Lamborghini and the opposition

As with anything competition is inevitable, and especially if you’re a supercar company, it’s a must. Having competition is healthy and leads to a progression within the brand. Being Lamborghini has its benefits, and disadvantages, and so needs to do everything it can to stay ahead of the competition.

The entire brand itself started with a decent dose of competition in fact, and as the well-known story goes, the formation of Automobili Lamborghini was formed with some disagreements between Ferruccio Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari. Stories with varied specifics form the story of the two automotive greats getting into an argument, and conclude to Lamborghini not being happy with Ferrari, because of customer service, and lack of attention to quality, and thus, Ferruccio decided to form Lamborghini to rival Ferrari. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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This fact puts Ferrari as one of the main rivals to Lamborghini even to this day, although the numbers of worthy competitors are constantly on the rise. For reference of comparison I will use the power lap times from Top Gear, to make relevant comparisons to other vehicles in the same range, although, current times available do not show most of the compared cars. Of course price also makes a large part of a proper comparison and so I will list those as well, although rounded off, according to the 2014 selling prices.

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The three cars Lamborghini produces at the moment are the Aventador, the Aventador Roadster and the Hurican. The Aventador accelerates from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 2.9 seconds, the roadster in three seconds, and both have a top speed of 217 mph (349km/h). The hard-top costs £265 000, while the Roadster version sits at 294,000.The baby Lambo has a 3.2 second acceleration time to 62mph (100km/h) and a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h) and costs £182,000. (Topgear 2014) Unfortunatley, the Hurican hasn’t been tested on Top Gear yet, but the Top Gear Track time of the Aventador is 1:16:5 and places 6th on the powerlap times chart. (Fastestlaps 2006-2015)

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The most well known competitors for these three cars come in a lot of forms. Audi with the R8, Ferrari with the 458 Italia, Speciale, Spyder, F12, FF, and Laferrari. The £1,140,000 Bugatti Veyron is out of the Aventador’s league in terms of top speed at 252mph (406km/h) (Topgear 2014)  but on the test track the SS version of the Veyron, placed 7th, one after the Aventador, so with that in mind the Lambo is a colossal bargain. (Fastestlaps 2006-2015)

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In fact the only 2 cars that came ahead of the Aventador were the McLaren MP4-12c and the Pagani Huayra. As the Pagani costs a whopping £990,000, its safe to say, it’s not a direct competitor, however the McLaren is a truly a force to be reckoned with. Another contender would be the Noble M600, at £200,000 with a top speed of 225mph (362km/h) and 0-62 time of 3.0 seconds, it takes the prize in every department. The only issue with such small manufacturers is of course reliability, and Lamborghinis quality, under the control of VW, is second none. The new Ferrari Laferrari, Porsche 918, and McLaren P1 hypercars cost between £660,000 and £ 1 Million, so comparing them to the Aventador would be unrealistic; and even then, the only one of the three with a higher top speed is the LaFerrari with 3 mph (5km/h) over the Lambo. (Topgear 2014)

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A good competitor to the Hurican is the Audi R8, and although is 0.6 seconds and 4mph (6km/h) slower, the car also costs 55 to 80 grand less. The best competitor, and even closer to the Hurican is the Ferrari 458 Italia, and with 3 versions available, is also more versatile. Prices vary between £180, 000 and £208,000, which also sets it right into Hurican territory. 0-62 is taken care of in 3.0 seconds in the Speciale and 3,4 seconds in the standard trim and the Spyder. Top speed is set at 198 mph (319km/h), while the £20,000 more expensive Speciale matches the Hurican’s top speed. (Topgear 2014)

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Another massive competitor for the Aventador is also, naturally, a Ferrari. The F12 is the fastest Ferrari to come into production yet, although, still doesn’t manage to keep up to the top speed of the Aventador. It reaches 211mph (340km/h) and reaches 62mph (100km/h) one second slower. The price however is also 20 grand lower than the Lambo though. (Topgear 2014)

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This means Lamborghini is placed very well in the scale for sales, however still have another car to fear which they cannot compete with in the market. Yes, another Ferrari; all the cars mentioned above have been 2-seater supercars, but Ferrari still is a step ahead of Lamborghini with their 4-seater FF model. Although taking a slower 3.4 seconds to get to 62mph, and reaching “only” 198mph (319 km/h), it does so at £227,000. (Topgear 2014) Yes, it is more expensive than the Huracan, but if you have a family, what are the options in the super-saloon market? The Estoque was Lamborghini’s answer to that, it’s just a pity it never managed to happen.

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Reflecting on all this, one thing has to be made clear though, Lamborghini is not in the Formula 1 series. Ferrari and McLaren are. This means then, that while the two competitor brands develop their racecars, they also develop their technology; and thus they have the funds available, and the technology available to apply into their standard product range. Lamborghini only has the one-make Super Trofeo series which began in 2009, (Lambocars 2000-2013) and consists of only Lamborghini Gallardos. This means the progression of Lamborghini consists of concept and production cars with no external influence from the World of motorsports. This in turn, is a massive drawback and a great obstacle, but Lamborghini have still managed to stay ahead of the pack and have done a truly magnificent job at that.

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In the shadows, however lurks a different kind of beast though; evolution. With the eventual change to alternative energy sources for cars, the electric game is changing the world of supercars, and cars as a whole. In order to stay ahead of the competition, Lamborghini has to start implementing the future of hybrid and electric cars. The Asterion is a marvel of achievement and is set to bring glory to the future of the Raging Bull, but until then, electricity seems to want to be the new boss in town.

Tesla Model S P85D vs Lamborghini Aventador Race (Rego Apps 2014)

 

Tesla Model S P85D vs Lamborghini LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale Drag Racing. (DragTimes 2015)

 

Tesla Model S P85D vs Ferrari 458 Italia(Rego Apps 2014)

 

References:

Fastestlaps.com (2006-2015) Top Gear Track, Great Britain (2820 m) [online]. available from <http://fastestlaps.com/tracks/top_gear_track.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Ferriccio Lamborghini, a bibliography – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/lambonews/ferruccio_lamborghini_a_biography.html>

Topgear magazine (2014) ‘Data’. TopGear (261), 163-180

Topgear.com (2015)Lap Times [online]. available from <http://www.topgear.com/uk/track-guide?LapType=Power-Laps>

 

Electronic Visual references:

DragTimes (2015) Tesla Model S P85D vs Lamborghini LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale Drag Racing. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e-jquwHKtI > [4 January 2015]

Rego Apps (2014) Tesla Model S P85D vs Lamborghini Aventador Race. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e-jquwHKtI > [23 December 2014]

Rego Apps (2014) Tesla Model S P85D vs Ferrari 458 Italia. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cA1doO_9h8> [27 december 2014]

 

Image references:

Autoevolution (2008-2015) available from <http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/gallery/MCLARENMP4-12C-4552_12.jpg>

Commons.wikipedia.org (2015) available from < http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Noble_M600_Carbon_Sport_%288727178385%29.jpg/800px-Noble_M600_Carbon_Sport_%288727178385%29.jpg>

Commons.wikipedia.org (2015) available from <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Ferrari_FF_-_Flickr_-_Alexandre_Pr%C3%A9vot_(3).jpg>

Digitaltrends (2015) available from <http://icdn4.digitaltrends.com/image/track11-1278259808-1280×853.jpg?ver=1> [11 April 2013]

Hdwallpaper2013 (2014) available from < http://hdwallpaper2013.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lamborghini-Aventador-vs-Ferrari-Enzo-HD-Wallpaper.jpg>

Miamiexoticautoracing.com (n.d) available from < http://www.miamiexoticautoracing.com/speci.jpg>

Pressreleasemanager.co.uk (n.d) available from < http://www.pressreleasemanager.co.uk/viewPressRelease.asp?ID=2EA07759-ABB5-4572-8E2D-D369387619C8>

Superveloce12 (2014) available from < https://hajdunorb.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/9ea13-lamborghini-huracan-and-lamborghini-aventador-02.jpg> [12 August 2014]

Toplowridersites.com (2014) available from < http://www.hdwallpaperstock.in/walls/yellow_ferrari_f12_novitec-wide.jpg>

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The alternative Lambo

Lamborghini is synonymous with the supercar and hypercar worlds. They have long been the pioneers in aesthetics combined with cutting edge technology to provide the world with exquisite examples of work. It is however not the only territory Lamborghini has explored over the years, and with good reason too.

Lamborghini started experimenting with alternative ranges and additions to their super-sports car only portfolio quite while back. The first occourence of this explanatory voyage started in 1976, with the Cheetah. The car was the first attempt at potentially providing the United States military with off-road vehicles. Lambo was after some much needed cash to keep the company afloat, however after many complications the entire project was scrapped. (Lambocars 2000-2013) After a few updates and improvement over following the years, the LM002 came to fruition in 1986, and was the last example of Lamborghini’s detour for decades to come. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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For the next 22 years, the company continued producing sports and supercars only, and had no intensions of broadening their customer base until the year 2008. On the 1st of October the company revealed their brand new idea, and stepping away from the norm, a 4-door saloon. This car was the impressive looking Lamborghini Estoque. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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The design aesthetics and styling followed the fundamental elements of a true raging bull. Although this was the pre-Aventador era, and the car got a lot of its styling and use of lines from the Murcielago and the Gallardo, it also made a lot of innovative changes to carry the aesthetic characteristics into future Lamborghinis. The car featured a crisp look, utilising the signature geometric intakes and included features such as the Y-shaped headlights, and taillamps, which were implemented into the later released Aventador.

