Running with the Bulls

Disney’s Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster in Orlando delivers neck-snapping, zero to 60 acceleration in 2.8 seconds.
That’s quick. Extremely quick. So quick that the Mouse warns sufferers of high blood pressure, motion sickness, and heart, back, or neck problems not to climb aboard.

Alas, there were no similar warnings inside the 580-horsepower, chili pepper red Lamborghini Huracán coupe I recently found myself strapped into.

But then again, why would there be? Well, my instructor and race car driver extraordinaire Kevin Conway informed me that this particular model of the V-10-engined Lambo can rocket from standstill to 60 mph in an eyeballs-pushed-to-the-back-of-your-head 2.5 seconds.

Eat your heart out, Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster.

But where do you go to witness this kind of insane acceleration for yourself? Just sign up for one of Lamborghini’s Esperienza driving experience programs, like the one I took part in at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Three or four times a year, Lamborghini and its dealers invite potential, possible, and on-the-fence customers to a racetrack for a day of high-octane driving.

The reasoning behind this endeavor is simple: A quick test drive on I-95 reveals little about the performance or handling attributes of the latest $200,000 Huracán supercar, but quality time on the track, alongside a pro like Conway, can demonstrate its sensational breadth of capability. And it just might compel you to reach for that Amex Centurion Card.

Those lucky enough to attend these small, select gatherings (usually limited to about a dozen people) take part in three sessions: A cornering exercise to teach straight-line braking and the correct line through a curve; a through-the-cones slalom; and, finally, high-speed, white-knuckle hot laps around the track.

This being a Lamborghini event, there’s a luxury, air-conditioned trailer the size of Montana for the driver briefings, a barista serving endless espressos, and an on-site chef whipping up pasta and paninis.

At my Esperienza, I sampled two flavors of the mighty Huracán. There’s the new rear-wheel drive Huracán LP 580-2 that, at $199,800 is essentially the “starter” Lambo. Then there’s the four-wheel drive version, the $238,500 Huracán LP 580-4.

To get straight into the performance mood, Conway and I hit the track to undergo that infamous zero to 60 acceleration.

Pull back on the paddle shifter to select first, click a button on the steering wheel to engage the Corsa setting for max performance and traction, and then stomp on the right pedal.

Whoa. The Huracán lunges forward like a rock out of a catapult. No wheel spin, just humongous forward thrust. And incredible noise from that demonic V-10 nuclear reactor that’s mounted just inches behind me.

The sheer violence of the acceleration is staggering. And unrelenting. I flash my eyes down to the speedo and catch the needle passing the 120 mark before hitting the brakes hard.

The slalom run is a blast, driving in and out of orange cones to test the Huracán’s laser-precise steering, fine balance, and superglue-like grip.

For the hot laps, I follow Conway in his lead Huracán while we scythe around the snaking 2-mile, 10-turn road course at PBIR, hitting close to 160 mph on the main straightaway.

As a finale, I slide alongside Conway (a former Nascar Rookie of the Year and current star of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series) for three laps of flat-out, sideways-drifting, grin-inducing driving.

For anyone considering Lamborghini ownership, there’s no better way of getting a taste of the thrills these raging bulls can offer. In the meantime, there’s always the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster.

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