Those dampers are firm. And the track at Vallelunga, where I drove the car, is bumpy. And fast. So, let's add it all together: Fast track, stiff suspension, brutal upshifts, 700 horsepower (well, 700 ps -- or, as we in America call it, "a little less than 700 horsepower"). When all of those factors come together -- a redline upshift just as you hit a bump in the middle of a long sweeper -- you will surely not think that the modern Lamborghini has gone all easy-listening on you.
We were doing laps follow-the-leader style, behind some race driver in a Gallardo, and this is the first time that I've been glad for that format. Left to my own devices, I'd probably have made it a half-lap before something very bad happened to the Aventador's carbon-fiber moncocque. The learning curve is steep, because the Aventador brakes like most other supercars. I mean, it has great big carbon rotors, but the braking performance might be within your normal frame of reference. The acceleration, though, probably is not. The Aventador does 0-to-62 mph in 2.9 seconds, according to Lamborghini. That's fast, obviously. But we're getting to the point where you can't slice too much more off the 0-60, just because of traction. So the quarter-mile is really the more telling number: 10.5 seconds. That is insane -- getting near Bugatti Veyron-level insane.
So what happens on the track is, you come out of a second-gear corner, hit full throttle onto a straight, bang a couple upshifts, and then realize, "Oh, jeepers, I seem to be going 135 mph and now there's a corner." You need to brake way earlier than you expect, because you're probably going faster than you think you are. I had a few moments braking off straightaways that were, let's say, life-affirming.