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The car was initially designed to use Audi’s modular-longitudinal platform, which were a basis for cars such as the Audi A4, A6, A7, A8 and VW Phaeton. This was an obvious choice as Lamborghini is owned by the Volkswagen group, and therefore, platform sharing would mean less production costs for such an extreme 4-door saloon. (Caranddriver 2015) The Estoque was going to be at the top-end of the 4-door saloon market, and was set out to challenge the likes of Porsche with their Panamera, which was under development at the same time, as well as Audi’s new top-of-the line Audi A7, S7, the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Aston Martine Rapide. (Caranddriver 2015)

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In terms of power and speed this was going to be no challenge at all, as the Estoque housed a colossal 5.2 litre V10 engine, taken straight from the production Gallardo LP560-4, meaning 560bhp was on tap to propel the extravagant family supercar. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The drivetrain was naturally going to be a 4-wheel drive and so the car was going to hold its own all the way up to its’ limited top speed of 186mph (299km/h). (Autocar 2014) This was accompanied by prospects to possibly use a turbo diesel engine as well as a hybrid V8.

Lamborghini had had very high hopes with the Estoque, and projected sales figured said that a production of about 1500-2000 models would be an annual goal. The expected launch for public purchase had been placed at the year 2012, and entering showrooms as early as the end of year 2011. (Autocar 2014)

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Unfortunately 2009 brought with it an economic downturn, and Lambo put the idea of introducing a 3rd product into their range on hold. Lamborghini had not taken any decisions on production, (Topgear 2015) and the project was therefore halted as it was to be an unstable venture at the time. After that, the idea of a high-end family car has not been explored again, and it really is a pity as a 4-door super saloon would have been a great addition to the Lambo line-up.

The ventures did not stop there however, as in an unpredictable turn of events, Lambo brought to reality the Urus; and unveiled it at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

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The Urus is Lamborghini’s modern take on an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle), intended to carry a family of four, on an everyday basis. (Topgear 2015) The car is set to be a threat against the most luxurious of SUV’s in the market such as the Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes G-Class, Range Rover Sport and the 2016 Bentley SUV. The price was to sit at around £150,000 which sets it right between the Aventador and all new Huracàn. (Topgear 2015)

“SUVs make up one of the most successful market segments worldwide, and the Urus is the most extreme interpretation of the SUV idea: it is the Lamborghini of SUVs.” ( Stephen Winkelmann, Lamborghini CEO cited in Topgear 2012)

It is said to use an evolution of Audi’s LBM platform, and will share it with the also VW owned, Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 platforms. (Autocar 2014) If this venture is successful, then Lamborghini will surely be capturing the high-end SUV market with force. In terms of engine, the car is planned to make use of a plug-in hybrid, an Audi derived V8 or even a diesel powerhouse making about 600bhp. (Digitaltrends 2015)

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The styling makes use of Lamborghini’s classic linework, and takes a lot of cues from the Estoque 4-door saloon supercar. The Urus features large geometric intakes in the front, coupled with an adjustable front spoiler, (Topgear 2015) It also integrates the new aesthetic language of Lambo lights, as in, it uses a Y-shaped lighting solution in both the front and rear of the vehicle. Crisp lines, mixed with large muscular fenders, give the car a powerful stance and a strong presence, which surely will be intimidating to see in your rear-view mirror.

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Currently the Urus is set to have its official production launch in 2017, although with never ending turmoil in the Middle East, and uncertainty from Audi’s point of view, the Urus production might still be affected. Lamborghini, likes to set out on unknown ventures, and so, I wouldn’t put money on it, although, the Cayenne worked brilliantly for Porsche, and with Bentley releasing their own SUV in 2017 as well, (Digitaltrends 2015) I would say positive prospects were high.

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A 4-door alternative to Lamborghini’s line-up would be a brilliant step forward into the future, and could even reinvent the name. This combined with the Asterion’s positive introduction of a plug-in hybrid system, could bring with it an extremely prosperous future for Lamborghini.

 

References:

Autocar.co.uk (2015) Lamborghini Estoque: Full Details [online]. available from <http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/lamborghini-estoque-full-details>

Caranddriver.com (2015) Lamborghini Estoque to Share Platform with Audi A7 [online]. available from < http://www.caranddriver.com/news/lamborghini-estoque-to-share-platform-with-audi-a7-car-news> [November 2008]

Caranddriver.com (2015) Lamborghini Estoque Still Years from Launch [online]. available from <http://www.caranddriver.com/news/lamborghini-estoque-still-years-from-launch-car-news>[October 2008]

Digitaltrends.com (2015) Lamborghini’s Ludicruos off-roader SUV, the Urus, Confirmed for 2017 production Date [online]. available from <http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/lamborghini-urus-confirmed-2017/

Digitaltrends.com (2015) Lamborghini still wants the Urus SUV, But Audi Doesn’t Think customers will [online]. available from <http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/lamborghini-urus-suv-scrutinized-by-audi/

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Lamborghini – TIMEline [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/timeline.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) LM002 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/off_road/lm002.html

Lambocars (2000-2013) Cheetah – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/off_road/cheetah.html>

Topgear.com (2015) Estoque: Dead or Alive? [online]. available from <http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/Lamborghini-Estoque-2009-03-25>[25 March 2009]

Topgear.com (2015) Lamborghini’s new SUV: this is the Urus [online]. available from < http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/lamborghini-urus-suv-revealed-2012-04-22>

 

Image references:

Searchpp.com (2014) available from <http://tinoto.vn/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Lamborghini-Urus.2.jpg>

Searchpp.com (2014) available from <http://www.nettekeyif.net/data/media/56/2012-lamborghini-urus-concept-2.jpg>

Tuningnews.net (2003-2014) available from <http://www.tuningnews.net/news/081001/lamborghini-estoque-concept-hr-01.jpg>

Tuningnews.net (2003-2014) available from < http://www.tuningnews.net/news/081001/lamborghini-estoque-concept-hr-02.jpg>

Tuningnews.net (2003-2014) available from < http://www.tuningnews.net/news/081001/lamborghini-estoque-concept-hr-03.jpg>

Tuningnews.net (2003-2014) available from <http://www.tuningnews.net/news/081001/lamborghini-estoque-concept-hr-04.jpg>

Wallpcars.com (2013) available from <http://wallpcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2015-lamborghini-urus-gallery–2017-lamborghini-urus-concept-by-jordan-shiraki.jpg>

Wallpaperofcar.com (2014) available from < http://wallpaperofcar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/lamborghini%20urus-pSOxu-1025×683.jpg>

 

 

The Lamborghini semblance

When you hear the word Lamborghini, the first words that pop into your head are certainly not gentle. They are hard-core, strong, fast, fierce, passionate, loud, lavish, insane, shouty, unique, extreme, personal, outrageous, but there are thousands of adjectives that could describe the ferocity of the Lamborghini brand. Basically they are the combination of passion, engineering and out of the box-thinking, especially when it comes to styling. The cars are expensive, and make a bold statement, and it has been like this ever since the beginning of the company. Whenever Lambo releases a car, it is groundbreaking, sometimes with top speed, Diablo; sometimes with lightweightness, Sesto Elemento; sometimes with layout, Miura; and sometimes with styling, Veneno.

Lamborghini has always been a driver’s car, although more concentrated on the ludicrousness of the car rather than visibility for instance, the driver and experience satisfaction were always at the forefront of the cars. Now they hold a very high standard for customer satisfaction and concentrate mainly on quality, reliability and technical excellence. They measure success in terms of customer satisfaction, staff satisfaction, quality of products and processes, on-time delivery, productivity, and effective integration into the Volkswagen group. (Lamborghini 2015) This is obviously not what gives Lamborghini their extreme cars, that would be from the philosophy which they follow; as their cars need to be; aggressive, uncompromising, challenging, exclusive, extreme, sensuous, and Italian. This is what combines together that makes up the exclusive brand, and Lambo follow the guidelines very strictly, as can be seen in the video of the Reventon.

Lamborghini Reventon. Its a fighter (Lamborghini 2012)

As you can see, Lamboghini take themselves very seriously and emphasise their philosophy in their products meticulously. This is also met with power and passion, rage and fury, and often presented as a supernatural force to be reckoned with. Just watch this video of their Aventador to fully appreciate what the brand epitomises.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4. A relentless force (Lamborghini 2012)

The cars possess the ultimate name in supercar driving experience and the cars themselves hold special value to the owners. Lamborghini knows this, and even plays on the social aspects of owning such a car. Let’s just be clear, a Lamborghini is not for the faint hearted, and whoever is going to buy one, surely like to be seen. Lambo therefore have their own social understanding and statement for the brand, saying the cars attract women’s telephone numbers, to getting into V.I.P clubs effortlessly.

NEW Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Commercial trailer HD (Lamborghini 2012)

Often though this is not the case, and some owners have demonstrated the negative aspects to owning such an extravagant car. The most recent of these cases is a man named Allen Wong, a millionaire who was fed up with how people treat him while he drives his blue Lamborghini Aventador in his home city of New York. (Dailymail 2015) To be honest I think he gets a lot of compliments, but it must be rather irritating having people constantly crowd your car, and even having to be weary of someone wanting to damage it.

Lamborghini Owner Secretly Records How People React When He’s Driving (9news Official 2014)

Of course, as you would imagine with Lamborghini though, most of the owners, will prefer the opposite side of the showing off scale, and definitely do not like to go understated. This often results in the true resemblance of the brand. Lambo is a look-at-me car that likes to express itself and be different; and thus most of the owners like to express the same values. Especially, when you fork out a shed load of money for a car, you want to enjoy what it has to offer; although sometimes the raging bull sees a matador holding a red cloth, and the power can be a bit too much to handle. Although it might also be a case of “money doesn’t buy brains”, I personally think it’s not a sin to put your foot down once in a while, although people have learned their lessons the hard way.

Lamborghini Crash Compilation 2013 (SupercarFailCompilation 2013)

 

How to wreck Lamborghinis?Watch this compilation (only Videos, no pictures) HD. (Mr.M 2013)

So there you have it. What is Lamborghini? Power, excessiveness, exclusivity, quality, passion and madness. It’s all there, crazy and brilliant at the same time, you just have to know which side of the scale you lie if you get a chance at owning, or even driving one.

