Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be one of those people? You know, those people who seem to part the sea as they walk down a crowded sidewalk. The ones who elicit stares and gawks and “eye-f*cks” from passersby. The ones who are mercilessly catcalled, complimented, hooted and hollered at. Objectified, idealized, fantasized, celebritized.
A great many women are these people, and I’d wager a handful of Zoolander-esque men are as well.
I’ve never been one of those people, and until I had the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster in my possession for 72 hours, I’d never really known what they were on about.
I’ve had the opportunity to drive and “own” more than my fair share of exotic autos since launching Supercompressor a year ago: Jags, Astons, Audis, Rolls, Porsche, Bentleys and more. Each of them was a scream, all of them attracted more than the average attention span of passersby, but none put me so squarely in the eye of the storm as the Aventador.
Part of living and driving around New York is that on any given street, you’re liable to pass by a veritable sampling of humanity on every block. People from all socioeconomic backgrounds, neighborhoods, countries, and continents are bound to share shoulder room on the sidewalk.
When I had the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the collective reaction was stilted intrigue: “Who could be in there? How could someone possibly afford such a lavish car? Isn’t it a bit gauche to drive around in a Rolls these days?”
When I had the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, the collective reaction was genuine inquiry: “Woah, is that a Jaguar? Jaguar is back! I would have sex with that car's butt.”
But when driving around Manhattan in the Aventador, the reactions were entirely unlike what I’d experienced before: “Get the camera, holy sh*t it’s a Lamborghini!” and “Mom, is that a Lamborghini?” and “YO…WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING, CAUSE I WANNA BE DOING IT.”
To be completely transparent, I keyed into my experience with the Aventador with the expectation—or at the very least, a prepared reservation—that I might be given a bit of a hard time. After all, its footprint is roughly that of a sizable SUV (it’s a full six inches longer and five inches wider than a BMW X5, for comparison), and its exhaust pipes are connected to a 6.5 L V12 engine, spitting out 690 bhp on a bad day.
My mother would go on to inform me that it was, in fact “…not entirely subtle.” My father, on the other hand, was speechless.
But I never got a hard time, or even so much as a heckle. The Aventador Roadster is such a rare sight on any street, anywhere, that the only logical reaction to seeing it in person is utter bemusement. It’s what I imagine it would be like if Brad Pitt was a car and I was driving him around town with the top down. People could hardly believe their eyes.
That bizarre celebrity status lingers too. Park it outside of a coffee shop and you’ve developed a following. People have questions, compliments, inquiries—all unsolicited. The benefits are transferrable as well, as confirmed by the long list of copilots that buzzed around town with yours truly, top down, second gear, with the loud exhaust “Sport” mode decidedly on.
Even our trusty intern Gavin (pictured above with a stupid grin on his face) found the 15 minutes that he paid me to let him sit in the car to be a life changing experience: “It’s just…it's just so awesome. I don’t even know where to begin," he said in hushed tones on the phone to his pal, as if in the middle of some epic confessional booth.
The drive itself was, expectedly, sublime. I drove a tank of gas through it on my way to and from the Monticello Motor Club, peaking around 140 mph. In 4th gear. I drove another two tanks through it just putting around the city. Unsurprisingly, gas mileage in the Aventador Roadster is not a top priority, a signal I received loud and clear when Lamborghini North America handed me a bit of paperwork when the car was dropped off.
0-62 mph: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 217 mph
Amount of f*cks you’ll give about these stats while you hold on for dear life: Zero.
Since my tryst with the Italian beast a few weekends ago, I’ve found the dopamine release quite difficult to replicate, and I can assure you, when you eventually get behind the wheel of one, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Ted Gushue is the Executive Editor of Supercompressor. He hasn’t washed his hands since Lamborghini North America ripped The Aventador keys out of them in what the Metropolitan Police are officially referring to as a “Gentleman’s Catfight." Track his medical progress on Twitter, @TedGushue.