The late-afternoon Italian sun was shining through the right-side door of the Aventador. It must have been a jaw-dropping ‘against light’ picture for everyone else on the autostrada. But for me, it was a pain. The navigation screen in this flagship Lamborghini is placed at an angle in the sloping centre console, which means I couldn’t read it properly. The only way to check if my direction was correct was to cover the screen with my right hand and peer at it. The right turn off the highway towards Bologna seemed to be some distance away.
Just then, a Fiat Punto passed me on the left, complete with screaming kids at the back, gesturing me to go for it. I sighed, thinking, here we go again. You see, in Italy, when you drive a Lamborghini, you’re part of the entertainment act. You are expected to perform for them. If you’re driving a supersport car, you are the custodian of a national treasure and the tax-paying citizens of this magnificent country expect their full money’s worth from you. The Punto expectantly pulled up in front of me, giving me the right of way in the fast lane.
By now it was a practised manoeuvre. Left indicator. Steer left. Slow down. Let the Punto go ahead. A clear stretch. Everyone else has also made way for you. Allllright then. Stomp the pedal. A millinanosecond of calm. Then BAM! There is an explosion behind me as the V12 crackles and then thunders as the Aventador transforms into a road-going fighter plane. I rocket past all the cars at some highly ridiculous speeds, getting just a fraction of a millisecond to wave goodbye to the kids in the Punto. The digits on the speedo climb rapidly, like in a Doomsday Clock in a movie. I give my best 100-watt smile as I pass the speed camera mounted overhead. I am sure, this being Italy, it will choose not to work when a Lambo passes by. In the whole process, I couldn’t see the satnav screen and realised that I had overshot my turn-off by a huge margin. Grr. This is what happens when you play to the gallery. Showoff.
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