“If you don’t smile in our cars, you’re not part of our world”. These were the words from Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Lamborghini. He has a point there because you don’t buy a Lamborghini to drive around with a serious and stern face. You buy it for a giggle.
That’s exactly what happened last Friday here in Tokyo. It was the second ‘Lamborghini Day’ to celebrate all things Sant’Agata, a follow up to last year’s epic epic event. This year, Lambo Day included the Japan launch of the Centenario, the celebration of the Mirua’s 50th anniversary, and of course a parade run of 65 Lamborghini cars.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen Lamborghinis before. It doesn’t matter what other sorts of supercars and hypercars you’ve seen before. When Lamborghinis stretching from the company’s 63 year history gather together in one place you’re going to be amazed. By the end of the day I was basically dragging my jaw on the ground.
Part 1: From One Centenario To The Next
One of the highlights was definitely the Centenario. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that blown away when I saw photos of this car from its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. I thought it looked a bit odd, after all to me the ultimate special Lambo is the Reventon. But I have never been happier to be proven wrong. The Centenario is every bit as dramatic, as show-stopping, and as heart-racing as a proper Lambo should be.
The shape, the details, and the numbers are out of this world. A Lamborghini shouldn’t be a car, it should be a UFO. Sure, the Centenario is basically an Aventador in fancy dress but what a dress. The Centenario ups the Aventador’s 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 to 770hp. Because it’s made entirely of carbon-fibre (monocoque and body) it only weighs 1520kg. 770hp in a 1.5 tonne car. That translates to 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 350 km/h. Proper supercar stuff.
Built to celebrate Ferruccio Lamborghini’s centenary year, the Centenario is the pinnacle of Lamborghini at the moment. It continues the brand’s three decade history of carbon fibre as well as signalling the direction they’ll take in the future. But more importantly, it looks fantastic. I had to keep going back to the stage just to get another glimpse of it. Each time I did, I noticed something new on it. It’s one of those cars where you could stare it all day long and find new things to admire. It’s like a bedroom poster has come to life.
Part 2: Where Past Meets Present
Speaking of bedroom posters, all of Lambo’s famous pinups were also displayed in a special area next to the main stage. Unfortunately the classics (with the exception of one orange Countach) didn’t participate in the parade. But it was understandable as these were some of the best condition cars I’ve ever seen.
To celebrate the Miura’s 50th anniversary there were 10 (yes, 10!) Miura’s on display for the Concours judging. Seeing 10 Mirrors together is something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Actually, I still can’t believe that happened. I genuinely believe when the world goes tits up and people in the future look back at some of mankind’s achievements, the Miura will be remembered as one of the best and most beautiful things our imperfect species ever created. It’s one of the few times in history where man has equalled God in creation.
To top off my Miura love affair were two green cars tucked away in the back. One was a green (sorry Verde Metalizzato) Miura SV that had been restored by Lamborghini PoloStorico (their specialist restoration arm). This car was actually originally a test bed for the Miura SV range. The restoration took one year and 2000 hours of work. I’d say it was work well spent because, and I cannot emphasise this enough, it looked absolutely gorgeous. I know the Centenario was supposed to be the star of the show but for me this metallic green Miura stole the show. I wanted to take it home with me badly.
Unfortunately that Miura is probably worth many millions of euros. Next to it was a slightly more affordable alternative, the Aventador Miura Homage. 50 of these special edition Aventador LP700 will be made and the car displayed here was finished in the perfect Verde Scandal/Gold combination.
Back to the Concours display and there were a fair few Countachs on display. I thought there’d be more but maybe the ones I’ve seen around Tokyo weren’t quite Concours quality. Behind the Countachs were a lineup of what I call “the forgotten Lambos”. Cars such as the Urraco, Jalpa, Silhouette, Jarama, and Islero were displaced fighting for some attention. I wished there was an Espada though. That’s one Lambo I haven’t seen yet.
Luckily I was able to tick the LM002 from my ‘to-see-list’. What an impressive looking thing that is. Lamborghinis should always have presence and the LM002 has it and some. What a ridiculous idea it is, a massive 4×4 with the engine from a Countach. Forget your AMG G-Wagons and Bentley Bentayga, this is the ultimate badass super 4×4.
Next to the LM002 were a 350GT and 400GT, Lamborghini’s first cars. From a time when front-engine GT cars were all the rage, let’s hope Lamborghini bring this format back into their line up in the future.
Right, the Diablos. For me these and the Murcielago are the definitive Lamborghinis. These were the ones I grew up with so they’re the most special to me. The lineup of Diablos consisted of the most special ones, from the SE30 to the Diablo GTR. There was even a Diablo GT2, not often you see those. My favourite had to be the white GT and the dark blue VT 6.0 finished in dark blue and right hand drive.
Part 3: Don’t Rain On This Parade
Out in front of the main venue was a large meeting area for the main parade cars. There were around 65 contemporary Lamborghini models participating in this year’s run. Models from the Countach, Diablo, Murcielago, Gallardo, Aventador, and Huracan family slowly gathered throughout the day before they all set off. Seeing and hearing them come in one by one built up anticipation. It was unfortunate the classics weren’t able to join in but since it was a rainy day and those Concours cars are worth a fair amount, it was also very understandable why they didn’t.
The amount of Aventador SVs, I think, more than made up for the lack of classics. I lost count but roughly ten SVs were in attendance. Or in other words, one in six cars participating in the parade were Aventador SVs. Yeah, there may have been less cars this year than last year’s parade but there were a lot more SVs.
The rain may have put some people off but 65 was still an awesome turnout. Hell, seeing two Lamborghinis driving together is awesome enough. Seeing 65 reek havoc in Tokyo is something else. I don’t know why they decided to go out during rush hour but it made it easy to catch up with the parade on foot. It also meant 65 Lamborghinis were inconveniencing commuters on their way home from work on a rainy Friday afternoon. But I don’t think they were too bothered.
What was even better than seeing the Lambos drive together were the reactions from people in other cars, on the sidewalk, and in restaurants. It really didn’t matter if you liked cars or not, when you see these crazy shapes in their bright colours, with their obnoxiously loud exhausts, you’re going to look.
It may have been a dark, wet, and gloomy afternoon but thanks to the Lambos it ended up becoming an orgy of noise and colour. The Lamborghini drivers, bless them, were more than happy to put on a show for us too revving their engines and accelerating hard. Like I said, you don’t buy this car to drive around seriously. You buy them for a giggle.
Last year’s parade was affected by a bit of rain. It’s perhaps Mother Nature’s way of showing her tears, knowing 65 V10 and V12 Lamborghinis would be burning through petrol in a matter of minutes. Oh well, it’s a lot of fun to see and hear.
Interestingly though, for a Lamborghini parade in Tokyo, there was a surprising lack of customised Lambos. Perhaps their invitations got lost in the mail? Though that didn’t stop a couple from trying to join in at the end with a chrome Murcielago, Liberty Walk Aventador, and a strange looking Diablo Roadster trying to sneak into the parade.
You have to give Lamborghini a round of applause. Whereas other supercar manufacturers would hold exclusive invite only events, Lamborghini aren’t shy to share their cars and events with the public. For that I have the utmost respect for them.
All in all it was yet another epic and unforgettable Lamborghini Day in Tokyo. I was surprised they did it a second time to be honest. But I’m glad they did. It will yet again be another highlight of my year. Let’s hope they do it again next year. Please Lamborghini, please do.