Like most other pubescent boys who grew up in the 1980s, my bedroom wall was covered with images of all sorts of things.
Holding pride of place among those images was my beloved poster of a black Lamborghini Countach as it appeared in a famous cigarette advert of the day. I have a little smirk on my face as I think back to my days of innocence!
One of the great things about my job is that it has afforded me the opportunity to live out some of my childhood fantasies.
So you can imagine my sheer joy and disbelief when I got a call offering me a drive experience in the brand-new Lamborghini Aventador S, the latter-day Countach.
For R7,5 million, you could invest in a decent home in an upmarket suburb in any South African city. Alternatively, you could get yourself a set of keys to the Aventador S. The former option is clearly prudent and logical, while the latter is pure indulgence.
Pragmatism flies out the window when you’re talking about one of the world’s fastest two-seater super-cars. The Aventador is in every sense of the word, truly spectacular. The Italian beast is powered by an outrageous 6,5-litre V12 motor, which pushes out 544kW at 8 250rpm. In English, that means when you plant your right foot, it will take you 2,9 seconds to go from 0-100 km/h!
If seeing is believing, then the transparent optional bonnet that offers you a direct view of the mid-mounted engine is the way to go. The body is made of a combination of aluminium, carbon fibre and sheet-mould composite.
With its aggressive shape, the Aventador remains one of the most striking super-cars out there. But never mind the compelling Italian engineering and design, the real drama lies in the bellowing soundtrack. As the car races to 8 500rpm before the limiter intervenes, the new, lighter exhaust system emits some dramatic sound effects, including a “vrrrr phaaaa” on steroids.
You can’t help getting carried away, although city driving makes the car feel like a caged animal. This is not a car that is focused on fine lines and refinement – it’s all-out power and brute force. On the inside, the basic layout has the feel of a regular everyday car. It even has stop/start technology and a street-driving mode (one of four such modes). Apart from that, there’s very little similarity to my double cab. It’s a really firm ride and you can literally hear the shudder and mechanics in the seven-speed gearbox.
But ultimately, the reason one drives a car like this is out of a sense of duty to country.
When you’re cruising around in this car, you make people happy. People stare at you with huge grins on their faces, wondering what it must be like to be you. You make people happy when you let them pose for pictures next to the car. When you drive a Lamborghini, you have no choice but to step everything up a few levels.
Tipping the car guard R5 just seemed pathetic, so I slapped the brother with a R200 note. The ultimate satisfaction, though, wasn’t the expression on the faces of the eight colleagues I took for a rather rapid spin (naughty chuckle).
The highlight of the day came when I pulled into the car park at a shopping centre near the office. As I circled to find three open parking bays, a group of four laaities started chasing after me. I popped the suicide doors and as I flopped out of the car (there’s no elegant way of getting out of one these babies) my pursuers started jumping up and down, screaming: “It’s a darkie bra, bru! Wola!”
It ain’t no fun when you live the dream alone, so spread the joy! That’s my #CountryDuty done!