That the most outrageous Lamborghini ever made was chosen Car of the Year by a vote of nearly two to one is remarkable. Granted, the Aventador LP 700-4 is a stellar achievement—as a design exercise and as a series-production reality. Yet it is difficult to imagine most of the event’s judges actually driving it. But drive they did, and each returned from his or her ride bearing a broad smile and a healthy respect for the low-slung, high-performance monster.
McLaren Automotive’s launch this year of the MP4-12C is a laudable achievement. Not since Lamborghini in the 1960s has a super-performance marque emerged with a car in which every major component is unique to the brand. Engine-development cost is the Achilles’ heel of most automotive start-ups, and so high-end newcomers rarely if ever see fit to invest resources in the creation of a purebred sports car.
This past March marked the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, an occasion that Rome’s citizens and visitors alike celebrated with gusto. In restaurants hung with plump prosciuttos and cloaked in the aroma of white truffles, patrons lifted their glasses of Prosecco to toast the anniversary
Ferrari had not generated this much second-guessing and gossip fodder since 1963, when founder Enzo Ferrari said he was selling his company to Ford—a dubious declaration, it turned out. So was the January announcement true, that the company—creator of sports cars of astounding performance and winner of world racing championships and grand prix by the hundreds—was preparing to introduce a shooting brake?