If you’re anything like me, you’ll be sucked into glimpses of Keeping up with the Kardashians and Housewives of Beverly Hills while your other half has command of the television remote. Or am I the only one?
I’m going to sound like a bit of a downer here, but don’t be fooled by all the glitz and glamour of these reality TV shows. Los Angeles is glamorous in parts, with the rest of it plagued with traffic and poor quality roads.
But, if you’re a motoring enthusiast, there is one road you’re going to love – especially if you’re driving something fun. It’s called the Glendora Mountain Road and it’s located around an hour north of popular spots like Santa Monica and Malibu.
The road snakes up from its base at Glendora all the way to a fork in the road that gives you an option of going even higher, or beginning an accelerating descent.
To keep within the realms of reality, we went for an entry-level car. Something attainable… something with a starting price of under US$200,000. That car is the rear-wheel-drive Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 and it starts from US$199,980 in the US – or around A$261,000.
Trent recently drove this car and was cemented in the mindset that it’s the Huracan to have. It’s fast, showy and best of all, wears the Lamborghini badge, but doesn’t feature an astronomical price tag or heavy all-wheel-drive system.
You definitely don’t need a Lamborghini to conquer the Glendora Mountain Road – we spotted everything from MX-5s to Porsches, right through to cyclists (who stopped to chat and admire the collection of cars – take note Australia).
Arguably though, it’s the vertical cliff faces that made this a rewarding drive, because they echoed every last decibel screaming out of the naturally aspirated V10 engine mounted just behind the driver and passenger.
And, it’s practical too. We fit yours truly, our cameraman Sam, his giant carbon-fibre tripod and a stack of camera gear in the front boot and behind the seats.
As you ascend the Glendora Mountain Road, you begin to realise you don’t need speed to get the most out of it. The road has a reasonable speed limit and it’s shared with the likes of motorcyclists and cyclists, meaning that you need to be prepared around each corner.
Unlike Australia, where cyclists and drivers have yet to understand how to get along, cyclists on this road love the atmosphere and admire the metal cruising up and down the road and are more than happy to stop for a chat.
The road is in good condition, although there are some parts that are bumpy on approach to corners, which is why it’s important to take the time to drive at your limits.
Smashing through corners on the way to the road’s peak, we hit a moment of euphoria with the windows down where the melodic V10 is singing an utterly irresistible tune.
With Sport mode selected, it’s shifting late, crackling on downshifts and letting the rear end step out ever so slightly.
Unless you get overconfident with the throttle, you’d never pick this is a rear-wheel driven supercar. The static paddle-shifters are within easy reach and provide lightning fast shifts from the seven-speed automatic transmission.
The steering is dead accurate and while the car initially feels big and cumbersome from the inside, it’s not long before it shrinks around you.
It begins to feel so nimble that you forget you’re commanding a rear-wheel driven V10 supercar under your right foot.
As we reach the fork in the road at the top of the mountain, a set of road markings is revealed, suggesting the type of driving that goes on beyond dark. It’s at this point we pull up for a drink of water and to recuperate.
We are met with a frantic reception as people run over to look at the car. Motorcycle riders, drivers and cyclists all head over to gawk over the go-fast-red Lamborghini and figure out what we’re doing on the mountain with camera gear.
It turns out we’re not the only ones. A French motoring journalist is also there with a Ford Mustang GT350 filming a review.
The motorcyclists are locals and live a stone’s throw from the mountain. They’re here at least once a month and give us the inside gossip on other parts of the road worth checking out.
They also mention that we need to keep an eye out for the California State Highway Patrol, who often visit the area if some of the driving or riding gets out of hand.
The guys mention the police are normally great to deal with and only seek out motorists driving or riding dangerously.
While you can read specifics in more detail with Trent’s review, I need to call out how poor the infotainment system is. Instead of using a centre screen for radio and navigation it’s all bundled into an LCD screen that displays the speedometer and tachometer.
That means that you need to look to the centre of the cabin for the controls and then to the instrument cluster for the display. This often causes confusion and makes doing things like entering navigation addresses on the move a total pain.
With that said, you eventually get used to it, but Lamborghini certainly hasn’t made the process easy.
We’re down to 50km of range and after countless passes for photos and video, it’s safe to say I’ve fallen in love. The rear-wheel-drive Huracan is more than just an entry-level model.
It’s a car that delivers performance, smiles and ear-shattering noise constantly. Sure, the infotainment system is rubbish and it could do with more storage, but that’s what the more sensible Audi R8 is for. The Huracan sits on another level and proves you don’t always need to spend big for thrills.
And it’s the same story with the Glendora Mountain Road. Drive the road in an MX-5, a Camaro, a Nissan 370Z or even a supercar like the Huracan and you’ll be left smiling ear to ear.
This epic road is a perfect distraction from the glitz, congestion and huge metropolis of Los Angeles. If you get the chance to visit, make sure you make a day of it. You won’t regret it.
Check out our review of the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 here.
Click on the Photos tab to see more pictures of the Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 by Sam Rawlings.
Glendora Mountain Road: The Skinny
|Length||67km round trip|
|Open||All year round. Be careful of cyclists and hikers in the mornings and on weekends.|
|Food||The only food options are in Glendora, which is the town at the base of the Glendora Mountain Road. It's recommended to pack some food and water for your drive.|
|Fuel||Fuel can only be purchased at Glendora. So if you're in a fuel-hungry car like the Lamborghini Huracan, make sure you fill up before the drive.|
|Traffic||Light (winter and weekdays) to moderate (summer and weekends). The lightest traffic is found in the early mornings or in the afternoon and mainly on weekdays.|
|Best time||It's a great road year round. This part of California remains fairly dry, so you're bound to find a good driving day regardless of the time of year.|
Stay tuned for more in CarAdvice's Great Driving Roads of the World series.