THE opportunity to drive some exclusive Lamborghini hardware at a race track considered one of Australia’s best was an opportunity too good to miss, in a day that kicked off with a stunning helicopter flight from Moorabbin airport.
We were headed for one of the most picturesque tracks in the country, the Phillip Island Circuit, to take part in the Lamborghini Experience, part of the launch even for Pirelli’s new flagship P Zero World store in Melbourne.
It was a day we knew would see the pedal pushed to the metal, but was also a chance to learn how to get the most out of some awesome performance cars, and understand the tailored tyre solutions Pirelli offers for a range of super cars.
On offer for our driving pleasure were the Aventador S, powered by a 6.5-litre V12, producing an eye watering 544kW of power and 690Nm of torque, and a Urus SUV, powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, producing 478kW and 850Nm.
Oh, and a Huracàn Evo powered by a wickedly quick V10, pushing out 470kW of power and 600Nm of torque. Each one rolling on the latest version of the Pirelli P Zero performance tyre.
We also got the chance to take the Urus off-road, an option that showcases not only the Lamborghini SUV, but also the capability of the Pirelli Scorpion tyre option, one of four different compounds developed for the Italian family-oriented performance car.
Getting the Urus dirty kicked off the event, and it was the perfect way to start our track day. We tested the unique looking Lamborghini in and around Sydney recently, and we have to say it’s a surprisingly capable off-roader.
Wading through water, up and over some steep inclines, allowed the Lamborghini SUV to activate and deploy all of its witch craft and wizardry to keep control, no matter what the situation was, including taking on some tough mud challenges.
After that, it was back to the track, to push the same SUV around the famous circuit. The first few laps were really about learning the track, how to drive it; everything from baking points, driving tactics and handling tips, to steering recommendations and attitude.
Our biggest challenge came when it was time to drive them though, because they were all left hand drive, imported for such events. After a couple of laps though, we started to feel comfortable with the opposite driving position.
Negotiating depth perception was the hardest challenge, but we got used to it, and the Urus probably made that easier. And what a car it is on a race track. It just comes alive. For an SUV, it mowed down corners with ease, and sheer grace.
Acceleration is incredibly smooth, even under heavy acceleration, while braking and turning into the corners requires little effort, it was basically point and shoot, even rolling on 23-inch wheels.
Next up were the Aventador and Huracàn Evo. The best way to describe driving these two majestic but somewhat angry road goers is to say it’s like a ballroom dance. It’s all about subtle gestures, the right movements, and poise.
Behind the wheel, those dance steps translate to braking at the right time, hard but elegant, easing of the brake pedal and onto the accelerator, leading the car in a stylish ballet; not forcing it to misbehave, because it will, without hesitation.
Despite drizzly cold conditions, both cars embraced the track. The Aventador S delivered a pure and raw experience, and genuinely felt like it was ready to hurtle you down the track faster than you can blink.
Hard acceleration out of corners and down the straight buried you in the seat, but thanks to its single plate clutch and the fact it really knocks through the gears, it feels like a pretty violent experience. Something this writer wasn’t really a massive fan of.
It was adrenaline pumping though, my heart racing at a thousand miles an hour. The Huracàn EVO feels more sedate – crazy quick, but without the violent gear changes, in a package that’s definitely more nimble.
Despite having less power, it was definitely easier to drive, and as a result, felt faster. It comes alive in and out of the corners, with mind blowingly good braking response and control thanks to those Pirelli P Zeros wrapped around some ultra lightweight wheels.
Not once did we feel unsafe or out of control in any of Lamborghini’s offerings, despite a damp track and speeds that at times, exceeded 260km/h. Even left hand drive wasn’t an issue. It really shows the engineering that goes into every Lamborghini
The day ended with lunch in one of the pit suites overlooking the Phillip Island Circuit, offering a chance to unwind, talk to our fellow participants, and debrief with the trainers we’d spent the day with, before jumping back in a chopper to return to Melbourne.