 

References:

Dailymail.com (2015) Ever wondered what people treat you like when you’re driving a Lamborghini? One owner secretly records their reactions [online]. Available from < http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2886879/Ever-wondered-s-really-like-drive-Lamborghini-One-owner-secretly-records-people-react-s-driving.html> [25 December 2014]

Lamborghini.com (2015) Quality policy [online]. Available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/company/quality-policy/>

 

Electronic Visual references:

9news Official (2014) Lamborghini Owner Secretly Records How People React When He’s Driving. [online] available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz_zFiXtAJ0> [25 December 2014]

Lamborghini (2015) Lamborghini Reventon. Its a fighter. [online] available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hVDAKRnze8> [21 March 2012]

Lamborghini (2015) Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 A relentless force. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEvBbNe3rqU> [19 March 2012]

Lamborghini (2015) NEW Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Commercial trailer HD. [online] available from < ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvKSQXsDHcI> [26 November 2009]

Mr.M (2013) How to wreck Lamborghinis?Watch this compilation (only Videos, no pictures) HD. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIAPzZ5Nmuo> [21 June 2013]

SupercarFailCompilation (2013) Lamborghini Crash Compilation 2013. [online] available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stPLzxZIKyA> [20 April 2013]

 

A Hybrid future for Lamborghini?

A new era has dawned on the automotive industry in the last decade. It is commonly known, that the World is changing, and there are climate shifts occouring. Eventually, although probably in the very distant future, fossil fuels will become depleted, and the inevitable rise in the prices of fuels to a ridiculous level are sure to accompany the fact. These are further strengthened with the constant social unrest in the Middle-East and their effect on fuel supplies.

Alongside these factors, we have a major issue; pollution and sustainability; people are aware of the negative implications of industries and manufacturing, and thus industries need to find solutions to these problems. One leading ideology about pollution and its’ widespread, is that cars cause the problem; and this is especially true in highly congested areas with a concentration of population, such as cities and town centres. To transcend towards a sustainable future, technologies are changing, and are being developed to brighten the prospects for humanity.

In the last two decades we have seen the envisioning of plug-in hybrids brought to life with cars such as the Toyota Prius, which combined with Toyota alternative energy vehicles, by the end of 2013 had already sold more than 6 million units. (Corporatenews 2014)  It has adapted to our environment, held its own and it feels right at home on our roads filled with standard ICE (internal combustion engine) cars; with customers, with the population and with industry. The popularity of the cars as well as legislations regarding EVs (Electric Vehicles) and Hybrid cars, blossomed into other manufactures jumping on the bandwagon as well. In 2010, a legislation was released that by 2050 the UK is to cut greenhouse emissions by 80%. Obviously with legislations come incentives, although it is projected that EVs won’t be expected to make a major contribution to emission reductions until 2020. (Parliament 2010)

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This means only five years to go until that expected massive shift towards EV manufacture; by most car companies anyway; and starts to outweigh the productions and carbon emissions of current levels and fossil fuel powered cars. Manufacturers from all corners of the Globe have had an early start and started adapting their manufacturing methods and their model line-ups, although there is concern about the energy taken to produce battery powered vehicles, as well as the disposal of said batteries and vehicles. The manufacture of these batteries is pricy and offer relatively low range for vehicles; however new technologies such as lithium batteries are being developed and implemented to improve the overall performance and range, and to lower manufacturing stresses. (ft 2015)

There are quite a few examples of EVs and hybrids on the market today, such as Nissan with their all electric Leaf, Mitsubishi with their i-Miev, as well as adaptions of existing ranges such as VW’s E-Golf, and the Audi E-Tron just to mention a few. (Plugincars 2015) Even smaller production manufacturers have become involved, and not only have risen to the challenge, but are now leading innovators. Tesla is a prime example of that, and have managed to concoct a solution of luxury, performance and electric technology. Although, sales figures suggest that the Tesla Model S’s were only modest compared to large OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) companies last year, the Model S has been hitting records sales.(Ibtimes 2015) This, combined with tax incentive solutions by countries such as Norway, and the release of the all new Tesla S P85D, resonate undoubted success to the future of EVs in not only the largest, but smaller companies as well.

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This of course means changes are to come, and will inevitable have to also affect sports, and supercars. BMW stumped the World when they announced their initial concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, (Wikipedia 2015) the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept. It was a proposition of a BMW Plug-in Hybrid vehicle in the form of a 4-seater sports car featuring a brand new design language. It was not only radical in aesthetics but in nature; a proposal of a hybrid sports car was still doubted as the brilliant 2008 Tesla Roadster was still in its very early stages of sales. This car of course has since then blossomed into the currently available BMW i8, and it’s baby sister the BMW i3. A rapidly climbing amount of examples can be seen cruising the streets of cities and towns, especially in the UK and throughout Europe.

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Sportscars, are usually followed by the niche markets, and therefore, supercars. 2014 saw the release of three very special cars to join the Hybrid plug-in category. This truly gave a new meaning to hybrids, and combined conventional petrol engines, with electric engines, not only to decrease emissions, but to also increase performance levels. These new prodigies of the hypercar market came in the form of the Ferrari Laferrari, McLaren P1, and the Porsche 918. These cars truly show the best of both worlds, and demonstrate the effectiveness and sheer power you can get from joining the positive attributes of both the ICE and the electric world.

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An obvious question raises; if this is where the future is heading, how long until all companies are manufacturing EV’s and Hybrid vehicles? Well, it seems, probably not that long at all; and one of these companies happens to be Lamborghini. Although with having to uphold such a lavish name and brand, Lambo needed to follow suit and keep with the times, and so, had to take the inevitable step forward and introduced their first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Lamborghini Asterion at Mondial de l’Automobile 2014 – Press Conference (Lamborghini 2014)

Stephan Winkelmann, the boss of Lamborghini, was quite hesitant and not very interested at first,  but he knew what had to be done. “Even if we might be granted an exemption as a small manufacturer, there is the issue of social acceptance. Things are changing. People are more aware, more sensitive…” (Stephan Winkelmann 2014 cited in Top Gear 2014)

The Asterion is a GT car, and rather than being the signature supercar range that Lamborghini is so renowned for, the design shifts its purpose from being the competitor of the Laferrari, McLaren, or the Porsche to more of an everyday plug-in hybrid super sports car. (Autocar 2014) This takes the company right to the forefront of lavish luxury everyday cruising, and challenges the likes of the BMW i8, and the upcoming Audi R8 EV and plug-in hybrid ranges, (Carmagazine 2015) which happen to be owned by the same parent company; Volkswagen.

Although the Asterion is only in concept form at the moment, designed to be a “technology demonstrator”, (Autocar 2014) prospects of making a production model are looking up. This car would evolve Lamborghini’s portfolio into a new age and widen the horizons, as well as help form a new image to the brand. It was based on the Aventador’s and the Hurican’s monocoque chassis, and the hybrid unit had been tested in an Aventador for the past few years, while it was under development.

The combination of both petrol and electric engines have resulted in a massive 910bhp power output, the highest any Lamborghini has ever injected into any of it’s raging bulls, and skyrockets the car from zero to 60 in just three seconds. It makes use of a V10 petrol engine for normal road driving and combined with a dual-clutch automatic transmission system, coupled with a recovery system. Similar to a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), whereby batteries are charged by the kinetic energy forces caused during braking, this system also helps charge the batteries although does so by making use of a motor in the transmission while the car is in normal driving mode. (Autocar 2014)

The car makes use of two electrical motors for each front wheel, and is purely a front-wheel drive car in full electric mode, while being able to reach a top speed of 78mph (126 km/h) in EV mode. The motors also assist the car with torque vectoring and allow the wheels to apply different torques, which also assist the handling as well as the output and efficiency of the normal engine. (Autocar 2014)

How Lamborghini’s Asterion LPI 910-4 technology works (Lamborghini 2014)

It seems then, that Lamborghini has paid careful attention to the world around us, have changed with the times, and progressed into a new way of thinking. However, as with previous, potentially successful endeavours, one can never know with Lamborghini until the day of release arrives. Needless to say though, a hybrid Lambo will be inevitable at some stage in the future, and the Asterion makes a brilliant and impactful introduction.

 

 

References :

 

Autocar.co.uk (2014) Lamborghini Asterion could make production – plus exclusive studio pics [online]. Available from <http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/paris-motor-show/lamborghini-asterion-could-make-production-plus-exclusive-studio-pics>

Carmagazine.co.uk (2015) Audi R8 (2015): tech chief confirms plug-in hybrid and EV [online]. Available from < http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Secret-new-cars/Search-Results/Spyshots/Audi-R8-2015-tech-chief-confirms-plug-in-hybrid-and-EV/>

Corporatenews.pressroom.toyota.com (2014) Worldwide Sales of Toyota Hybrids Top 6 Million Units [online]. available from <http://corporatenews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/worldwide+toyota+hybrid+sales+top+6+million.htm>

En.wikipedia.org (2015) BMW i8 [online]. Available from < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_i8>

ft.com (2015) September New battery aims to transform electric cars [online]. available from < http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/01b47ecc-6126-11e4-b935-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3OCJyJ0bV> [2 November 2014]

Ibtimes.com (2015) September 2014 Tesla Model S Sales: CEO Elon Musk Says Global Sales Hit a Record [online]. available from < http://www.ibtimes.com/september-2014-tesla-model-s-sales-ceo-elon-musk-says-global-sales-hit-record-1714929> [28 October 2014]

Parliament.uk (2010) Postnote – Electric Vehicles [online]. available from<http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn365_electricvehicles.pdf>

Plugincars.com (2015) Cars [online]. available from <http://www.plugincars.com/cars>

Topgear.com (2015) Meet Lamborghini’s big boss – Topgear [online]. Available from <http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/tg-chats-lambo-boss-2014-12-10> [10 December 2014]

 

Electronic Visual references:

Auto News (2014) Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 Premiere. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3iaPXSTE_U> [4 October 2014]

Lamborghini (2014) How Lamborghin’si Asterion LPI910-4 technology works. [online] available from < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agaYcay0Dro>

 

Image references:

Dailytech.com (2015) available from <http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/model-s-photo-gallery-08.jpg> [9 October 2014]

Gopixpic.com (n.d) available from <http://www.ausmotive.com/images/BMW-Vision-EfficientDynamics-01.jpg>

Phys.org (2003-2015) available from <http://cdn.phys.org/newman/gfx/news/hires/2012/toyotaprius.jpg> [28 August 2013]

Planete-gt.com (2014) available from <http://www.planete-gt.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/laferrari-mclaren-p1-porsche-918-comparo-top-gear-2.jpg> [12 November 2014]

The new era of Lamborghini

Lamborghini had gained a new status after the release of the ever successful Murciélago and Gallardo models. The house of the Raging Bull had been combined with the precision and expertise of German engineering, which amounted to better overall cars. This was by far the best direction for the brand; as it expanded the customer base and provided quality and reliability to the superiority and prowess of Lamborghini. Unfortunately, as usual, all good things must come to an end; although as nature would have it, this can only be followed by progression and evolution.

