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Review: Lamborghini E-350 - DrivingScene

Categorized | Reviews

Review: Lamborghini E-350

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Adam Kaslikowski

I’m a pretty smart guy. Handsome too, but that’s besides the point. I’m savvy enough to see a good opportunity when it comes up. So when my buddy Jeff called me up the other day and said that he needed help moving, I told him no. Obviously. But he knows the way to my heart, and he promised me the opportunity to drive something “fun.” Because I’m no fool I immediately inquired what it was, see Jeff has fooled me before and I wasn’t going to fall for his tricks again. “What could I possibly be driving other than a U-Haul?” I asked him. “Fine, It’s a….a….a Lamborghini! Are you gonna help me out now or what?” I decided to ignore his new stuttering problem (I’m enlightened and look beyond such superficial differences) and jumped on the opportunity. “Buy me a box of road-trip Red Vines, and I’m in.” Keep reading to see how Driving Scene’s first Lambo test went.

I was a bit surprised when I pulled up to his house because I’ve never heard of a Lamborghini E-350, but I’m a professional and I know not to argue with a friend or a car’s badge. How Jeff scored this ride, who can know? Lamborghini started out making tractors, so it only makes sense that they would eventually return to their utilitarian roots. Also, the Cayenne has been raking in money for Porsche hand over fist, and I’m sure Sant’Agata wants a piece of that soccer mom market. And as Lamborghini is apt to do, they clearly did it bigger and edgier.

What were they thinking? A two-seater wagon? Not since the LM002 has Lamborghini created such an ugly and uncharacteristic vehicle. It is hard to understand the reason, not to mention the business case, why this was brought to market. Ah, but wait – we’ve heard all those same rumblings and complaints with the aforementioned Cayenne. We auto journalists like to whine and gnash our teeth about new directions companies go in. So let’s step back and give this new Lambo an honest chance.

The exterior is clean and purposeful, with nice Lambo cues throughout. Huge retro-white steel wheels dominate the corners, with dualies out back (for 1/4 mile traction no doubt), a first for any supercar that I know of. The profile is boxy, but thankfully much less so than the LM002. In fact, as a spiritual successor, this is without a doubt an improvement. Compared to the old off-roader, I especially like the improved grill. The new badge might not be to everyone’s taste, but replacing the emblem with a decal to save weight ala the GT3 RS is a cool touch in my (professional) book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some tell-tale LAMBO touches are scattered around the exterior, including a really nice molded air deflector in each top corner of the roof. It’s nice to see wind-tunnel testing in even crossover supercars. Another tip-off that you’re in no ordinary SUV is the race livery on the sides and rear of the vehicle. Surely, this won’t be to everyone’s tastes but neither are the SuperVeloce stickers on the Murcielago. I just wish I could see 12 of these beasts trading paint on some Italian race track’s hairpins in whatever racing series that inspired this new model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we head inside, we find only two seats as befitting all Lamborghinis. The steering wheel is a somber affair, but at least it’s still three spoked. Gone are Lambo’s futuristic digital readouts, which have been replaced with more retro and chunky dials to match the exterior. The cabin is devoid of any Alcantera, leather, or even carpet for god’s sake. I truly doubt this will catch on with Lamborghini’s traditional customers. Kanye West and Tyra Banks expect and deserve to be swaddled in luxury and dead animal skins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the largest Lambo cabin I have ever been in. Gone are the cramped sport seats interrupted by an impossibly high transmission tunnel. I’m not sure how I would feel about staring over at a starlet in a slim dress across the vast chasm of the E-350’s interior. I’m sure I would get over it. She would have plenty of places to put a Double Big Gulped size Red Bull though – that’s what skinny girls live on right? There are more cupholders here than in your mom’s minivan. More hard plastics too.

All the fiddly switchgear found in Lambo’s sports cars has been replaced with man-sized inputs and buttons. I especially like the two cigarette lighters, for those times when one cigarette is just not enough. At least the air vents bring some sense of familial balance, as their crisp lines and futuristic style suggest they came out of the Reventon parts bin. All in all, the interior of Lamborghini E-350 was a major disappointment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough walk-around, let’s drive this sucker. If the proof is the pudding, then this pudding was very soft indeed. Sure, the driving position and height of the vehicle let you literally look down on the proletariat masses in their econoboxes, but damn is this thing sluggish. My twice verified 0-60 test came in at 34 seconds. 34 SECONDS! I had enough time to write, direct, and accept a Tony award for a play about the trials of growing up white and rich (on Broadway soon!) while I waited to pull away from the starting line. If straight line acceleration isn’t the E-350’s thing, maybe high speed maneuvering is. Okay, don’t try this. I just almost died. Body sway doesn’t even begin to describe what just transpired. What started out as understeer quickly turned into the feeling of a ship capsizing, and that crashing noise from the back wasn’t reassuring – sorry about your lamps Jeff, you knew what you were in for when you asked me to drive all your possessions in a Lamborghini. Your bad really… While we’re on the topic, the trunk space is excellent in Lambo’s newest creation. Easily enough room for 4 golf bags. And 4 golf carts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, this is not a good car. It wouldn’t be a good Hyundai, let alone a $300,000 Lamborghini supercar. I understand that in the SUV market size is king, but it seems that Sant’Agata prioritized size at the expense of everything else. And I do mean EVERYTHING, even the gas cap felt cheap. Shaun White will not be pleased with his new ride, even if he can premier his newest snowboarding movie inside the trunk for 20 of his friends while driving to Aspen. Not good enough Lamborghini! This test has been such a disappointment. Also, Jeff never bought me my Red Vines so the whole experience was just a downer. I’d be happy if I never drove another Lamborghini again, that’s how bad the E-350 is.

But wait, we auto journalists have that long history of hating, then loving any new directions a car company makes (See: Cayenne 2002, Volt 2011, GM 1960-1982), and like I said, I’m a pretty smart fella. So let me be the first to say “I love the Lamborghini E-350!” Bravo Lambo! I can’t wait to see the Superleggera version…

-Adam Kaslikowski

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