With a short-stroke V-12 perched behind driver and passenger, erupting like Vesuvius in 8,250-rpm heat, the Aventador surges from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. Churning all four wheels like mad, the Aventador will break the quarter-mile in a hair under 11 seconds, already doing 133 mph. That's all accompanied by a fortissimo soundtrack that would bring tears to Verdi's eyes, or make him dive into the nearest canal.
Pilots can toggle the Aventador's hardware and software systems through familiar Strada (for "street"), Sport and Corsa modes. Switch the Aventador into its maximum Corsa mode, which puts the engine, transmission, suspension and stability systems on full alert, and every nudge of the throttle is rewarded with a rush of V-12 thunder and acceleration that seems headed straight to the clouds.
Some Lamborghini drivers feel that the Corsa mode is for racetrack only. But I end up toggling up "Corsa" just to pick up my dry cleaning — its brute, wolfish nature just seems the whole point of the car. Like its cars, Lamborghini's single-clutch e-gear tranny has come a long way. But whether around town or at warp speed, that transmission still isn't as seamless as the best dual-clutch units from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.
While the Aventador is the new Lambo king, the Super Trofeo reminded me that the Gallardo — easily the best-selling Lamborghini in history -- is no jester. Essentially a lightweight Gallardo Superleggera with sharper clothes, the Super Trofeo stood out with its skyscraping carbon-fiber rear wing and blood-curdling Rosso Mars paint. The paint symbolizes Italy's national racing color, matched by a cabin slathered in red alcantara suede like some high-priced bordello.
The rear wing is matched by a trick quick-release engine cover, adopted from the racing version, and apparently for when onlookers really, really need a closer look at the V-10 perched in the car's center.
On a smoking run from the vineyards of Leroux Creek Inn in the North Fork Valley to Snowmass, the Gallardo seemed more at home on tightly-coiled back roads than the Aventador -- roads more like the typical race courses where the Super Trofeo competes in Europe. Surprising, perhaps, until I remembered that this Gallardo weighs (officially) a sprightly 2,954 pounds. That's about 500 fewer pounds than a Porsche 911 Turbo or the much-larger Aventador.
The Aventador can also rock its way around a tight radius, but it prefers more room to stretch its muscular legs.
Its natural habitat is the open highway, preferably one with sweeping climbs, challenging descents and optional speed limits.
Our road trippers found all that (minus the optional speed limits) on a life-affirming blast from Snowmass to Vail, where the sun glinted off our Crayola-hued convoy and the Aventador seemed a car without limits — the essence of what an Italian supercar is supposed to be. Entering Vail's cobblestoned village, normally off-limits to automobiles, our phalanx of Lamborghinis — beautiful, flamboyant, ridiculous -- was met like conquering Romans by boggled, camera-snapping onlookers. Approached by a young boy in a Red Sox cap, who instantly identified the Aventador, I let the lad (followed by his brother) hop behind the wheel for a few photos.
"I'm sitting in a Lamborghini!" the boy cried, unable to contain his excitement, or believe his good fortune.
Right there with you, pal.