By 2011, the Murciélago name was celebrating its’ 10 year reign at the top of the supercar food chain, and the release of the new chief Lambo was impending on the World. On the other hand though, the descendant to the baby Lambo was only forthcoming two years down the line, meaning, manufacture and indeed progressive models and releases of the current range were still churning out at a massive rate.

The latter comprised of five model releases of Gallardo. Namely, the two-tone Gallardo LP560-4 Bicolore, the LP570-4 Singapore Limited Edition, as well as the Gallardo Tricolore, celebrating Italy’s 150 years of unification. All of them were limited editions in their own respects, and furthermore also included the LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale, a hard-core street legal version of the Super Trofeo race car. (Lambocars 2000-2013) Finally, a proper production model, the Gallardo 550-2 Spyder was also announced. The embodiment of true open top super car driving pleasure, came in the form of a rear-wheel drive V10, providing 550bhp to the rear wheels, and catapulting the car to 60mph (+-100kph) in a mere 4.2 seconds. Capable of reaching 198mph (319km/h) with the top down no less, this was one exhilarating car to expand the Gallardo range. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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As good as all this might seem, all of this candy was only frosting on the cake, as the new king of the streets; the new big Lambo was unveiled. The car in question is the potent Lamborghini Aventador, and perfect successor to the Murciélago. Immediately one can see that this car is unmistakably a Lamborghini. It features crisp lines with geometric influences from the likes of the Reventón and the Asterion, while rapidly accelerating the visual feel and stance of the Murciélago. It makes use of some chiselled edges, especially in the detailing such as the headlights, air intakes, outlets, and the glass engine cover. It also integrates the signature “Lambo doors”, as well as a 3-stage variable rear wing which is blended into the body. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

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This is not all just for show either, as the Aventador makes no compromise in the performance department. Through a monocoque chassis, the car collaborates a brand new V12 engine, producing 700bhp, as well as a 4-wheel drive transmission all bolted through a dry double plate clutch system. It will skyrocket from a standstill to 60mph (+-100km/h) in just 2.9 seconds and keep going all the way up to a ridiculous 217mph (350km/h) (Automobili Lamborghini 2014) This car is a true benchmark for Lamborghini and a revolution in terms of design and execution, and sets a very positive outlook for the future of the model range and the company as a whole.

By next year, the 2012 Geneva Show was coming up, and thus Lambo wanted to create a true wonder. Keeping with tradition, and seeing as limited edition cars are a natural development, the new year brought along with it an outrageous speedster astonishment.

The Aventador J; the lowest ever Lamborghini, and by far one of the rarest. The Reventón was limited to just 20 units, the Sesto Elemento has only three examples in existence, but the Aventador J (Jota) is truly one of a kind. (Topgear 2014) The styling is very similar to the standard Aventador and does use the same headlights, and front and rear fenders, but the rest is all new and unique. The main obvious physical change is the roof, or rather the lack thereof; and the rather noticeable changes to the rear treatment on the engine deck, air intakes, outlets and exhausts. The aesthetic is further encompassed by using a lot of dry carbon fibre elements on the car, creating a fierce graphic to the overall design, carrying the historic Jota name heritage exquisitely to the modern age.

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The interesting cars didn’t just end there, however, as the year also gave birth to Lamborghini’s first undertaking into the SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) market. Now, you might notice, that this is indeed not the first example of an off-road Lambroghini, as that spot was filled by the 1976 Cheetah, its’ development variations, and lastly the 1986 LM002. This though is not just an off roader, it only takes a quick glace to see it’s a true Lamborghini at heart. It uses the new geometric crisp styling and transforms the Cayenne/Touareg/Q7 platform (Ford, ‘et al.’ 2012) into a future vision for Lamborghini; although prospects for production are only in 2016, and it was the same case with the Estoque, but nothing came of it, so we will have to wait and see.

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The year further continued with a vast array of limited editions and adaptations and enhancements of the Gallardo, furthering the ferocity of the range. As ever, special editions were in a plethora with the release of cars such as the Gallardo LP550-2 Malaysia Limited Edition – MLE, LP560-4 Gold Limited Edition, LP550-2 Hong Kong 20th Anniversary, LP560-4 Bianco Rosso, LP560-4 Noctis, LP550-2 GZ8 Edizione Limitata, LP 570-4 Edizione Technica, the LP570-4 Super Trofeo, and lastly, the production version LP 560-4. (Lambocars 2000-2013) This production version was the last evolution for the Gallardo, which featured a modified design language, and would later remotely translate into its’ successor. It made use of very sharp angular air vent intakes using trapezoidal and triangular geometry in both the front and the rear end treatment of the car. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

5

It seems as ever, Lamborghini are quite reluctant to just up and end a series, and want to make sure the history of a range of their cars has a solid ending. This as you guessed it, means the Gallardo saw further limited editions and fine-tuning refinements before the now current replacement was announced. These last cars were to mark the end of an era, and allowed the Gallardo to come to a graceful end. The range extended to the Gallardo LP550-2 Indonesia Limited Edition, LP560-2 50 Anniversario, the LP550-2 India Limited Edition, and the Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse.  (Lambocars 2000-2013)

6

Traditionally, after the release of a new Lamborghini or indeed a specific car in a range, the company tends to release an open top version. This was the case with the Jalpa Spyder, Diablo Roadster, Diablo VT-R roadster, Diablo SV Roadster, the Murciélago Roadster, the Murciélago LP640 and 650 Roadster as well as the Gallardo Spyder, Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder, and the Reventón Roadster; you get the point, basically, Lamborghini loves to make an open top variant. (Lambocars 2000-2013) Of course, with the 2012 release of the Aventador, it was only a matter of time before the arrival of the Aventador LP700-4 Roadster in 2013. This was in essence the same car as the coupé, which had been turned into a top-less version; and even featured its own special version release in the same year. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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The standard Aventador received the LP720-4 50 Anniversario as a limited edition update, which made use of a more aggressive approach in styling, and also added twenty extra horsepower over the standard 700. This of course also blossomed into an open top version, the LP720-4 Roadster 50 Anniversario Edition. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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The year was far from over though, because as you can tell, the Aventadors mentioned a moment ago had the wording 50 Anniversario in the name. This is by no coincidence, as Automobili Lamborghini SpA was celebrating its’ 50th anniversary on the 11th of May. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

This would indeed amount to an extremely special year at Lamborghini, and more and more surprises were ready to take the World by storm and leave everyone in their wake absolutely breathless. It promptly started this notion with its’ brand new limited edition poison at the Geneva Auto show.

Poison, however, is not only a perfect metaphor for this insane new car, but its entire embodiment and Spanish derived name; Veneno. The Veneno, is based on an Aventador chassis, but is a completely new car in other terms. Three cars were made and sold, one red, one white, and one green, representing the colours of the Italian national flag. A fourth one was made in a metallic grey, which is just for the auto shows, and for Lamborghini’s developments. The car features a 750bhp engine, 4-wheel drive and a 2.8 second 0-60mph (+-100km/h) time, but it’s the looks that give this car such a unique feel. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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The entire car is designed to act as a large aerofoil, increasing downforce for it’s 220mph (355km/h) top speed. (Lambocars 2000-2013)  The design is revolutionary and takes Lambo to the forefront of the exotic car market. It features large intakes on the front, dressed in dry carbon, which follow the car through the side skirts, into the side intakes, and over the rear deck. Another epic innovation for this car is that massive rear spoiler, with its upright struts, and that long aeroplane-like fin in the middle, running all the way from the roofline into the geometric design of the wing. As crazy as it seems, the Veneno, although is hypercar royalty, actually got a counterpart, in the form of the Veneno Roadster. Yes, it seems Lambo cannot resist a good open top, and thus the Veneno Roadster is limited to nine units, and costs an exorbitant €3.5 Million. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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Still in 2013, the 50 year anniversary was far from over, and in front of 1000 VIP members, and at the gala dinner at the Sant’Agata factory, Lamborghini wheeled out its brand new prototype. Designed by Walter De Silva, head of design at VW, Alessandro Dambrosio, and Stefan Sielaff; the main event of the night was the absolutely fantastical Egoista Concept car. The car is made from carbon fibre and aluminium, and the body panels as well as the wheels are made from anti-radar material finished in a matt grey colour. The canopy is made out of anti-glare glass, and cocoons the single passenger in a jet like cab, accessed by opening the canopy, and sitting on the side, and putting your legs in first, like a formula one car. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The design sets forward the benchmark for all supercar concepts, and concretes the evidence that Lamborghini think as far outside the box as is possible. The ultra geometric design of the Egoista, with its use of wedgy, faceted panels, combined with an array of integrated lights, give the car the feeling of a jet fighter from the future.

11

During all the exciting events of the year, the focus on the production models, was of course of huge importance, and the Gallardo replacement was also going out for it’s practice laps, in prototype form of course. This then, brings us to this current year, 2014, although, only a few more days are left.

