While fast and graceful up in the sky, airplanes are quite clumsy creatures on the ground. These winged metal tubes are normally serviced by an army of slow-moving vehicles. Furthermore, while family cars these days have satellite navigation fitted as standard, the same cannot be said for a multimillion-dollar airliner like a Boeing 737. Yes, it can fly by itself. But it needs the pilot’s sense of direction to guide it along an airport’s maze of taxiways.
That’s why a lot of major airports have a fleet of follow-me cars. These vehicles guide airplanes to and from parking positions or runways, and are especially helpful to pilots who are unfamiliar with the airfield layout. Since aircraft taxi speeds never really exceed 30 knots (56km/h), follow-me cars are often based on typical family vehicles that you and I can buy. However, things are a little different at Bologna’s international airport.
Authorities at Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport have recently added a Lamborghini Huracán Evo to its arsenal of ground service vehicles. But despite the supercar having enough raw horsepower to keep up with a departing airliner, it will be employed to gingerly guide lost pilots around the airport’s network of taxiways at speeds of up to—you guessed it—30 knots.
This isn’t the first time that the airport used flashy cars as ground service vehicles. Five years ago, another Huracán was leading jetliners around the Italian airfield. This latest gimmick is likely a marketing tool to encourage tourism in the area following the lifting of travel restrictions brought about by COVID-19.
The Huracán Evo follow-me car will obviously have the required gear like a roof-mounted lightbar and an airband radio. But instead of wearing a high-visibility livery that is typical for airport vehicles, the 640hp Lambo gets a special “Verde Turbine Matt” base coat with contrasting “Arancione Matt” accents. Plastered on the sides are the words “Follow Me in Our Beautiful Country.”
The choice of sending the Huracán Evo to Bologna’s international gateway is very much a logical one as it is the airport serving Lamborghini’s hometown of Sant’Agata Bolognese. And it seems like the supercar was acquired under some kind of operating lease as it will be working as a follow-me car only until January next year.