Before social distancing and after an unusually efficient meeting with the studio executives, I find myself at odds. With three hours remaining until my lunch date at Little Beach House Malibu, there’s just enough time to return to my Santa Monica office, darken the curtains, and power through the project backlog. Then again, the valet’s just arrived in my Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster — perhaps what I really need is a long drive through the Malibu hills. A cruise in Lamborghini’s flagship convertible is anything but therapeutic. Rather, every sense is heightened, every urge compelled. Captured at a standstill, the Aventador S Roadster’s impossible angles, gaping inlets, and piercing lights simultaneously terrify and allure. In motion, the tangerine streak apprehends all attention that escapes the accompanying wail of a naturally aspirated V12. I need this drive like I need sustenance. Turning off PCH onto Las Flores Canyon Road, I move from Strada drive mode’s more comfortable ride to Sport mode’s firmer suspension, sharper steering, and livelier throttle response. The bull awakens as the tarmac winds, filling the morning air with howling exhaust notes and cracking overrun. Lamborghini’s single-clutch automatic transmission gets a workout shifting through seven gears in fractions of a second.
Sunlight bronzes my skin, wind knots my hair, and G-forces overwhelm the muscles in my neck, straining to keep my eyes level. 730 horsepower tears through four Pirelli P Zero tires but is effectively managed by a set of carbon ceramic brakes. An already pancaked silhouette becomes a crepe as speed increases and the supercar’s aerodynamic elements take effect. In just three seconds, the Aventador S Roadster notches 60 mph, and were it carousing on roads straighter and longer; it would see 217 mph before running out of breath. Now snaking along the storied Mulholland highway, I ease my grip on the perforated leather wheel. Within the Aventador’s Ego drive mode, I tune the suspension and steering for comfort, and the powertrain for performance. In this configuration, I mellow the drama without muting the music. It’s an eight-mile trek to Soho House – just enough time to slow my pulse. I arrive at Little Beach House, Malibu still fighting my own grin. My bright orange supercar taunts a parking lot filled with silver S-Classes and black 7 Series’. I feel like Rodney Dangerfield at Caddyshack’s dinner soirée — the life of the party has arrived, and the valet knows it. She looks stunning, as usual – my date, that is. A hostess with a hairstyle that must take hours to perfect escorts us to a table overlooking the water. It’s a brilliantly clear day – evidenced by Catalina’s visible features on the horizon. As we sip our espressos and chat about our weekend plans, my mind wanders to my automotive maestro. No doubt, I experienced intense creative energy this morning, but was there more to be extracted? I should take a long way home — just to be sure. Lamborghini. Words and Photos By Miles Branman.
The Dark Side
FALL MUST-HAVE RIDE
An exciting drive
Grand Touring For 2