LAKE SACACOMIE, Quebec, Canada—The ice is 39 inches thick, a slab of frozen water spanning the width of Lake Sacacomie, two hours north of Montreal. From the edge, it looks like a wide field framed by snow-dusted firs. The barks of Italian V-10 and V-12 engines rake across the cold as a handful of Lamborghini Huracans, Huracan Performantes, and Aventadors sling sideways through the gray.
This is the Lamborghini Winter Accademia, a two-day ice-driving program designed to allow owners to explore a handful of high-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Lamborghini models in a low-consequence, low-grip environment. Our instructors are all professional drivers plucked from various corners of motorsports, all here to help us coax these machines around a set of courses designed to familiarize us with the finesse required to pitch a Lamborghini sideways and keep it there.
This is not standard operating procedure for an all-wheel-drive supercar, even one with 602 horsepower like the Huracan LP610-4, but out here, where traction is a faint memory, the cars are glad to throw their tails out. The morning started on a power circle, a massive skidpad with a center and sides made of soft, deep snow. Our instructor chatted amiably as he threw the car around in a series of easy, perfect drifts before handing us the wheel.
We were butchers by comparison, hacking our way through the first lap or two. Under normal circumstances, the car sends 90 percent of its power to the rear wheels, but it can shuttle up to 50 percent to the front if it senses slip. As a result, it behaves like a rear-wheel-drive car until you find yourself in trouble. Plant the throttle and the tail steps wide. Lift, catch the slide with the wheel, grab some more throttle, and the car will dig its way to safety, following your hands and eyes.
Somehow, these cars are made for this. The V-10 behind the Huracans’ seats is a perfect pendulum, easy to swing and catch, and with gentle prodding from our teacher, we were holding a slide for one lap, then two, then three.
With your nose pointed at the bank in the middle of a slide, more throttle will sling you wide. Less will tidy up your line. It takes some adjustment, but the new skill carries us through the rest of the day’s activities until we’re pushing a Performante around a technical ice course, gathering laps and speed and doing our best to string together a series of slides.
The Accademia is part of the company’s Squadra Corse program, a multi-tiered system that allows drivers to go as far as they like down the motorsports rabbit hole, from playing around on world-class race tracks and getting a bit of driving instruction on frozen lakes all the way to the company’s Super Trofeo series and, eventually, the GT3 race program. It’s the first hint that that these cars are good for more than looking pretty. The only downside is that the majority of the courses are open only to people who already own one of the company’s cars.