The year started fresh with the long awaited replacement for the Gallardo. The new, affordable entry level baby Lambo, the Huracàn. More precisely the Lamborghini Huracàn LP610-4, from which you will have deduced that it makes use of a 610bhp powerhouse, and delivers its power on all fours. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014) Aesthetically, it makes use of very simple lines, and a much softer approach to the usual hard geometric design language of Lamborghini. The design is overall very nicely balanced and integrated, although at first glance, people including myself thought that it’s too controlled, and very understated for the Lamborghini brand; especially when put next to their current flagship model, the Aventador.

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With this in mind, over the last year, I have grown to rather like the aesthetics of this new car. It’s really well refined, and as routine with Lamborghini, I am quite certain sometime this coming year we can expect to see a Spyder version. This will no doubt further enhance the visuals, and the likelihood of a Superleggera and perhaps even an SV model in the forthcoming years would be customary. Even in standard trim though, it looks great in the Italian Police force, custom built by Lambo. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

13

Another, rather intriguing addition to the one-off deck in the house of the Raging Bull was the 5-95 Zagato. As with a few previous endeavours, the design was done in-house by Zagato, and is a one-off, for collector Alber Spiess. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The design is questionable, and rather unfamiliar for Lamborghini, as the front makes a use of a few different flavours, combining the aesthetic characteristics of a Spyker, a Lotus Evora, and the intakes of an Aston Martin one-77. The side view features a characteristical Lamborghini flow, and the rear features a once again, quite unlike; round design for the taillamps. It is definitely a unique look, but as its been designed at an external studio, the idea of its’ adaptation into production models is dubious at best.

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Lastly on the trailing edge of the year, a new GT concept car came into existence, known as the Asterion LPI910-4. This is the newest of the new, in terms of design and tech, deriving from the gates at Sant’Agata. Although it is only a concept car for now, it makes use of a hybrid engine, (Automobili Lamborghini 2014) and brings light to the idea of creating a production hybrid Lamborghini. This is not a new idea for the supercar segment, as we see this with the already available production versions of the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and LaFerrari.

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In the styling department, the car is a little bit different from the usual, as the overall design is in the form of a luxury GT (Gran Turismo), although carries the Lamborghini aesthetic rather well. We can see influences from previous models, such as the Urus, in the front bumper area, the Miura Concept, in the DLO (Daylight opening, a.k.a, the shape of the windows, from the side), while the side intake and the long taillamps are an adaptation from the ones seen on the Veneno. Although different, the Asterion depicts a valid point as to what the future might hold for the brand; but as we’ve seen before with cars such as the Estoque and the Urus (so far), not all great concept Lambos make the final cut.

This then, concludes the year as it comes to an end, and already in the pipeline for next year we have the Huracàn LP620-2 Super Trofeo, the Reiter Gallardo Extenso, the Pirelli Edition Aventador, and if my guess is correct, and only on a speculation basis, a Huracàn Spyder.

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References:

 

Ford,T., Marriage, O., Grant, K., Horrel, P., Barlow, J., Ward, P., Philip, S., and Read, D. (2012) ‘Lamborghini Urus’. TopGear (230), 32-36

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Lamborghini – TIMEline [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/timeline.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo LP560-4 Bicolore –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_lp560-4_bicolore.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo Tricolore –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_tricolore.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_lp570-4_super_trofeo_stradale.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_lp550-2_spyder.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) New Gallardo LP560-4 –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/new_gallardo_lp560-4.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Aventador LP720-4 Roadster 50 Anniversario –the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/aventador/aventador_lp720-4_roadster_50_anniversario.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Veneno –the STORY [online]. <http://www.lambocars.com/aventador/veneno.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Veneno Roadster –the STORY [online]. <http://www.lambocars.com/aventador/veneno_roadster.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Egoista –the STORY [online]. <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/egoista.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) 5-95 Zagato –the STORY [online]. <http://www.lambocars.com/related/lamborghini_5-95_zagato.html>

Lamborghini.com (2014) History – 1998-Nowadays [online]. available from < http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1998-nowadays/>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Aventador LP700-4 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/aventador-lp-700-4/overview/>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Aventador LP700-4 – technical specifications [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/aventador-lp-700-4/technical-specifications/>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Huracàn LP610-4Explore [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/huracan-lp-610-4/explore/#cfg14,A3A3,RAD,C3E,BAV,PC1,MAD,PD1,0UJ,0UJ_NA,0UJ_FCU_VF,LRA,2PF,EMI,NR1>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Asterion LPI 910-4 – Overview [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/asterion-lpi-910-4/overview/#!slide/6284>

Topgear.com (2014) Lambo Aventador J: the real story [online]. available from <http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/lamborghini-aventador-j-geneva-motor-show-filippo-perini-2012-03-13>[13 March 2012]

 

Image references:

 

Autoevolution.com (2008-2014) available from < http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/why-the-lamborghini-aventador-roadster-72090_1.jpg>

Caricos (2014) available from <http://www.caricos.com/cars/l/lamborghini/2014_lamborghini_gallardo_lp_570-4_squadra_corse/1920×1080/2.html>

Carlook.net (2012-2013) available from <http://carlook.net/data/db_photos/lamborghini/gallardo/1st/lamborghini_gallardo_1st_lp550-roadster2d-3079.jpg>

Cnet.com (n.d) available from <http://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2014/10/02/03bbbad0-c59b-45f0-b94b-09c8f9ad044e/resize/770×578/8acfd732e9f0fbe9a4ed43aecf6540f7/lamboasterionlpi91044.jpg>

Dreamcarsite.com (2012-2014) available from <http://www.dreamcarsite.com/photos/cars01/2015-lamborghini-huracan-polizia/2015-huracan-polizia-01.jpg>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) available from <http://www.lambocars.com/images/lambonews/urus34.jpg>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) available from <http://www.lambocars.com/images/lambonews/veneno_roadster_abu_dhabi_3.jpg>

Lamborghini.com (2014) available from <http://cdn.lamborghini.com/content/models/aventador_lp720-4_50/gallery/gal1_av-lp720-4_50_1920x1080.jpg>

Lamborghini.com (2014) available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/huracan-lp-610-4/gallery/#!image/74197>

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Reddit.com (2014) available from <http://image.motortrend.com/f/wot/lamborghini-reveals-egoista-concept-at-50th-anniversary-gala-366031/59367451/lamborghini-egoista-concept-front-three-quarters.jpg>

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Trendstyle.net (n.d) available from <http://www.trendsstyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Lamborghini-Gallardo-LP560-4-2013-4.jpg> [28 November 2014]

2

The not so hostile takeover of Lamborghini

Lamborghini became the Audi-VW owned supercar company that it is today, on the 12th of June 1998. (Lamborghini 2014)  And, although a very strict and ordered German corporate car giant taking over a purist, and emotional Italian car company, may sound like the beginning of the end; the complete opposite is true. The same could have been said about Bugatti, as they were taken over by VW just a mere one month earlier, and look at where Bugatti is today! (Bugatti 2014)

Lamborghini had been on shaky ground for a very long time, and after a long period of fluctuating levels of success, the Volkswagen group finally brought some stability to the company. During, and after the takeover, Lamborghini continued manufacturing the extremely successful Diablo, and its plethora of variations. However, the biggest leap forward was just a few short steps away.

After having acquired the company, the Diablo’s replacement, the Canto, was scheduled for the go ahead. Thankfully, and already showing a positive change, Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, chairman of the VW group at the time (Volkswagenag 2014), decided that the Canto was not a suitable candidate to be the successor of the Diablo. (Lambocars 2000-2013) This led to the creation of the beginning of the Lamborghini image we all know so well today, this led to of course the mighty Murciélago.

1

Released in 2001, the Murciélago was not designed by Italians anymore, however the German car company sure did manage to make a strong starting point with this first one. Designed by Belgian Luc Donckerwolke, at Audi design, and working in conjunction with the Lamborghini engineers, the Murciélago was a massive hit. It was reminiscent of the Countach, a progression of the Diablo and also used some Miura influences. One could have been sceptical about a German designed Lambo, but it could not have looked any more fierce. The car featured an angular design, which Lamborghini is so famous for, but also combined it with a fresh and simple form, while making use of clean geometric lines. It’s not a surprise it looked so good, as Donckerwolke had previously designed cars such as the Audi A2, A4 avant, Skoda Fabia, and Octavia, and the Audi R8 Le Mans race car. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

After the 2001 release of the Murciélago, work quickly began to expand the range of cars available in the line-up. The idea of a new baby Lambo was on the brink, and by 2002 the L140 development had begun. The next year, by 2003, the Company was ready to debut the long awaited for surprise, and new affordable Lambo at the Geneva Motor Show, as well as a spin-off of the Murciélago at the Detroit Auto Show. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

The latter, was known as the Murciélago Barchetta, which was essentially a new roadster version, with a brand new redesigned rear, and roof section. This was only a prototype for now, but the Geneva Show was about to unveil a totally new idea. The car in question was the all new entry level Lambo, the Lamborghini Gallardo, (ga:yàrdo). (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

2

The Gallardo, was designed to be a driver’s car, which is quite unlike for the flamboyancy of the Lamborghini brand. Until now, Lamborghinis were usually difficult, and a handful to handle and keep at bay, but this car changed that altogether. It needed to be easy to drive and comfortable, to fit its driver in every situation, but still managed to keep with the Lambo lunacy, and adhere to true Lamborghini performance. VW had made a very nicely balanced car with no compromise, as it featured a 500bhp V10 engine, which was also used in the Audi R8. Combined with a permanent four-wheel drive system, it was able to reach a top speed of 192mph (309km/h). (Lambocars 2000-2013)

The design was a collaborative work between Fabrizio Giugiaro of Italdesign, and Luc Donckerwolcke, and added quite a new and refreshing aesthetic to the Lamborghini range. It still made use of hard angular lines, but had a nice flow, and a softer overall look. Smaller than the Murciélago, with small overhangs, and the use of large intakes for cooling, the car looked muscular but also dynamic at the same time. The styling, combined with the performance and driving comfort, even featuring normal opening doors; and at low price when compared with its bigger sibling, meant that the new car was all set up for success. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

With the two new cars released and up for sale, the general public, who could afford them, as well as the publications started to see, just what a difference VW had made to the Lamborghini brand. Although purists and owners of previous Lamborghini models would argue that the brand lost its emotion; but what it lost in passion, it gained in refinement, and thus created a reimagining of the Lamborghini brand. The Gallardo actually ended up being so successful that it was manufactured all the way up until 2013, giving it a 10 year reign in the small supercar segment.

