Pretty much every warm-blooded male I know has at one point in their lives fantasized about driving a Supercar (amongst other warm blooded male fantasies, of course.) Most still do. But unless you’ve hit the jackpot – or have very wealthy and generous friends – it’s something the average car enthusiast will rarely ever get to experience. Unless, that is, you’re heading to Singapore like we just did. That’s right – read all about our experience driving the heart-stopping Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder on the streets of Singapore and find out how you can too!
Ultimate Drive is the brainchild of car enthusiast Marc Griot, who wanted to make the Supercar dream more accessible for fellow car fanatics. Ultimate Drive let’s you rent either a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder or a Ferrari F430 F1 Spider and take it out for a 15, 30 or 60 min spin around the streets of Singapore (with the top down to fully impress the chicks, of course.) The faint-of-heart can opt to sit on the passenger side while a trained driver gives you a taste of what these incredible performance machines are capable of. Either way, you’re in for one sick thrill.
Given the choice, MissMalini and I both jumped at the Gallardos, and lucky for us, they have two (one in black and one in yellow). Malini decided she’d rather let a pro show her the ropes, but there was no way I was going to pass up the chance to find out for myself (read: brag to my friends and rub it in their face).
The first thing you feel as you walk up to these gleaming machine is sheer, mind-numbing excitement. I never thought I’d get the chance to drive one of these beasts, and here I was just a step away from piloting one of my dream cars. It doesn’t hurt that onlookers eye you with envy as you casually open the driver-side door, doing your best to look like it ain’t a thaang (Note: you will fail).
Sliding in behind the wheel, you instantaneously realize this is no ordinary car – this is a fighter jet. You’re strapped in, low to the ground, and the plush cockpit wraps around you like this piece of luxury equipment was built just for you. You, my friend, are the f*cking MAN!
And that’s when your palms start to sweat. Because this is when it hits you. This turbo-charged monster costs a quarter of a million dollars, and these dudes just handed you the keys. Buffing out a scratch from one of these babies probably costs more than the entire (insert generic Japanese car brand) you drive back home – and it probably doesn’t have that wonky clutch either. Suddenly you notice this cockpit doesn’t actually wrap around you – you’re wrapping around it. I’m not sure, but I don’t think my gut is supposed to touch the steering wheel, is it? And why do my knees keep knocking into each other? Is that a bald spot I see in the rearview mirror?? Wait, that’s the rearview mirror???
Ok, get a grip dude. You can do this. They wouldn’t let you do it if it wasn’t doable. They’re fully insured. You’ve got an expert driver next to you. And yes, that button – that moves your seat back, doofus. Much better. Oh, and clutch? What clutch? This baby goes fully automatic, or for added fun use the F1 style Techtronic paddle shift. There’s nothing to it. You can do this.
You slide in the key, and give it a turn. At first: nothing. Just when you think you’ve already messed up, the V10 engine roars to life. As you picture giant flames leaping out behind you and feel the car come alive, any remaining nerves melt away. Yes – you ARE the f*cking man! And no, your gut is not touching the steering wheel, thank you very much!
The rest is just a blur. As you press down on the gas peddle, the engine lets out another deafening roar and suddenly, you’re driving a Lamborghini. As Marc explains at registration, these cars have come a long way in the last two decades, and what used to be a difficult machine to tame is now butter under your fingertips. The car is incredibly responsive, and even as you take it slow to get your bearings, you can feel how seamlessly raw power is married with elegant sophistication to create an unmatched – and surprisingly easy – driving experience.
We went for the shorter 15 minute drive, and although it never feels long enough, we were still able to experience some truly exhilarating driving (including some stretches that comprise Singapore’s F1 Street Grand Prix circuit.) While I started out in Automatic (just to be safe), my guide encouraged me to switch to Techtronic mode and let ‘er rip on the freeway – and this is where you really experience the magic that is Lamborghini. There are few greater thrills and adrenaline-pumping highs than pressing your foot down on a pedal and hearing – and feeling – the monster growl of a 520 horsepower engine launching you forward. The clutch-less paddle shifters are a breeze to use, without robbing you of the joy of mastering 8000 heart-racing rpms.
Before you know it, you’re back where you started. As you park the car and turn off the engine, you look for an excuse – any excuse – to linger in your seat just a little bit longer. That’s probably a good thing, because a) it’s impossible to walk when you’re this weak in the knees, and b) catching your breath is gonna take a minute.
As you return to registration to pick up your video (a dashboard camera records your entire drive for posterity), all you can think about is going at it again, now that you know what to expect. No more sweaty palms here.
The Ultimate Drive is not necessarily cheap, but it is worth every penny. Factor in the cost of the car, the insurance, and the sheer, unbridled exhilaration, and there’s really no better way to experience driving some of the most beautiful, powerful machines on the road.
Psst! Have some loose change to spare? Lamborghini is now in Mumbai! Not only do they have the Gallardo, but they also have the slick new Aventador! Now how do I convince them to let me go for a test drive…??