Helmet on. Eyes forward. Body shivering. With no solid roof over my head, every piercing degree of upstate New York chill torments my muscles. My fingers can barely grasp the snarling Italian mount's Alcantara-swathed wheel as we sit impatiently in Monticello Motor Club's pitlane.
Standing still is what the 562-horsepower Lamborghini Gallardo
LP 570-4 Spyder Performante despises most. It is akin to hell for a beast whose sole purpose is pulverizing open stretches of asphalt. But if all goes as planned, man and machine will soon be in heaven.
A yell comes over the two-way Motorola radio lying in the carbon-fiber center console. "It is time!"
My feet, which thankfully have been out of the cold's reach, begin their two-pedal dance. My fingers loosen as I slap the right paddle and the adrenaline starts to flow. The bull begins to rage.
Unleashing a full throttle prodding, the Spyder Performante launches into an all-out I-hate-you-with-a-passion charge that has its cold Pirelli hooves screeching in a desperate struggle to stick to the slippery surface. When they finally adhere, the cold wind swirling inches from my carbon-fiber cocoon matters no more. My nearly useless appendages find life. The squawking walkie-talkie is in pieces somewhere behind my stiff bucket throne.
Once perturbed, the bull changes your very being. Sweat streams from every pore. Regular-fit jeans turn hipster skinny. Ears feast on the Performante's raw, metallic Italian baritone. Vision tunnels. You have to remember how to breathe. This is much more than a point-and-shoot sports car, say, in an almost-numb, Porsche
Turbo S or Nissan Gt R
type of way. In the open-top Gallardo, you're intimately involved with its every motion and emotion.