Right after their release, both the Murciélago and Gallardo had many variations released over the subsequent years, this is a common and logical step for Lamborghini. The next year, 2004, saw two quite special cars release. One of them, marking the 40th anniversary of the company was the limited edition Murciélago 40th Anniversary, essentially, a “basic” Murciélago, with new and bespoke 40th anniversary accessories. The second, was the long awaited for Murciélago Roadster, and after its initial preview the year before in prototype form, expectations were high. Thankfully, the Roadster remained true to the concept and did not disappoint. It was the definition of open top supercar driving pleasure, especially with that screaming V12 sitting just behind the driver. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

3

2005 saw the release of the limited edition Momo Gallardo, as well as the Gallardo SE. Both only had slight modifications over the standard car, although the SE (Special Edition) was limited to 250 units, and featured a nicely contrasting high gloss black roof, which carried through into the engine bay (Lambocars 2000-2013). Another type of Gallardo that year, this time, full production car, was the long awaited Gallardo Spyder. With the success of the Murciélago Roadster, an open top Gallardo was imminent. This car, once again was not a mere, chop job; as the entire car was a self standing model, and made a name for itself in its own right. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

4

I can say from personal experience that this open top Gallardo sounds amazing, when its pedal to the metal, especially with only having a thin soft canvas roof. The power was also increased by 20bhp to 520bhp, (Lambocars 2000-2013) and although turned into a soft top, the Spyder grips to the standards of a true Lambo. The open top story didn’t end there however. In the same year, Lamborghini also previewed the Concept S Prototype, which used a “saute-vent” roof, (Lambocars 2000-2013) whereby, a traditional roof is not present, but instead divides the cabin into two sections, which allows air to rage through between the two passengers.

5

The beginning of 2006 marked the 40th anniversary of the Miura, and thus, came the Miura Concept. A new revamped and restyled, modern approach to the original Marcello Gandini design of 1966. The year also followed with new and improved versions of the Murciélago, namely the LP640, “Longitudinale Posteriore”, 640bhp. (Lambocars 2000-2013)  This car was an evolution of the standard Murciélago, and with the 520bhp Gallardo on the market, the Murciélago needed a power upgrade. It also featured various aesthetic changes, using larger air intakes, a new front bumper, new lights, and new rear vents. The bore of the engine was increased, larger brakes were added and a new transmission system was installed, among many other performance enhancements. This also resulted in the release of the LP640 Roadster, as well as a Versace Edition, celebrating the new partnership between Automobili Lamborghini SpA, and Gianni Versace SPA. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

6

By this time the Gallardo was also receiving some updates; a new track car, the Gallardo GT3-R by Reiter Engineering was being development and even had a road going version release the next year, the Gallardo GT3 Strada. This year also gave birth to the Gallardo MY2007, and the better known, Gallardo Superleggera. This was a more hard-core, stripped out version of the standard Gallardo, and with 10 extra horsepower, and with 100Kg of weight shed; the car could manage a 0-60mph (+-100kph) in just 3.8 seconds. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

7

The year 2007 also comprised of the release of a very special, exotic Lamborghini of which only 20 units were made; the Lamborghini Reventón. This was an extremely exclusive car, and obviously extremely rare, making it an instant collectors piece, costing a nice round € 1 million. Its general proportions and styling was not dissimilar to the Murciélago, but had a much harder, almost chiselled, geometric feel to it. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The aesthetic details, on both the interior and exterior, such as the triangular air intakes, sharp headlamps, and glass blade finished engine cover, reminded one of the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet.

8

2008, showed more upgrades to the Gallardo, in the shape of the LP560-4, as well as its’ open top Spyder version, and the Murciélago LP640 Versace Roadster. The most interesting car of this year however was the Estoque. The Estoque is a four-door Super saloon, and a true embodiment of the stylings and indeed power of Lamborghini. With the use of the Gallardo LP560 engine, it was ready to take on the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati and Porsche, with their 4-seater model ranges. This however was only a prototype car, but prospects were looking very good. Lamborghini had hoped to start producing this car by 2010, but didn’t happen, and as of now, there is still no news on the prospects for a Lamborghini saloon. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

9

By 2009 the Gallardo series had included the LP550-2, a 2-wheel drive variant, the Gallardo LP560 GT3, and the Blancpain Super Trofeo. A further release of the Murciélago was also on the table in the form of the LP650-4, and the brilliant Murciélago LP670-4 SV. In reality the SV, (Superveloce) was really more of a hypercar, and really the high performance version and swan song of the Murciélago series. It made use of a large carbon fibre spoiler, as well as a new front and rear end, all dressed in dry carbon fibre, while integrating an all new hexagonal design for the glass engine bay cover. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

10

The next year included further refinement to the Gallardo range, such as the LP570-4 SV and also included the very last version of the Murciélago, the LP670-4 SV China Limited Edition. This was not the big news though, as that came in the form of a hardcore stripped out carbon beauty, the Sesto Elemento. (Lambocars 2000-2013) This outrageous car, limited to a ridiculous unit of only three, is an unbelievable work of wonder. “Sesto Elemento“, means sixth element, in Italian, which is not by chance, as the sixth element on the periodic table is carbon.

11

The car is based on a Gallardo platform, and is also driveable, although a non street legal, track-attack concept monster. It features a body made entirely out of carbon fibre and makes use of a very geometric, almost “edgy” styling. It uses characteristical features such as the rear hexagonal air outlets for the engine, and combines a monocoque chassis, all the way from front to the rear wing. The engine is accessed by removing the entire back of the car in one piece. It was designed to save weight, to such a degree, that only some sections were painted with a veneer of red, to accentuate the features on the car. It totally worked too, as it weighs just under 1000kgs, and has a 0-60mph time of just 2.5 seconds!

Lamborghini was not going to stop there yet, they needed to keep up with the steady supply of dream car reality; and thus, in the shadows of the following year lurked some very big news; the state-of-the-art replacement for the Murciélago.

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References:

Bugatti.com (2014) History [online]. available from <http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/history.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Lamborghini – TIMEline [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/timeline.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo 5.0 – the STORY [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_5_0.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Murciélago 6.2 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_6_2.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Murciélago 40th Anniversary – the STORY [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_40th_annversary.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Murciélago Roadster – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_roadster.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo SE – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_se.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Gallardo Spyder  – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_spyder.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Concept S prototype – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/concept_s_prototype.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Miura Concept – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/miura_concept.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Murciélago LP640 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_lp640.html>

Lambocars.com (2000-2013) Murciélago LP640 Versace – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_lp640_versace.html >

Lamborghini.com (2014) Gallardo Superleggera [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/gallardo/gallardo_superleggera.html>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Reventón – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/reventon/reventon.html>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Estoque – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/estoque.html>

Lamborghini.com (2014) Murciélago LP670-4 Superveloce – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/murcielago/murcielago_lp670-4_superveloce.html >

Lamborghini.com (2014) Sesto Elemento – the STORY [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/sesto_elemento.html >

Lamborghini.com (2014) History – 1998-Nowadays [online]. available from < http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1998-nowadays/>

Volkswagenag.com (2014 ”Vorsprung durch Technik” – the life of Ferdinand Piëch [online]. available from <http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/news/2007/04/vorsprung_durch_technik_-_the_life_of_ferdinand_piech.html>

 

Image references:

Becuo.com (n.d) available from <http://becuo.com/blue-lamborghini-murcielago-lp640>

Betterparts.org (2014) available from <http://srv2.betterparts.org/images/lamborghini-reventn-11.jpg>

Caranddriver.com (2014) available from <http://www.caranddriver.com/photos-09q2/272815/lamborghini-gallardo-superleggera-photo-272860>

Carrosrevisomundo.blogspot.co.uk (n.d) available from <http://image.europeancarweb.com/f/36125262/epcp_1104_01_o%2Bnorthern_california_backroad_lamborghinis%2Blambos.jpg>

Dragtimes.ru (2008 – 2014) available from <http://www.dragtimes.ru/files/blog/93b6cb99b611f09c518b57c95e16df93.jpg>

Imgkid.com (n.d) available from <http://www.nthimage.com/Houston/photoshoots/Murci_Turbo/Lamborghini_Murcielago_Roadster_6.jpg >

Seriouswhees.com (n.d) available from <http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-2006/2006-Lamborghini-Gallardo-Spyder-W-SA-TD-1280×960.jpg>

Smeyers, M. (n.d) Lambocars.com 2000-2013 [online] available from <http://www.lambocars.com/images/murcielago/cr200812.jpg>

Topgear.co.za (2014) available from <http://www.topgear.co.za/wp-content/uploads/photo-of-the-day-lamborghini-sesto-elemento-in-hong-kong-by-chester-ng-002.jpg>

Tuningnews.net  (2003-2014) available from <http://www.tuningnews.net/news/081001/lamborghini-estoque-concept-hr-01.jpg>

Wallpic.us  (2014) available from <http://wallpic.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Orange-Lamborghini-Murcielago-SV-Photo.jpg>

Yo.spc.free.fr (n.d) available from <http://yo.spc.free.fr/2008/Events/2008_13_Lamborghini/large/16_ConceptS.jpg>

6

Lamborghini’s paradigm shift towards the millenium

In the year 1980, Lamborghini had gone through a paradigm shift. After a bad period, and in financial ruin, the company was taken over by its new owners and was about to blossom once again. With a new technical director at the helms, Giulio Alfieri, Lamborghini was ready to shine again at the 1981 Geneva Motor Show. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

