Lambo. Imola. And You.

Lamborghini Academy: The Extreme Driving Experience


We’re not going to mince words with this one. If you’re actually researching the Gallardo then you have no idea what you’re doing. Please, step away from the computer. Understand that we’re not too thrilled with you buying a car that you know nothing about, only to parade around town like a young and inexperienced Biebs. Listen, we’re begging you, do not purchase this four-wheeled masterpiece because you want to show off your new money. Go get yourself an Escalade and a body guard. (Or, you could buy a pair of these.) This car is for the Autobahn and track days.

Now don’t go getting all teary-eyed in front of your supermodel girlfriend. We may be persuaded to discuss this car with you after you’ve taken a few (read: several) trips to Bologna to hit Lambo’s Imola Academy. Take Dax Shepard with you, and we’ll put your name on the list. Because really, dude, are you sure you want to duck into this exotic without knowing just exactly what you’re getting into. C’mon.


The 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 boasts a V10 paired with a six-speed manual for a delivery of 550 unbridled horses and 397 lb.-ft. of torque. The Gallardo’s block is engineered with variable valve timing and lists a compression ratio of 12.5:1. Equipped with a limited-slip differential with asymmetrical locking, this midengine racer sets up handling characteristics with an aluminum double-wishbone front and rear suspension system, complete with anti-roll, anti-dive and anti-squat bars. The Gallardo’s exterior mirrors are heated, electrically adjustable and foldable. The rear spoiler is also electronically controlled.

Yes, carbon-ceramics are an option and owners can contend with that during their optional Ad Personam customization discussion. Other available accessories include upgraded 19-inch alloys, fitted luggage, a rearview camera, a navigation system and an upgraded sound system with iPod integration. Lamborghini offers an optional six-speed, single-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters (dubbed E-gear) and there are a couple of carbon-fiber packages available, too.

Now that you understand what you’re dealing with, here’s this:

Lamborghini driving school is conducted at several tracks ’round the world. We prefer the one-day training that was recently held at The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, named for the founder of Ferrari and his son. Known simply as Imola, the track’s original name is derived from its neighboring town, which sits just 20-odd miles outside of Bologna, Italy.


This legendary circuit once hosted Formula 1 races and is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. Composed of nine right side turns and 13 left side turns, it measures about 3.05 miles around.

This spectacular one-day training commences with a briefing on technical and engineering instruction from Lamborghini’s driving team. The Italian factory’s race team are also on hand to offer advice garnered from their thousands of hours at the track.

Coaching then focuses on an orientation of the circuit, driving lines and lap consistency. Then it’s time to suit up and get behind the wheel of 550 horses of sheer raging-bull power. (Or feel free to choose the Aventador, if you think you can handle it.) As far as accommodations go, trust us, you’ll be comfy.

If you’re not quite sure about the mind-numbing price tag on this spectacular weekend, Lamborghini also tells us there are state-side classes via Lamborghini Esperienza, that run just $850 per day. In the future, we would love to see the company churn out some of these track days at Laguna Seca or Austin’s new COTA, but we’ll just have to wait and see if that becomes a reality. In the meantime, get your helmet ready.