In a brutally fast Lamborghini in Tenerife – Dream Drive
As the alarm clock on your phone plays its daily jarring jingle, you dredge your mind from the dark depths of sleep into the dark depths of an early winter’s morning. Shivering at the prospect you allow yourself to press snooze. You push for another five minutes. A blissful warmth radiates into you from the Lamborghini V12 behind and the African sun above. Except this isn’t Africa. You are at the edge of a tree line, looking out over the dark green spikes of thousands of pines. Beyond should be the Atlantic Ocean, but it’s hidden by the vast, fluffy white desert of a cloud inversion. It imparts an almost heavenly feeling.
You enjoy the heat and the view before swinging up the driver’s door and dropping into the seat behind a curiously long steering column. To your right a simple gearlever protrudes from an open gate. With its spherical top it looks like an oversized pin has been plunged into the transmission tunnel.
Wake the 6.5 litres behind you with a twist of the key, dip the heavy clutch pedal, smoothly slot first and then ease back onto the dark tarmac, revelling in the torque. Climbing through a couple of huge hairpins it looks as though you have taken a wrong turn. Tenerife might conjure up images of beaches and package holidays, but here on Mount Teide the landscape looks more like something the Mars Rover should tackle. A disquietingly dark lava field nestles against the road, one giant residue spreading like burnt food on a baking tray. The road through it is straight. Two miles stretch out ahead. Long enough to land a Space Shuttle on. Long enough to max out a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster?
Only one way to find out. Third gear, floor the throttle, rely on the traction from the four-wheel drive and enjoy the sensation of the revs piling on, the kick as it goes through 4000rpm, then a second surge at 6500rpm as it rips ferociously towards its 8000rpm limiter. What would Bizzarrini have made of this iteration of his creation? Soon the slipstream whips the noise away and begins to feel like it might pull you out of the cabin, too. Thank goodness the roof was already off – could have been a nightmare if you’d had to grapple with that. You wait until the last moment as the speedo creeps towards the bat-out-of-hell 330kmph maximum, then stand on the brake pedal, leaning into the huge carbon-ceramic discs, feeling the tyres dig into the surface.
Left at the junction from TF-38 onto TF-21 and keep climbing. The road twists and rises above a now rusty-red lava field. What’s surprising is how light and precise the car feels through the bends. You hustle it, pushing through the initial comforting understeer, pouring on more power and riding out the ensuing slides. A Spanish-named supercar sublime on the roof of a Spanish island.
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Then a warning chime. You search the dash for a tell-tale light, silently cursing the Italian build quality of the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster. The sound is getting louder and louder and… you suddenly open your eyes to the glow of a screen and the jangling of a slightly robotic reveille. Just a dream…