I have seen fear, and it is orange. The keys are in it; the scissor door is open; the engine is thumping away happily in that slightly lo-fi, muted way that cars do when sat on new snow and… everyone is avoiding the Aventador. I’ve seen a couple of people approach it with eager eyes, look up and down the road, pause for a moment and back away. As if any sudden movement might provoke attack. Then again, if you were here on this -20 degree morning, a full-fat moon still hanging tubbily in the sky, you’d understand.
Access to our ice track is down some distance of hilly, snowy track that has apparently been chewed through by a plough with deliberately jagged edges, leaving bluish knives of ice at the fringes. The margin leaves only three inches of clearance either side of the 2.2-metre-wide LP700-4. Grip is on the low side of marginal, pedestrians adopting a kind of low-gravity shuffle, arms out and fingers spread, like bulky tightrope walkers, and even cars on studs require a little fizz of wheelspin when they pull away. You get the feeling that getting it wrong isn’t so much a matter of time, but a matter of the severity of the inevitable. So most members of the Top Gear team are opting for something a little less expensive, obvious and… feral to begin the first morning of the first day. There has been an unseemly scuffle over the keys to the Range Rover. Thing is, someone has to drive the Lambo. We need to find out if four-wheel drive allows you to actually use a car like this in an environment extreme enough to hobble an elk. What - as they so ominously tend to say - could possibly go wrong?
Words: Tom Ford
Photos: Lee Brimble
This article was first published in the March 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine