January was awful, wasn’t it? The darkest bit of night before the NHS’s brilliant vaccine-vectored slow dawn. For the Saunders family, however, one day that month was brightened immeasurably by the offer of a new Lamborghini. One to keep only for a while, granted, but still. I nearly dropped the phone in my morning cup of coffee.
I barely had to think before saying “yes please,” because, well, who wouldn’t? But what about the realities of life in Lockdown Three (‘The return of the weekday hangover’) with an especially conspicuous, Italian-registered Lamborghini Urus super-SUV to use for essential trips only? Well, I enjoyed it – I think. The family certainly did. But it would be the cause of plenty of mixed emotions along the way – so much so that I was actually a little bit relieved as well as sad when they eventually took it back.
Following that call, the car took only a few days to be delivered, from which point it duly brightened my driveway even more spectacularly than the mere idea of having it had brightened the previous Thursday. An Urus in Giallo Auge Solid, which overhung my rather modest (barely) off-street parking provision like a Matchbox car parked on an actual matchbox. Coming off the low-loader, it looked enormous. Hilarious, even.
But it was only funny for a minute or two, as the reality of what much of the proceeding 10 weeks threatened to be like gradually presented itself. The kids instantly wanted to take it somewhere – anywhere – but we weren’t supposed to and nowhere was open. The irony was almost comedic. We had at our disposal what might be the first Lamborghini in decades actually suited to high-octane family outings, yet we couldn’t even use it with the freedom that one might a 50cc scooter.
Worse still, we also had a £216,634 four-seater exotic parked outside a house worth not a great deal more than that, a car whose very presence would also be about to make me too nervous to leave home without it for fear of instant burglary. Is there something about an Urus that just shouts ‘Steal me!’, or is it just me? For a while, it felt as if Priti Patel had sent us her idea of the perfect lockdown car: can’t take it anywhere (because you’ll stick out like a sore thumb); can’t go out and leave it at home, either. Cue the evil laughing.