When behind the wheel, most people use only partial vision, limited motor skills and less than a quarter of their brainpower. But I would argue that to truly immerse yourself, you need to drive with your whole being.
A proper driving experience is best enjoyed by all your senses – your ears, of course, the hair on the back of your neck, the pit in your stomach, your fingertips, and, of course, your derriere. I was reminded of this fact when I piloted the (dangerously desirable) Lamborghini Huracan STO recently at the BIC – the review of which you’ll find elsewhere in this issue. But, when the adrenaline receded, I was left with a sense of loss. Of mourning.
You see, the STO is powered by an endangered species – the naturally aspirated motor! For all intents and purposes, it hasn’t evolved much over the past century. And while, on a Darwinian timescale, you can’t fault it, but at a time as tumultuous as this, the trusty NA ICE (Naturally Aspirated Internal Combustion Engine) finds itself going the way of the Dodos.
And while I don’t think of myself as a Luddite – tech continues to astound me and worrying about the environment keeps me up some nights – but there’s simply no way an EV, no matter how fast, can match a car like the STO for driving appeal. Sure, an EV would beat it off the line, while the STO’s 5.2-litre V10 laboriously attempts to convert heat into propulsion, but the EV is a one-trick pony while the STO is only just letting its 630 horses out of their stable.
The way a naturally aspirated engine revs – in this case, all the way to 8,000rpm – builds velocity (not only at ridiculous speed, but also in a manner that increases your heart rate at the same pace), and that’s to say nothing of the accompanying orchestra, it’s a confluence of sensations that has to be experienced to be believed. And then there’s the collection of exotic materials that make up this fire-breathing supercar, all of which ensures that it weighs about half that of an equivalent EV. As Colin Chapman said, “simplify, then add lightness.” There’s simply no way you can make a battery-powered car dance quite like this. Sure, the Porsche Taycan sticks to the road with physics-defying levels of adhesion, but can it tap dance around corners like this Lambo? No way!
Now, there’s no doubt that super sports cars will get even faster over time, but my fear is that they’ll also lose some of their rawness, their fleet-footedness, and their aural appeal. Once the beating heart of a Lambo is replaced by ones and zeros, is there really any place for that raging bull on the bonnet?
Download our January 2022 issue here --> https://www.autox.com/emagazine/
Are we right in maligning the internal combustion engine?
Write your Comment