Anyone stuck in beach traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway this past weekend found themselves in for a treat. Or really just about anyone on the beach or the boardwalk, too, as a fleet of over 200 Lamborghinis makes for quite a rumbling traffic jam that roars hundreds of yards in every direction.
Welcome to the third annual Bull Run, a series of global rallies that Lamborghini and the charity Movember put on to raise awareness for men’s issues during the month, also known as “No Shave November.” This year, a Bull Run started in a large parking lot below the Santa Monica Pier, then rallied up the coast through the hills of Topanga and Malibu.
Just in case I wouldn’t hear the echoes from my nearby apartment, Lamborghini kindly offered me a Huracán Tecnica to join the morning’s revelries, so I arrived curious to see what kind of crowd the Bull Run draws—and, of course, how everyone piloting hardcore supercars in a group rally on public roads actually drives.
Welcome to the Bull Run
I arrived about 15 minutes late, figuring the event might run on Italian time. And sure enough, a group of about 30 Lambos already occupied a few spots just off the boardwalk—nowhere near the expected total. I parked the Tecnica and hopped out, noticing the number of mustaches already in attendance, a figure that rose steadily, if not quite as quickly as the number of actual Lamborghinis rolling up in bunches.
Movember’s efforts as an organization center around raising awareness for men’s health issues, with a focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. The charity has invested over $350 million in biomedical research projects, supports interventions, provides guidance for cancer treatments, and reframed discussions of mental health and gender norms. Previous iterations of the Lambo Bull Run have drawn 92 dealers in 22 states, with over 1,500 cars worldwide joining the cause. But as the largest single market for Lamborghinis worldwide, LA’s potential turnout this year attracted enough attention to even entice CEO Stephan Winkelmann out for a weekend on the West Coast.
Setting records with Movember
I almost didn’t recognize Winkelmann in his Saturday casual attire as opposed to his unvarying array of absolutely immaculate suits. He also arrived sporting a beard for the first time since his Bugatti days. Why the beard, I asked him, rather than the Movember mustache gracing so many Lambos around us? He laughed and pointed at my own beard.
“I look older with a mustache, so I said if I were going to do it, then I’d do a beard,” Winkelmann joked before turning serious. “We are doing a thing for a good cause, and to have this as also the biggest gathering in the history of Lamborghini in connection with a movement like Movember is a good thing.”
Winkelmann arrived in the United States fresh off Lamborghini, reporting official sales figures for the first three quarters of 2023. As usual, the US market dominated world deliveries, with 2,342 cars sold. For context, Germany notched second place with 709 units sold. So, as we stood there surrounded by classic and modern Lamborghinis alike, I asked Winkelmann what he thought made customers in America so attracted to the Italian supercars coming out of Sant’Agata Bolognese in recent years.
“People love ‘Made in Italy,’ they love super sports cars,” he replied. “They look at us, and they see that we are consistent with the brand, with the products, with technology, design, and performance. And therefore, it’s a growing curve in terms of awareness, in terms of image, and also in terms of popularity.”
We watched more cars pulling into the lot, and then perhaps the highlight of the day rumbled past: the so-called “Rambo Lambo” LM002 SUV. Crowds swarmed, pulling out smartphones to record this most beastly of raging bulls in motion. Then the owner hopped out and popped the hood. I stuck with Winkelmann and brought up my surprise at how many brand-new examples of the Sterrato showed up, the Huracán’s off-roading variant that best delivers the modern style of that LM002. In fact, the Sterrato might just be my favorite car of the year. Completely absurd in every way but done right from conception through R&D to production. Winkelmann agreed.
“Lambos are created to be dream cars,” he posited, “To be objects you might dream of since your childhood. And this is something we have to keep alive, and we always have to surprise people. The LM002 back in time was a big surprise for the customers. So is also the Sterrato. This is a car, which is part of our thinking out of the box now; it’s a car, which is very special, and the reception has been incredible. And it’s even more fun on the racetrack than off-road because you can just slide it.”
I declined to share my own tale of sliding a Sterrato enough to wind up fully sideways on a rally course at the official press debut earlier this year but nodded with appreciation for the incredible job that Lambo’s CTO Rouven Mohr manages to do with traction control and ESC programming. This guy drives a Lancer Evo, drifts a Nissan 350Z, and came up with the idea for a Sterrato in the first place. Then he decided that media should off-road the Urus Performante, set up a stage rally day at Chuckwalla for the Sterrato launch, and programmed the 1,000-horsepower Revuelto hybrid’s all-wheel-drive system well enough that I even drifted one at Vallelunga. Not bad, to say the least.
A sense of surprise
And my Tecnica loaner wasn’t bad, either. Compared to other Huracan variants, including the Sterrato but also the aggressively aerodynamicized STO, the Tecnica nails a certain level of stylistic restraint. Call it more in line with Winkelmann’s more typical visage than on a Movember rally, where the Sterrato is the bearded CEO in cargo pants at the beach on a Saturday morning. And this particular Sterrato looks extra svelte in a matte grey, officially called Grigio Acheso, with carbon fiber interior door cards and even racing-inspired pull straps instead of handles.
