NORTH ADAMS — A roar emanated from the runway at Harriman and West Airport on Thursday, but it wasn't caused by a plane.
A 2016 Lamborghini Aventador ripped down the airport's 4,300 foot runway Thursday morning as part of a test by Roadshow, a division of the popular technology reviews and news website CNET.
Roadshow was testing the ability of the Lamborghini — which retails at $400,000 — to both accelerate and decelerate, rocketing to a speed of 100 miles per hour and then coming to a stop as quickly as possible.
"We wanted to have a place where we could let it stretch its legs, safely," said Roadshow Executive Editor Tim Stevens, who decided on the airport in North Adams because he lives in the Albany, N.Y., area.
There isn't usually a crowd of spectators lining up to watch when Roadshow tests a car, according to Stevens, who answered questions and allowed the crowd ample time before the test to get a close-up look at the ride. Airport Commission member Trevor Gilman spilled the beans about the planned test run through Facebook on Monday afternoon, and by 8 a.m. on Thursday cars had filed into Harriman and West.
"It's great to take these cars out and let people see them," Stevens said, noting the rarity of the Aventador.
Boasting a 0 to 60 miles per hour speed of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of about 217 miles per hour, the Aventador drew a crowd of about 50 car enthusiasts to the airport on an early Thursday morning. One of them was Peter Koch, who said he's a "huge Italian sports car guy." He was on Facebook on Wednesday night and saw Gilman's post about the car coming to the North Adams airport.
"I said 'I have the day off, so why not?'"
Roadshow utilized a small crew to film its review of the car, which should take about a month to edit and post online, Stevens said. A drone flew overhead to capture the Aventador as it sped down the runway. Stevens said the crew also planned to take the Lamborghini to the top of Mount Greylock for some additional footage.
The crew also raced the Lamborghini against the Volkswagen Golf GTI. While not in the same class, Stevens said Roadshow wanted to compare the two because the GTI is far more attainable in terms of price for most people.
Noting that the car has "gobs of horsepower," Airport Manager Bill Greenwald said his only concern was about potential for marks left on the airport's runway, but Roadshow assured him it would be safe. The airport didn't charge Roadshow for use of its runway.
"This is just something we said we'd do for them on a first-time basis," Greenwald said.
Launched earlier this year, Roadshow bills itself as a source for industry news, reviews, and buying advice. It can be found at www.theroadshow.com.
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376