Updated: Aug 17, 2021
June 13th, 8:30 am: It was early, really early. Just days before I had planned the review of a lifetime, and it was a nearly three-hour drive away. I had asked Joe @hilltopphotography_ to come to take photos of this legendary moment and spent hours coordinating for a good photo spot and meeting location. Finally, we arrived at a small coffee shop in the city of Rochester NY, full of Tim Horton’s coffee and still very tired. Joe and a few others were sitting on a wall near the shop, waiting. Waiting for something, for a car I never thought I’d be able to review.
As minutes passed like hours I periodically checked my phone for a message, and eventually, it came. My phone buzzed with an alert, “On my way, be there in 10.”
Just 10 minutes later, the storefronts lining the street echoed with two V12 whip-cracks, signifying our guest of honor had arrived.
Our faces as the bright blue 2012 Lamborghini Aventador rolled into our lot were astonished. Heads turned and jaws dropped as the dual scissor doors rose and the owner stepped out. Joe jumped from the wall and we walked over to greet Paul, who was overjoyed to be able to give us an opportunity like this.
With fist bumps exchanged and cameras snapping, I took some time to ask Paul about himself and explain why we were there. For those of you who don’t know Paul, @paskatheboss on Instagram, he is quite familiar with owning exotic cars, with not one but two Gallardos in the stable before the Aventador. Not to mention his daily driver is a Rolls-Royce Ghost.
In the late ’90s, he immigrated to the U.S from a small country and was forced to drop out of school to work for the family. Just before The Great Recession, he started his first business in trucking, and now, not only does he continue running the trucking business, but now has entered the real estate game too. How’s that for an "American Dream" background story? Now, onto this car.
After simply staring at it for a few moments, you start to realize why millionaires and 12-year olds alike are obsessed with this raging bull, every line is sharp and purposeful, no curvy, swooping line elegance here. The front end yearns to scrape and the rear is one of the greatest views to enjoy when you’re getting passed on the highway. Center exit pipes
dominate the back end and spit fireballs like a flamethrower. What’s connected to that glorious exhaust system is just as interesting and beautiful, the 6.5 liter naturally-aspirated V12 is as much of a work of art as the car itself. With the iconic firing order placed on the engine cover, you know this is one of those cars that you can hear in still photos. Small mods to improve the experience of your 690 horsepower drive, including Novitec coilovers, wheels, and an ear-piercing test pipe system around the back.
It was time we took the Aventador out for a drive. Although it was still early in Rochester, traffic was far from light, and a lot of time was spent going from neutral to first and second and back down once again. And with these cars' single-clutch ISR gearbox, it was a very jerky experience. As soon as the roads open up, though, you get to experience all the sheer power of the V12, and there’s so much of it.
At any point on the tach above 2,500 rpm, power is plentiful, and when you smash the gas, the response is instant and you’re thrown back into your seat.
I was genuinely surprised by the acceleration of this car, almost as much as the GT-R review which you can read here. When I say surprised, I thought it would feel like the R8, with unbridled power, wheelspin, and drama. The Aventador is similar although it almost feels controlled, there’s no spinning, it’s all power connected solidly to the road, and the car makes you work to get what you want, everything is seemingly so far up in the rev range that cruising around town it feels like any other car, except for how incredibly uncomfortable it is. Visibility? None. The seats? Rigid as it gets. But you get my point, this isn’t for everyone, especially not for people who would complain about the front lip and seating position. This is sheer performance, the pinnacle of power and speed.
You’re probably thinking, “This is an 8-year old car! How could it remain at the top for this long?” It’s that good, it’s that fast. Name another car this incredible that has lasted this long in the hearts of car enthusiasts. There aren’t many, given the newer Aventador S, SV, and SVJ, which now holds the lap record around The Green Hell. I can keep going on about it, but I want to focus back on the car in question. When I asked Paul why he went for a first-generation model rather than an S or even an SV, he replied that all the early models already had their recalls and issues fixed, and he could save a lot in maintenance.
As we sat at the top of the hill where we had parked for photos, I thought about the engineering that goes into a vehicle like this, and how such technology could be road-legal. Then I remembered that I was here in this car, and how far I’d come to be sitting in one. So next time you see an Aventador out on the road, remember how much went into that car and roll down your windows to hear that V12 scream.
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The photographs used in this article were not taken by the SFCN Team. All image credit goes to @hilltopphotography_ on Instagram