Event wrap up: well worth braving the cold, standing in the lines, etc etc etc. here are my thoughts about each car.
- 1) The Ferrari 458 Italia: nimble, powerful, modern. This car is beauty personified. It was the looker of the pack. Every angle was breathtaking (could’ve just been me being geeked out knowing I was just about to drive it). The interior was equally well appointed. Liberal usage of Carbon fiber, leather, and exterior color-matched stitching. We were told to keep the transmissions in their Automatic modes only, so I can’t comment about the shifting. Be that as it may, the car was always in the right gear. Want an apex? Point and shoot. The car makes you believe that you are a better driver than you are. It’s like a Ninja with a laser sword.
- 2) McLaren MP4-12c: Top Gear summed this car up as being too perfect. I see where they are coming from. I’ve driven 112” wheelbase luxury cars with a more jarring ride than this. The acceleration is like... well... You ever watch Star Trek? Something like that. Never makes a miss-step. My only issue: whoever was in that Nissan GTR.... I spent most of my time in the brakes (which were amazing too).
- 3) Audi R8: this was a surrogate. I was originally set to drive the Ferrari F430 (which, I have to admit, looks ANCIENT next to the 458. I’m sure it is a great car, but goodness! It’s not up to par with appearances). Anyway, the R8 was a surprise! Great exhaust note, very “Audi” interior (See also: German interior 101). Christi tried to capture a photo of me in this car, but couldn’t, because... Race Car. I would have had more praise for the Audi (because it certainly did no wrong) if not for driving its platform mate, the Gallardo right after it.
- 4) Lamborghini Gallardo LP560: The raging Bull does not disappoint! I remember mentioning to my instructor how “raw” the interior is Vs. The other three. No scissor doors, no gratuitous use of carbon fiber. The car seems to say, “Get in, shut up, drive.” In some ways, it was what I had expected from the others: stiff suspension, wailing exhaust note. It seems to ooze exotica. It FELT like what I had imagined an Italian sports car would feel like. Which is odd, considering that the 560 derives its V-10 from Volkswagen. My instructor gave me a long leash with this one, and let me drive it. He said I was doing great, so he didn’t have much to say! We both thoroughly enjoyed this one!
Verdict: safe bet is save all of your lunch money, and before you kick the bucket, you spend your loot on the McLaren (First) and then the 458 Italia. I came into this knowing that I would be enamored with those two. But that Lambo!.... Good lord! I am in love! I’ll take one in white, please!