Lamborghini Esperienza Details:
See GoPro Track Lap video on 2nd Page
A Lamborghini at speed on a racetrack is undeniably a thing of visceral beauty from afar, but get the opportunity to drive one yourself and prepare to hold a grin for weeks after.
This was our experience after receiving an invitation to the 2014 season-opening Lamborghini Esperienza North American driving experience at Auto Club Speedway, CA. It’s here where a grid of flagship $397500 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 supercars awaited the anxious attendees.
This is what dreams are made of. Words can’t begin to describe what this spectacular all-day Lamborghini driving experience provides, which is why you’ll find multiple videos and photos below.
Apart from straight-lining a Gallardo, I’d never pushed a Lamborghini around a road course prior to this event – let alone an all-wheel-drive, naturally aspirated V12 beast that puts out 700hp and 507 lb-ft of torque.
Lamborghini Esperienza begins with a morning briefing and multiple driving exercises that include slalom, braking, acceleration and instruction on optimal racing lines.
After a full breakfast, staff usher you into a well-designed portable classroom where details of the cars, racing programs and what’s-to-come are explained. Attendees are then broken into instructor groups that run sequentially throughout the day. Three of the four Lamborghini Esperienza instructors were from Italy, which made it feel and sound very authentic.
The 1.45-mile Auto Club test track featured 13 turns and two straights. We spent part of the morning with the aforementioned exercises before a gourmet lunch was served. Then the real fun began.
The Lamborghini Aventador highlight was multiple sessions of open lapping behind a much faster driving instructor who communicates via walkie-talkie clipped to the passenger seatbelt. Push harder and the race instructor will pick up the pace to a safe limit – thank god for traction control!
Each attendee leaves with knowledge of Lamborghini vehicle operation, track driving techniques and with dozens of laps under their belt.
While the brand new 2015 Huracan wasn’t present at the first 2014 Lamborghini Esperienza event, the company plans to have it at future events, although a carbon fiber-clad Gallardo Spyder Performante edition was present as compensation.
The bold design of landmark Lamborghinis of the past, such as the Countach and Diablo SV, were backed up by brutal and unforgiving power. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, however, is equipped with an assortment of cutting edge assistants to keep the near half-million dollar investment under your control. In automatic Sport mode, its acceleration was lightning-fast from a standstill. The howling engine acoustics under wide-open throttle made me weak at the knees. Switch into manual Corsa mode and each paddle shift on the seven-speed ISR gearbox engages in just 50-milliseconds. That’s a shifting speed close to an F1 car.
Past its blistering acceleration, the real eye-opener was the rate at which its carbon fiber monocoque came to a stop. Experienced during the 0-50-0mph brake test, applying full pressure to the massive brakes slows its carbon-ceramic rotors at what seemed like an almost cartoon speed. It was amazing and confidence-inspiring when later trying to improve my lap pace.
By the final session, I’d become comfortable with the Aventador and focused on improving my racing line. Traction control intervention meant you felt there was almost no chance of ever spinning out, removing the fear of the lifelong debt that would be incurred by scarring the supercar on the crash barriers. While the Aventador will push through a corner or step out on exit after applying too much gas, dare I say it’s “easy” to drive at speed?
Believe it or not, at 6’3” I didn’t feel cramped in the cabin. Driving this fearsome vehicle would make you forgive a detail such as lack of headroom, though. On exterior design and power alone, any shortcomings of the Lamborghini Aventador would be quickly silenced.
Lamborghini Esperienza is a taste into a wonderfully addictive world of supercar track days. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that allows you to experience these cars in their natural environment: the track.
Deciding to feature the flagship Aventador, Lamborghini has showcased how much easier it is to control its massive power. As scary as it may sound, technology made the 700hp V12 very manageable in the hands of a heavy-footed enthusiast.
Now I just need to see if the loose change dropped behind my sofa cushions amounts to $400K. Fingers crossed!
Full 2014 Esperienza schedule and gallery on next page!
Lamborghini holds multiple tiers of driving schools, starting with Lamborghini Esperienza for vehicle owners and prospective buyers. Registration is required at an authorized Lamborghini dealer. Beyond Esperienza comes the more intense Track Accademia, that can lead to competing in the one-make Super Trofeo series, if you wished. For the first time, a North American Accademia event will be held at Laguna Seca in September.
2014 Lamborghini Esperienza Dates:
- New Jersey Motorsports Park: 5/13 – 5/16
- Autobahn Country Club: 6/17 – 6/19
- Texas World Speedway: 10/21 – 10/24
- Homestead – Miami Speedway: 12/2 – 12/5