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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Lamborghini's Reventon would cost $2.4 million in Australia but as only 20 units will be made, none will appear on Sydney's streets. The car's 6.5-litre, V12 engine puts out 471kW of power and can attain 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 340km/h. The Aurion's 3.5-litre, V6, 200kW engine means my speedo tops at 260.

Look at the styling. The Sydney Morning Herald's Toby Hagon says it was "inspired by military jet fighter planes". I can vouch for it. In the mid-90s with my wife I visited El Paso, TX, where an air show is held annually. A feature that year was a stealth bomber, the U.S.-made aircraft they won't sell to anyone else. Even at home the plane was surrounded by uniformed men to prevent photos taken and too-close approach.

The car's lines are highly reminiscent of Northrop Grumman's B-2 Spirit. The pic doesn't show them, but the plane's planes are irregular to escape radar detection. Irregularities so secret all pictures online omit them and depict superceded models. The eccentric angles on the craft I experienced up-close on a Texas airfield's tarmac aren't visible.

But in the Reventon you perceive their echo. According to the Auto Blog, "It lurked between three women dressed in beige overalls and work boots." It was covered by a beige tarp. A connoisseur's Hummer, another mil-spec item for rich men, the new Lamborghini will certainly turn heads. Jonathon Ramsey, on the blog, starts to hyperventilate: it's "the most terrific piece of sculpture to breath (sic) God's oxygen in years."

"The Reventón looks like it will hurt you badly, slowly, and enjoy every second of it." A press release from the car maker puzzles: "The Reventón is not only 'haute couture' but it also stands out for its elevated dynamism whilst being entirely suitable for every day use".

Entirely suitable for WHAT?????

More PR hype follows, in the understated style only the very rich can afford. Recent cars are remarkable for "the clear language of their shape". "Sharp edges, precise lines and clean surfaces: these are ingredients of a style reduced to the essential." What a load of crap. The car speaks the language of the street and is saturated with the aesthetics of high-tech utility. Military hardware contains no style but by imitating its aesthetic the carmaker is only using style to achieve a heavy symbolism.

1 comment:

R.H. said...

I was in El Paso in 1997, staying in a rundown pub near the border; an area full of Mexicans -and where every second place was a pawn shop. I asked the pub bloke why, and he looked at me funny. "Mexico is a Third World country," he told me, "Tourists get robbed."

Excitement went out of cars after the 1960's, the MGA become an MGB: a little sedan. It's all so boring. Modern design is bland, standardised, everything looking the same. Like the latte set.