agata Bolognes, Italy, had in sculpting the Aventador. Its beamy, low-slung body pays homage to shark fins and snake fangs.

Rear brake lights rival an aircraft’s, which is fitting, because stepping on the accelerator is the closest most of us will come to the feeling of blasting off the tarmac.
A range of body colours, brake caliper shades and interior choices allow you to make it your own. A two-piece removable targa top belongs in the trunk on sunny days, and the scissor doors add a sizzle dimension. For the ’80s girl in me, climbing out of an Aventador is spiritual.

Behind the Wheel

It is almost as fun shifting down into the corners as it is to speed out of them, because the exhaust note sounds like fireworks when decelerating. Is our active rear spoiler up yet? Although accelerating with seemingly limitless power never gets old, the real thrill is in how exceptionally sticky the Aventador S Roadster is in the plentiful turns of the Muskoka back roads.

The car feels planted to the pavement, and with four-wheel-drive and responsive steering, it is — gasp — an easy car to manage. There are four driving modes; Strata, Sport, Corsa and amusingly, one named Ego, which allows you to customize your preferred driving settings. Do you like to wake up the neighbourhood or creep up the driveway? It’s all up to you.

I spend 10 minutes in Strata, which I christen “daily driver” mode, before getting comfortable behind the wheel and switching to Sport and Corsa for more fun with the metal paddle shifters. A red pickup truck challenges us on a quiet stretch, and we follow suit for a rollicking 10-minute ride through the twisties. When he finally comes to a stop, I lean out the window to say, “I’ve never seen a pickup corner like that.” Turns out he’s a race car driver. “You should see me drive your car,” he quips.

Fast Stats

Engine: V 12 engine producing 730 hp at 8,400 rpm
Acceleration: 0-100 km in 3.0 secs (the coupe does 2.9)
Top speed: 350 km/h
Torque: 507 pound feet
Fuel consumption: 16.9 L/100 km