Wanting to take the show by storm, and to show that they were back, Lamborghini exhibited a number of cars. One of them was a Swiss version of the Miura, which was nothing new, as there was another type of car the public hadn’t seen yet. This was the reinterpretation of the original military off-roader, the Cheetah, and was dubbed the LM001. The now new, Swiss owners, the Mimram brothers, wanted to reignite the previously failed attempt at an off-roader and with a new steady flow of cash, the desperately needed evolution of Lamborghinis’ line-up became a possibility. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

1

The LM in LM001 was rumoured to stand for Lamborghini Militaria 001, or Lamborghini Mimram. Although, similar to the original Cheetah, with a rear mount engine, it was more of a reimagining, rather than an evolution of its’ predecessor. The LM 001 however did have some problems, and with it came a successor later on. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

The show did not stop there however, as the stand also featured two Countach models.  The Countach S, which had the new Wolf style rear wing, but was old news by now, and the new Countach 5000. Although, very similar in looks, the 5000 housed a new 4.7-litre V12, bringing the amazing power figures back to the series. This reignited the ferociousness of the Countach name, as the previous Countach S had lost power due to all the cosmetic upgrades, and larger tyres that it had received in the previous years. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

2

Another interesting car being previewed was the Jalpa prototype. With the open top 1976 Silhouette only seeing 52 units produced, never saw any export to the United States, and thus the Mimram brothers wanted to create a new open top “targa style” roofed Lamborghini. Bertone turned the original Silhouette into a beautiful, smooth, and much more refined car. It was in style with the supercars of that era and also used wheels which were pretty much a replica of the ones used on the Athon concept. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

By the release of the new Jalpa P350 (pronounced yawl-pa), (Lambocars.com 2000-2013) in 1982, the car was dubbed the new baby Lambo. Unlike the Countach though, it housed a nice V8 engine, was a “targa” open top and was exported to the U.S, but still suffered. It was uncomfortable to drive, had a lot of competition from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, and was quite normal looking. In fact, it was very dull next to the outrageous and lavish big brother, the Countach, and let’s face it, if people were going to buy a Lambo, they didn’t want to be inconspicuous and understated. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

3

By the next year, the Mimram brothers were adamant on introducing an off-roader, and thus, offered the LMA002, now making use of a front mount engine to better balance the car. After receiving continuous and progressive updates, by 1986 we had the colossal beast known as the LM004 7000. This car doesn’t exist anymore, but it made use of a humongous 7.0-litre engine propelling the 3-ton monster to 124mph (200km/h). It was more of a luxury item, and had an integrated telephone, fridge and air conditioning. Once commercialized in 1986, it was finally called the LM002 utilising a 5.0-litre engine. It was suitably nicknamed the “Rambo Lambo” (Miller 2014) but we now recognize it as “that” off-road Lamborghini. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

4

In 1986 the Countach saw further developments, and was released in the form of the LP5000 Quattrovalvole. A tuned version of the now 22 year old V12, skyrocketed the car to 455 bhp, and well ahead of the competition, and especially of its main rival at the time, the Ferrari Testarossa. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013) This gave Lamborghini a good and steady sale of their cars, and by 1987, the Countach and Jalpa, as well as orders for the LM series were flowing and progressing the company. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

5

By the year 1987, the successor to the Countach, the Tipo 132, was in its beginning prototype stages. The Jalpa, also received an update, the Spyder. Also known as the speedster, the car featured a canvas roof, but because of complications, never made it into production. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

6

In the same year, 1987, the company over went a massive change once again, and attained its new owners. This time, the American based motor company, Chrysler took over on the 23rd of April. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

In order to celebrate the Chrysler overtaking of Lamborghini, a new concept car was created, now by American designers. By 1988, The Portofino was a 4-seater aerodynamic concept developed onto a lengthened Jalpa chassis. Using the same engine as the Jalpa, it was rather fast achieving 149mph (240km/h), however, its’ main feature was horizontally opening “Lambo doors” for both the front and rear passengers. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)  It even used the Lamborghini raging bull in the Chrysler logo, as the badge. This car inspired the later released Eagle Optima, and even further on, the Dodge Intrepid. (Miller 2014) Still in the same year, another concept was developed, known as the Genesis, designed by Bertone design, which was a super, mini-van styled car, with speed in focus and also featured the Lambo style doors.

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At this time the company was also manufacturing engines for Formula 1 cars at their Lamborghini Engineering SpA building. Although the engines were becoming more and more successful over the years, by 1991, the endeavour ended. Besides the engines though, Lamborghini had been working on new composite material manufacturing technologies and the Countach Evoluzione was manufactured in 1988. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

By 1989, the swansong and last model for the 17 year long production of the Countach, came into what was supposed to be a limited production, but ended up becoming the best selling version of the Countach ever. This car also became the celebration model, to mark the company’s 25 years in existence, and was thus called the Countach 25th Anniversary. In fact, the car was drastically redesigned, and although, used the base of the QuattroValvole, was a brand new Countach. It was a brilliant car and praiseworthy for the celebration model, which was actually supposed to be the belated Diablo, but was behind schedule at the time. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

9

At the turn of the next decade, Lamborghini presented their brand new car, on the 21st of January. It was unveiled at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, and was the successor to the extremely successful Countach. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013) Obviously wanting to create a mesmerizing and absolutely crazy, Lamborghini defining, brand new supercar, the brief said the car needed to reach a minimum of 196mph (315km/h). Thus, the mighty Lamborghini Diablo was the answer. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

10

The car was a much more refined version and combination of the Countach and the P132 prototype. It featured integrated air intakes, and looked less violent, but with Marcello Gandini being at the forefront of the design, the car was a true reflection of the styling characteristics of Lamborghini. It had a very low stance, and a massively wide track at 204 cm. Naturally, the “Lambo doors” were adopted, and even had full side glass, whereby the entire window could be wound down electronically. It was a true driver’s car, with moveable seats, steering column and dashboard. The interior featured a CD player, an Alpine stereo system and hand stitched Italian leather. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

The 1990 version was still a rear wheel drive, however, later Diablos, and in fact Lamborghinis adopted a 4-wheel drive system which was to become the norm. The car also achieved an insane top speed of 217mph (340km/h) on the Nardo test track. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013). This put Lamborghini at the forefront of the supercar market of the era, and could only be approached by the limited production Bugatti EB110, and Jaguar XJ220. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013).

1112

1990 also brought with it a derivative of the Diablo, the Countach and the Miura, a new baby Lambo, the P140. It was intended to be the successor of the Jalpa, but because of the great speeds and quality that Japanese and German cars were able to attain, the P140 had to rely on its looks to be a noteworthy competitor in the market. As work continued on improving the car, attention turned to the development of the Diablo instead, and the project died over time. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013).

The subsequent years, brought with them all sorts of improved variations of the ever successful Diablo. The year 1992 brought with it the Diablo Roadster, an open top version of the flagship Diablo and featured slight changes such as the engine lid and the rear view mirrors. The side intakes and rear engine air intakes were also increased, as well as other cooling modifications and were used thoroughly on the 1993 Diablo VT. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013).

1994 saw the release of the Diablo SE30, SE, standing for Special Edition; the car was meant to be entered into the GT-championships. The interior was stripped out, parts were replaced with lightweight parts, and it introduced the Diablo rear spoiler and a new front end. The engine received a JOTA conversion, and essentially became a racecar for the road, making it the most hardcore Lamborghini which had come out for a very long time. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

As, what seems to be an apparent trend with Lamborghini, the company once again exchanged hands. This time, “Nuova Automobili Lamborghini SpA” was sold off by Chrysler, to a group of unknown Indonesian investors. The reason for this was unclear, but it didn’t stop Lamborghini from continuing its evolution of the Diablo range. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

By 1995, the series had been extended to the SE Jota Edition, Diablo VT Roadster, and the Diablo SV. The SE Jota, utilised a specially tuned Jota engine, which was developed at the same Lamborghini Engineering SpA building, where the V12 Formula 1 engines were in the early nineties. The VT Roadster, was a combination of the previous Roadster prototype, and the VT, naturally. It adopted many features of other Diablo models, while receiving minor to major adjustments on the exterior and interior. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

13

The most interesting of the three, however, was the SV, known as the Sport Veloce, just like its’ great grandfather, the Miura SV. The car was one of the most brutal Diablos to date, and was apparently quite a handful and very scary to handle, especially on wet roads. The reason for this is quite simple, 510 bhp was combined with a rear-wheel drive setup. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

14

At the 1995 Geneva Auto Show, sitting beside the previous three models, was another proposed successor to the Jalpa. The Cala, was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign and was a beautiful sporty car, with a 400bhp, mid-mounted engine. It also made use of a removable Targa type roof, a more curved surfacing style, and a glass roof section section, allowing more light to enter the cab. The Cala, being a driveable prototype, was tested by a few publications, had great reviews and was destined for success, but the project had to be put on hold, as the Indonesian investors, were experiencing severe financial problems.   (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

15

A single make series championship was bought to fruition in Europe, and a special Diablo SVR, was produced in limited numbers for the series. Further adaptations and variations of the Diablo range were released through 1996 and 1997, with the inclusion of the VT-R, the Diablo GT1, and the Diablo Roadster VT-R, which was specifically built to promote the VTR edition. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

16

The adaptations and improvements for the Diablo range didn’t stop flowing, Lamborghini was churning out new and improved Diablos by the second. By 1998, the series was further developed to introduce the Diablo VS, Victoria’s Secret Special, the Diablo GT2, the SV Monterey edition and the SV Roadster. This however, didn’t stop the inevitable from happening once again. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

By now, the Diablo was getting old, and naturally Lamborghini needed to develop a new car to join the fleet. This didn’t come very easy though, as the owners had very limited funds available, and therefore devised a plan to go into collaboration with a top-level carmaker. They joined forces with Audi, and wanted to use the V8 from the Audi A8 in the new baby Lambo. Audi’s technical staff however, saw a great opportunity in the company. Not too long after the ordeal, on the 27th of July, Lamborghini, was sold down to the very last share, and signed over to the German car giant. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