Don’t forget the 5.2-liter V10 that revs to 8,500 RPM and puts 640 horsepower through a lightspeed seven-speed DCT to the rear wheels only. Perfect for a road rally, a racetrack, or tooling around town—whether anyone shelling out $300,000 for their daily driver might want to keep the Movember mustache decals on after the rally remained another question entirely.
Huracans made up most of the crowd by the time SM Pier’s lot began to fill up, heartily outnumbering even the Urus, Lambo’s best-selling model that contributed mightily to steadily growing sales stats since debuting for model year 2018. And yet, the Lamborghini crowd that gathers at a rally clearly prefers the company’s supercar persona rather than the do-anything SUV. Not too surprising, I suppose, given how many commuters I regularly see in Uruses (Urii) here in Los Angeles. Maybe the Lanzador could change that in the near future.
Sprinkled between the modern Lambos, a few Diablos, Murcielagos, and Aventadors also arrived to great fanfare. Even a lone Lamborghini Jalpa caught my eye, with an absurd yellow interior unveiled on full display. And it’s not often that anyone on hand can see the details that made these cars so super, from the Rambo Lambo’s wider-than-wide dash and peculiar Pirelli tires to the Jalpa’s gated shifter and three-spoke steering wheel or even the Diablo’s massive rear air intakes. Then, comparing older cars to newer ones, the evolution of aero and design, not to mention materials and craftsmanship under Volkswagen ownership—the whole history of Sant’Agata Bolognese played out in the pier parking lot.
Then came the time to drive after a few words of warning to prevent any shenanigans. Luckily—or not—beach traffic piled up on the PCH immediately, so as I slunk forward at a few miles an hour with the Tecnica set to softest Strada mode and AC blasting, a bunch of Aventadors lurched around at low speeds, automated manuals slapping audibly and 6.5-liter V12 engines revving to prevent stalls. We passed Jerry Seinfeld in a bright orange IROC Porsche, thinking it’s not often that Jerry gets upstaged in the car biz, but it’s pretty hard to beat a line of 200 Lamborghinis in public.
Once past a blinking red traffic light that caused the holdup, speeds increased but never to the point of irresponsibility. Even up Las Flores Canyon, then down Stunt and across Mulholland, the line of Lambos barely cracked the speed limit. And it’s a good thing, too, because the sheriff’s department definitely got the memo, as proven by about 15 cop cars passing in under an hour on mountain roads.
On Las Flores, a bit of water spray contrasted the Tecnica’s matte finish. On the rough road surfaces that took a beating this past winter, I again found myself entirely happy to have drawn the “short” straw with the Tecnica rather than the more “desirable” STO. Sure, on a track, the STO’s stiffer suspension and aero package may allow for better lap times, but here on public roads, the Tecnica’s more approachable setup kept me swaddled in much more comfort. I can admit to wishing for a bit more time actually ripping around, throwing that low-slung weight into corners, and punching the brake pedal to chomp down on massive carbon-ceramic brake discs. Oh well, maybe next time. If I ever get a next time.
Welcome to Calamigos Ranch
The rally ended at Calamigos Ranch, right off Kanan Dume in the heart of Malibu. A popular wedding venue, Calamigos Ranch also rents out to automakers regularly for sneak previews, official launches, and lunches during test drives. In this case, Lambo parked a brand-new Revuelto at the entrance for guests to check out. The bright orange Arancio Apodis launch color certainly caught eyes, though, in my opinion, it only highlights certain unflattering comparisons to the C8 Corvette in photos. Those impressions come through less in person, but the angular body still looks best in dark and matte tones.
Then, another orange Lambo absolutely stole my gaze: a sparkling Miura that guarded the entrance to the main field where lunch trucks, picnic tables, cornhole, and a Ferris wheel all dotted the lawn packed with more Lamborghinis, of course. Here, I got to check out more Diablos and Murcielagos that I must have missed earlier in the rush to chat with Winkelmann and grab a cup of coffee before the rally started. The crowd grew steadily, some dealers wearing official garb, plenty of father-son duos out for a Saturday cruise, solo owners, and more Lambo executives. I grabbed a Mediterranean salad with shaved ribeye, chugged another coffee, then moseyed over to take a closer look at sweet rims, quilted leather, and even more sparkling paint jobs.
And to think, all this for a good cause in an era when Cars and Coffee meets often devolve into donuts and drifting, prompting police shutdowns and ticketing. By contrast, the Bull Run stayed surprisingly classy. We all know the stereotypes, but the Mustang and Hellcat hooligans stayed away on this day of fundraising. Each dealership involved contributes to Movember’s purse, the final tallies of which will be announced at the end of the full month’s efforts.
But in the meantime, I spent the rest of the afternoon ripping my Tecnica home through the tight curves of Latigo Canyon Road, simply one of the best 10 miles of asphalt the world over for driving one of the best supercars ever. Suffice it to say, it’s a great way to give my own mental health a boost with a healthy dose of automotive therapy.