The Road Ahead : February March 2015
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 9 FEB/MAR 2015 THE ROAD AHEAD MAIN IMAGE: LAMBORGHINI HURACAN LEADS AVENTADOR. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: PARKED ACROSS FROM MT FUJI; STREETS OF TOKYO (THINKSTOCK); BEST OF JAPANESE CUISINE; BEHIND THE WHEEL; GEISHA (THINKSTOCK); MAP OF JAPAN (THINKSTOCK). BOOM, BANG AND bombast fill the air. The noise is reminiscent of a late John Bonham or Keith Moon drum solo. But it's actually the sound of 22 cylinders (6.5-litre V12 + 5.2-litre V10) of Lamborghini supercar, under acceleration and then over-run, bouncing off the inside of a long tunnel. Such tunnels stitch together the mighty expressways of Japan. On our 900+ kilometre dream drive from Tokyo to Kyoto, there must be scores of them, some four or more kilometres long. It's an opportunity to replay that Bonham/ Moon crescendo over and over. The day starts on the forecourt of the Marriot Tokyo, where our small driving and support teams marshal. The brief? To test drive the new $428,000 Huracan LP 610-4, replacement for Lamborghini's bestseller, the Gallardo. Along for the ride will be big brother Aventador LP 700-4, FEATURE | NEWS at $761,000, flagship of this iconic Italian brand. But before some of Japan's best driving roads flow beneath our cars' fat wheel tracks, there's peak hour through Tokyo to negotiate. I'm nominated to drive the Aventador first. Initial concerns about its imposing breadth prove unfounded and it dispatches the crosstown traffic with impressive tractability for a car bristling with 515kW and 690Nm. The Japanese, by nature, seem fairly undemonstrative people, but such genetic restraint is no defence against these other-worldly Italian supercars. A sea of heads turn and gazes fix, a response that will become a common experience for the next two days. Some 90 minutes later, we leave the Tomei Expressway and enter a private toll road -- the legendary Mazda Hakone Turnpike. This 13km of blacktop escapism sweeps its way along a ridge to an outlook offering OMG views of Sagami Bay and snow-capped Mt Fuji. Such a setting is made for cars like the Huracan and Aventador, which embrace the turnpike's flowing curves and massage its smooth hot-mix surface with competence and conviction. Photographer Yoshitaka Kashiwada, whose outstanding images you see on these pages, records the moment. By mid-afternoon, intermittent sunshine and scattered cloud give The day starts on the forecourt of the Marriot Tokyo ... The brief? To test drive the new $428,000 Huracan LP 610-4, replacement for Lamborghini's bestseller the Gallardo.
April 1st 2015