Where do you find inspiration? What triggers that moment of unchecked, perhaps even frenzied expression? Whether a place, a person, or a practice, the source is essential and the feeling is euphoric. It’s also temporary — at least for most of the world.
If aliens descended upon the earth and solicited a cheat sheet of humanity’s finest achievements, they would find Italy at the center of almost every right-brained endeavor. Fashion, art, and cuisine would be hollow shells without Italian influence. Gucci, Michelangelo, Gelato – society’s past and present indulgences are defined by Italian inspiration.
The creative brainstorm never seems to quell in belle Italia. We could credit the nation’s stunning countryside, beautiful citizens, or rich natural resources for its talent; I happen to believe it’s something less tangible.
Bologna was once the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Today, the city center is a confluence of cafes and Renaissance architecture – a perfect locale for sipping Amaro and dissecting culture. Nearby, in the northwestern commune of Sant’Agata, a bull-branded supercar manufacturer beats with the heart of Italian impulse.
54 years ago, Ferruccio Lamborghini took a sizeable leap from assembling tractors to building sports cars. By the late 1960s, Lamborghini and its elegant Miura P400 had sufficiently stirred the automotive community. The company has grown in size and sophistication since then, but it remains compelled by the same motivator: passion.
A Lamborghini is often heard before it is seen. Its naturally aspirated, high-output engine will end a conversation mid-sentence – as if a king has entered his court. Enchantment only intensifies when the car’s flared haunches, sharp creases, and low-slung physique prowl into view. This dazzling creature could only be the work of an inspired artisan, or in this case, hundreds of them.
While the greater automotive industry demands efficiencies and automated solutions to production bottlenecks, Lamborghini pursues man-made specialization. Hand-stitched interiors and hand-built powertrains are like tailored gifts from each Lamborghini employee to the car’s owner. Personalized touches are part of the automaker’s unique connection between man and machine.
At all levels of the corporate hierarchy, staff members wear the Lamborghini crest like a badge of honor, recognizing one another’s talents as essential to the organization’s success. It isn’t a stretch to relate them to a family, but instead of sharing blood, each employee shares a deep, edacious passion for automotive eminence.
As I lap the famed Autodromo di Imola circuit, piloting the all-new Huracan Performante, this passion is made real. Experiencing a Lamborghini from the outside, even watching its meticulous assembly, is only a hint of the immersive reality as a driver. The Performante communicates like a living organism. Downforce, steering feel, traction, and tire noise are the Performante’s chosen language, spoken at precisely the right moment to empower my inputs and fill me with confidence.
To Lamborghini, a car can both inspire and be the product of inspiration. The Huracan Performante was borne of a desire to revolutionize active aerodynamics, and the vehicle’s achievements (including a Nurburgring lap record) will continue to galvanize the Italian automaker for years to come.
The whole of Italy’s creative history seems to match Lamborghini’s model. Though the flavor and focus varies, passion is the unshakable bedrock of Italian culture. Che vita!
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