After a short pit stop, we have another go, this time in VIN 3, which looks and feels quite a bit rougher. The transmission is harsher, the cladding is even more provisional, and the wipers give up at 170 mph. The directional stability isn't quite as confidence-inspiring, either -- under lift-throttle and braking, the hips shrug and the rear end tries to jump a lane. More concerning, the front end seems to dance at high speeds. I manage to observe 213 mph before being told over the radio to quit being a hooligan.
It's almost one o'clock in the morning now. One journalist hit a fox at well over 120 mph, luckily without doing damage to the car. I've atomized a swarm of unidentified flying objects, which look as big as bats and smell like fried locusts.
Group three, assemble on the grid, please. VIN 2 is clearly the best of the bunch. Set in the aggressive "Corsa" mode, the gearchanges are machine-gun fast. The disguised coupe maxes out at an indicated 214 mph, and despite having equally wimpy wipers, it feels more coherent and better built than the other two bulls. Same front-end twitchiness, though.
The Italians in their Lambo-logo gear take our criticism with the nonchalance it probably deserves at quarter to two in the morning. Might be the tire pressure, says one engineer. Perhaps these aren't yet the final spring specifications, ventures another. Maybe the dampers need tweaking, suggests chief engineer Maurizio Reggiani. Time for sleep.
The following morning, we're on Nardo's handling circuit. Stephan Winkelmann (il presidente), Reggiani, and Manfred Fitzgerald (brand and design) are waiting in specially designed overalls, shoes, and helmets.
Once again, we start with a final taste of yesterday's hero. On the circuit, the wide, chunky 2010 Murcielago is a real beast, fishtailing through the left-handers and tramlining during hard deceleration. With no stability control to teach this car manners, the aggression of 661 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque easily override the all-wheel drive, resulting in power oversteer through corners. All in all, it feels like an uncouth old car.