Let’s see: There are 12 Lamborghini cars. Six Uruses, two Huracán STOs, two Huracán Evo Spyders, a Huracán Evo coupe, an Aventador SVJ here, and…nope. It’s impossible for this powerful, brightly colored combination of Italian horsepower to fly under the radar. Especially here in Italy, where a crowd of locals are already poking their smartphones through the fence surrounding a hotel courtyard in downtown Bologna, launching their social media feeds. #Forza Lamborghini!
Occasion? Fast shipping to the Italian Alps, from Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese to Cervinia, where the ski resort lies in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn – or Monte Cervino, as the locals call it on the Italian side of the border. Oh, and the promise to slip a pair of Lambos around some snow when we got there. And along the way, have lunch at the castle.
The bright blue Urus has been designated for the 220 miles from Bologna to our lunch stop at Forte di Bard, a massive castle that dominates the entrance to the Aosta Valley. There has been a stronghold at this strategic point on the southern side of the Alps since the fifth century. The current building was built between 1830 and 1838 after Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the destruction of his predecessor, sparking his surprise attack on Touraine which was halted for two weeks by a garrison of only 400 soldiers stationed inside.
That the 641-hp SUV capable of 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, 100 mph in 7.6 seconds, the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 120.1 mph, and a top speed of 189 mph, should be considered the soft choice. Here he talks about the raw masculine volumes that underpin the Lamborghini brand. But I don’t mind the soft choice: it’s Autostrada Pretty much all the way to lunch, and the Urus is by far the quietest and most comfortable cruiser here.
The Urus is unaffected by the heavy traffic around Milan, and once you pass the speed cameras, it devours the lightly trafficked E25 that leads the Aosta Valley and eventually into the Mont Blanc tunnel and France. It may look like an SUV, but the Urus is a Lamborghini Gran TurismoComposed, confident and fast on all roads and in all weathers. Well, almost all ways. Big Uros are hardly crammed between houses huddled in the shadow of the castle all the way through Bard village and require several points to get around some tighter hairpins on a one-lane serpentine road that leads to the castle gate.
After lunch, drive out from Urus to Huracán Evo Spyder. It’s been a long time since I’ve been driving a Huracan, and the sun is shining. Although it’s not quite as warm here in the valley, and our destination, the Astronomical Observatory of Saint Barthelemy, at 5,500 feet above sea level and surrounded by snow-capped alpine peaks, it would be rude not to drive with the roof on. . At least for a few miles.
Finished in a matte blue paint job with a white leather interior and bronze wheels, this Evo Spyder looks like it should sail on Ocean Drive in Miami. But it’s much more fun on these Italian mountain roads. In Corsa mode, the 630-horsepower V-10 responds to the throttle with a stylized bellow that echoes rocky walls and fills the cockpit. On takeoff, the exhaust explodes like artillery bombardment.
It’s acoustic theatre, grossly childish upon pulling out of a Beverly Hills parking lot, but the perfect soundtrack to a twisty, twisty road, climbing higher than ever into the Alps on a sunny afternoon.
Huracan grew up. The Evo Spyder is a more compact and mature car than the early cars I can remember. It’s still boisterous, boisterous and fast, but the meaty steering delivers good feedback, and the ride surprisingly consists over splashes and frost buildup. The brakes seem indestructible. Its driving is a car more powerful and determined to drive than Ferrari, particularly the new 296 GTB, which has fine-grained for its dynamic capabilities.
A soft twilight settles over a stunning panoramic view of the jagged, snow-capped peaks as I walk through the observatory parking lot to Huracán STO. It’s only 35 miles from here to the hotel in Cervinia, but most of it is on roads that meander and twist through the mountains like spilled spaghetti. The weather is cooling, and the mercury is heading toward freezing as the sun sets.
Hmmm—this is the toughest and most track-focused Huracan of them all. It is rear wheel drive instead of all wheel drive. I climb, hoping that the rolling Pirelli SottoZero winter tires—245/30 in the front, 335/30 in the rear—are all they’re cracked up to be. Especially since I’ll be following a colleague who manages to get his smartphone to talk to the Lamborghini navigation system, so he knows where we’re going.
The thing is that it is very useful behind the wheel. Oh, and he’s driving an Aventador.
I’ve driven the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo and GT3 Evo race car versions that inspired the STO, and I can instantly discover their DNA deep in his bones. There is subtlety to its front end and clarity in its transient responses that make the STO feel like it’s just one step away from the race car. It moves under braking and under acceleration, too, the softer tread blocks of the winter Pirellis wrinkle under loads. But I can feel every nuance through my fingers and toes and the seat of my pants, as if I’m attached to the chassis.
An aggressive V-10 roar and fight behind my shoulder as I chase an Aventador through the darkness and up toward the snow line, barely holding my breath as I Laughter Right paddle, engine barking and snarling on lower gears, Hell dog chasing mountain gods.
I’ve struggled to operate the high/low beam switch (like all the other switches on the steering wheel on the Huracán, it’s close to being useless when you’re busy in the cockpit), and I’m increasingly concerned about the occasional ice and wet spots on the road As we are near Cervinia, at 6,730 feet above sea level. But I smile as I walk into the hotel parking lot. After a trip like that—raw, intense, and intoxicating—I can forgive Huracán STO for its comforting little flaws.
It’s sunny and bright as I head back to STO the next morning for a short walk through Cervinia to the snowboard fun and games site. The original plan was to take part in the Accademia Neve, the Lamborghini snowmobile driving experience that takes place every year in Livigno, 250 miles to the east, but the pandemic put an end to that. Instead, we’ll be limited to wandering around a snow-covered parking lot on the edge of town.
Accademia Neve is a proper drift fest on studded tyres. Here in Cervinia, the Evo Coupe’s all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive STO both spin gracefully around the cones at just over speed on standard snow tires. It’s pretty entertaining for about two minutes, but I haven’t learned anything about what it’s like to drive a Lamborghini in the snow.
There is only one way to find out. Register me for Accademia Neve 2023.