On Labor Day we had a day off class, so we decided to take the day and visit the Lamborghini Factory! It ended up being a fun day, but had quite the rough start.
We left Arezzo at 6:30am for Firenze, transferred to Bologna, and then took a bus out to Sant'Agata Bolognese, the tiny town where the factory is located. We bought tickets for the bus, and got on it. It was supposed to arrive in Sant'Agata Bolgonese stop Chiasa Frati at 10:36. We had been checking out all the stops on the way (the ride was almost an hour long), but most of them did not have signs identifying. Just size 12 print on a sign so you have to get off at the stop to see which one it is. Oh, and since our bus driver was listening to the radio, the loudspeaker announcing each stop wasn't on. Lovely!
Well, we had no clue what to look for, but we stopped at 10:36 so we assumed we were at our stop, or just one away. We got off, I checked the name, and it's the wrong one. Right as I realize it, the bus is pulling away from the stop and we can't get back on. Oh, and we are a whole five stops away from our bus stop! Yippee!
We started walking in the direction we thought we should go, and start to realize we have a long walk ahead of us. From the bus stop information, I know that we are in the wrong town, we have to get to the next one. No clue how far away that is though. We walked out of the town and started walking along the side of a highway in the countryside (sounds like a movie, right? Why can't it be a fun movie?) with huge trucks of hay zooming past us. We see a sign saying that the town is 4 or 5 kilometers away. Shoot. We only have about 15 more minutes until we are supposed to be there. Up ahead I see a gas station, so I stop in. It's a tiny little gas station and distribution center, there's not even a store with food and soda or anything. Just a little office. I walk in because there is a map on the wall that I start to read to try to find a number for a taxi. A man from outside walks in, and says "Buon giorno." I can tell he's not going to speak any English. I reply and explain that I need a number for a taxi. He looks around the map, and then pulls out a White Pages book. I know that the Italian word for taxi is taxi, but for some reason he's looking under the letter "A" and then another one before he finally comes to "T" and finds it. I call, explain where we are and where we need to go.
Five minutes later, the taxi pulls up and takes us to the Lamborghini factory. Most expensive short taxi ride I've been on, but we made it and were only 10 minutes late. I had called ahead and said we were going to be late, and they brought us into the factory to meet the tour once we arrived. It was crazy and awful and stressful, but we made it~
Point A is where we started at, B is where we walked to when we got the taxi, and C was our final destination.
And now here is Andy's write-up of our time at the factory. I knew that he would be better able to describe it than me!
So after arriving a few minutes late, we are rushed through the museum (full of amazing cars explained later) to doors leading outside to the factory entrance. As we walk through the door my eyes are greeted by around 30 beautiful Lamborghini Aventadors and Gallardos parked fresh from assembly.....at that point I know how this day is going to be. To my momentary displeasure we are rushed into the factory away from the incredible grouping of Bulls. That's when we enter the factory to see the many stages of Gallardo production. I'm like a fat kid in an all you can eat buffet specializing in sweet treats at this point, my eyes linger on every single aspect of the amazing spectacle in front of me.
First, we are shown the process that the Gallardo is assembled, the engine and various interior pieces are brought in from outside sources. The engines are from Audi (who owns Lamborghini, for those of you that are not obsessed with this brand like myself) and interior from a local upholstery shop. This is an amazing sight but I'm looking for the new bull, the incredible Aventador. As the tour guide finishes talking about the Gallardo production line we walk around a corner and there's an Aventador resting right there....it is amazing. I've loved Lamborghini since I can remember, they've always been the insane member of the supercar group, and this new car does not disappoint. From the sharp edges at every corner to the huge center exhaust this car just screams "If you don't respect me I will kill you", which of course is the Lamborghini way haha. As the tour guide mentions that we can have a look of course I get up close and personal to observe this piece of art on wheels. Sadly, we are told to move on but it's on to the Aventador assembly line, woot woot! Oh and by the way, every car is hand assembled; there are no robots in the factory. Which brings me to the awesome part of the Aventador assembly, everything is made in house from the engine to the interior; a new thing for Lamborghini.
The first stop was the engine building area....witnessing four stages of building the massive 700hp V12. Every engine is tested at top speed, 217mph, for 3 hours before putting it into a car. After the engines came the upholstery area where we saw the leather to be used and then using that leather and other material to construct interior pieces. Unfortunately, one of the workers got injured somehow and we had to move on to make room for an ambulance. So after that area we moved to the actual assembly of the Aventador, composed of around 10 stages from bare painted body to finished product. The only thing done outside of the factory is painting the car, done by a local (and very talented) paint shop. Before the body panels are placed on the car, you can see the bare carbon fiber monocoque (cockpit area) with the aluminum front and rear bracing. The current wait time from the day an order is placed for and Aventador is currently 2 years. The ones we saw were actually part of the very first batch since they haven't started distribution yet; the first customer to receive one is actually a man in Dallas. He will receive his at the end of this month. As we are walked past the testing booth where they run the car at 200km/h (~124mph) for an hour and a half I saw a Gallardo Tricolore awaiting testing. The Tricolore is a special edition (only 150 being made) that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, which explains the green, red, and white strip running over the top of the car.
We then walked back into the parking area where I first laid eyes on the many freshly made Lambos, and were allowed to walk around enjoying the view. As we were heading back to the museum I heard an amazing rev of an Aventador engine coming to life. As it settled back down in rpm's the driver backed out of the spot and left to test it on the streets of the surrounding town. As the tour finished we got back to the museum and the president of Lamborghini was showing some Audi execs an Aventador parked out front. He then got in and left the parking lot to take someone for a drive...not something you get to see every day. We toured the two floors of the museum filled with amazing cars from Lamborghinis past and also a few concepts such as their take on a four-door and the breath-taking miura concept. We'll throw up a few select pictures from the museum since photography isn't allowed in the factory. The day was rounded out well as we ate lunch at a cafe in the small town near the factory and witnessed a Gallardo being taken for one of their "test runs".
We got to see the President of Lamborghini show off the new Aventador in front of some Audi execs.