The Lamborghini powerhouse did however manage to make one very last tribute and true Italian concept car, before becoming part of the rigid corporate German Audi-VW brand. This last grasp at the true nature of Lamborghini, was the Pregunta concept. It was a marvellous car especially in terms of aesthetics, and executed a futuristic jet fighter styling, brilliantly. Utilising a massive 530 bhp, it managed to reach a top speed of 206mph (331km/h) and with its’ muscular and radical new design language it certainly looked the part. (Dailymail n.d)

17

After the takeover by Audi-Volkswagen, production of the Diablo continued and spawned many variations. These included the Diablo VT Roadster Momo Edition, Diablo GT, the VT Roadster MY1999, the SV MY1999, and the VT MY1999. Furthermore, in 2000, the GT-R, Millenium Roadster and Diablo VT 6.0 had been introduced. (Lambocars.com 2000-2013)

18

In 1999, there was also another prototype, named the Canto, but was decided that it was not up to Lamborghini standards and was therefore scrapped. Until this time, there had been no major revolutions for Lamborghini for a while, but at the turn of the century, in 2001, Lamborghini was about to pronounce its brand new marvel. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

19

 

References:

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1981-1987 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1981-1987/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1987-1994  [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1987-1994/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1987-1994  [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1994-1998/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1988-nowadays [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1998-nowadays/ >

Dailymail.co.uk (n.d) One-of –a-kind Lamborghini  built to resemble a fighter jet goes under the hammer [online]. available from <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2310576/Lamborghini-Pregunta-Car-built-resemble-fighter-jet-goes-hammer.html> [17 April 2013]

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Lamborghini – TIMEline [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/timeline.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) LM001 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/off_road/lm001.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Jalpa Protoype– the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/v8_engine/jalpa_prototype.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Jalpa P350 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/v8_engine/jalpa_p350.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) LM004 7000 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/off_road/lm004_7000.html >

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/countach/countach_lp500_quattrovalvole.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) The Genesis by Bertone – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/the_genesis_by_bertone.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Countach 25th Anniversary – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/countach/countach_25th_anniversary.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Lamborghini P140 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/lamborghini_p140.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo Roadster prototype – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_roadster_prototype.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo SE30 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_se30.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo SE Jota Edition – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_se_jota_edition.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo VT Roadster – the STORY [online]. available from < http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_vt_roadster.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo SV – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_sv.html>

Lambocars.com (2000 – 2013) Diablo Roadster VT-R – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/diablo/diablo_roadster_vt-r.html>

Miller, A. (2014) ‘18 Things you didn’t know about Lamborghini’ Supercompressor [online].  available from < http://www.supercompressor.com/rides/18-thigns-you-didn-t-know-about-lamborghini-italian-supercar-facts>

 

Images:

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Photobucket.com (2014) available from <http://s217.photobucket.com/user/Zormi88/media/My%20Love/25th45.jpg.html>

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Sha’ul, J. (n.d) Flickr.com [online] available from <https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3484/3212995821_0506c427ce.jpg>

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13

Lamborghini’s roller-coaster ride to the 80’s

Lamborghini became the company we know today, through the birth of their first true supercar, the Miura; however, the legend has quite a few, although not very well known, but particularly exquisite predecessors. The first car created by Lamborghini, was of course the 1963 350 GTV (Automobili Lamborghini 2014). This was followed by the 1964 350 GT, which was the new road going version. The car also spawned quite a few variations through the subsequent next few years before the Miura in 1966. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

Just a quick year later, in 1965, came the 3500 GTZ, which was designed by Zagato and shared similar looks to the Ferrari 250 GTO. It was presented at the 1965 London Auto show, and was one of only a few models designed by Zagato. Lamborghini favoured Bertone design, and therefore was the go-to design firm for most of the designs not only of the time, but throughout its history. (Lambocars 2000-2013) In the same year, the Turin Auto show also previewed the 350 GTS, which was a convertible, but unfortunately only 2 units were ever produced. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

13500gt2

1966 saw the brand release an array of great cars, and was one of the best, and most creative periods for Lamborghini as a car company. Beginning the year with the P538, a racecar with a Lamborghini V12, which is one of the most expensive Lamborghinis today. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The 350 GT was also further enhanced into the 400 GT, and its many variations, including the 400 GT 2+2, 400 GT Monza, and 400 GT Flying Star II.

2p538

The most important car of this year, however, was of course the Miura, which was unveiled at the 1965 Turin Auto Show. Nuccio Bertone, was at that show as well, and being an expert of engines and cars, saw great opportunity for the new chassis and for Lamborghini as a whole. It is said that he approached Ferruccio and said “I’m the one who can make the shoe to fit your foot”. (Nuccio Bertone 1965 cited in Automobili Lamborghini 2014) This marked the beginning of a new era in supercar design for decades to come.

1967, orders for the Miura came pouring in, creating a massive amount of publicity for the company, as well providing a lot of cash, allowing Lamborghini to invest in the future. Lamborghini had become a symbolic name, and gained the reputation of always going further no matter what, and not adhering to conventional limitations that other companies were so bound by. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)  People took great notice of the Miura, and orders were even made by people such as Rod Stewart, Dean Martin, Saudi King Fahd, and Frank Sinatra. (Miller 2014)

3Miura

This year also saw the birth of cars such as the Marzal, created by Bertone and Gandini. This was a 4-seater, rear engined marvel, featuring the first ever gullwing doors. The vertically opening doors were adapted over time, and thus became the famous Lambo doors, which we know today to be a signature of all high end Lamborghini cars. The Miura Roadster and Islero 400 GT, a follow up of the original 400 GT were also introduced but were overshadowed by the all new Espada GT. The car featured a front-engined, 2-seater layout, and was a revolutionary wonder in terms of design and one of the most successful works of Marcello Gandini. (Automobili Lamorghini 2014)

4marzal5espada

By 1969, the Miura, had seen developments and improvements, which gave birth to the all new Miura S. Apart from its more lavish and new leather interior, the car had a higher power output, as well as electric windows. Furthermore, the Islero GT also attained an upgraded version, which became the Islero GTS although was only produced in limited numbers . (Automobili Lamorghini 2014)

By the start of the 1970’s the two main cars, were the Miura S and updated Espada GTE in the line up. Ferruccio, however, wanted an in between car, and thus the Jarama was created, a 2+2 true Italian GT car. Expectations of customers had now been of the all-out, supercar style of Lamborghini, and therefore, the Jarama became second to the brand new P250 Urraco prototype unveiled at the 1970 Turin Auto show. Again, designed by Bertone, this car had a lower price than the Miura, and featured a great power figure, and thus orders poured in. This reflected in the expansion of the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata, adding nearly half a square kilometre of extra factory floor space. (Automobili Lamorghini 2014)

6p250urraco

Also in 1970, the Miura saw a further enhancement in the form of a Jota model. A lightweight, stripped out, racing car made for the road. It was the brainchild of Bob Wallace, Lamborghini’s New Zealand test driver. The car was a hard-core street racer, which was capable of accelerating to 100km/h in a mere 3.4 seconds. (Automobili Lamorghini 2014)

Subsequently, this was followed by the last hurrah, for the Miura, in SV spec in 1971, although didn’t turn many heads at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. No, this show was absolutely and savagely stolen by the brand new, and ultimate supercar, a dream car and poster pin up; the Lamborghini Countach. With its revolutionary geometric design, flat windscreen and roof, running seamlessly into the engine hood, it was an absolutely breathtaking new and innovative design. (Automobili Lamorghini 2014) It is rumoured that even the name derived from an incident, whereby the head of Bertone design saw the car, and shouted “Countach”, which is said to translate to something like “Oh My God”, or “Bloody Hell”, to show his excitement, and surprise by the looks of the car. (Miller 2014)

8countach

Unfortunately, Italy and in fact the world, was going through some difficult times, with Labour Unions, and thus, factories, which became intolerable to Ferruccio, and subsequently sold off the majority of the company to Swiss Georges-Henri, and the remaining shares to Rene Leimer in 1972. This meant that Ferruccio, the founder, creator, and legendary visionary, the backbone of the company was now out. (Automobili Lamorghini 2014)

The company continued onward, and released a special edition of the Jarama, called the S, and production of the Urraco P250 began. The Espada also saw a further developed model come into production, this time being the series III GTE, although would become the very last 4-seater Lamborghini for decades to come.

The Countach LP400 was debuted in 1973 and managed to be the only thing keeping up sales for the company for years to come, although, was also considered too lavish and excessive, as the Arab-Israeli War created a concern over petrol supplies. This event, also gave birth to the Urraco P200, a toned down 2-litre derivative, and the P300, the 3-litre version, of the previous P250. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

In 1974, Bertone, made a design study car, named the Lamborghini Bravo, destined to become the successor of the P300 Uracco. It was essentially a simplified, futuristic version of the Countach, and the later Countach actually ended up adopting the wheels. (Lambocars 2000-2013) The car remained a one off, but from it, bloomed a new joint project with Lamborghini, to create a Urraco with a removable roof, this car became the Silhouette P300. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

9bravo

Times were looking rough by this stage and with commercial complications, sales were dropping. Wanting to keep up the cash flow and to make better use of the equipment, Lamborghini went into collaboration with BMW Motorsport in 1976, to produce a mid-mount engined supercar, however this companionship diminished by 1977. In a desperate move, the owners decided to try and get a contract from the US Military, to manufacture an off-road vehicle. They strayed away from the norm, and designed the first off road Lamborghini, for “MTI” (Mobility Technologies International), known as the Cheetah. This car however, faced a lot of complications with manufacturing, legal implications, and quite a few physical qualities and did not become a successful idea, and therefore the entire project was dropped. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

10cheetah

By 1978 the only car Lamborghini was producing was the Countach LP400S, which came as a development of the standard Countach. Essentially two special cars were prepared in 1976, one of them for a Walter Wolf, which eventually became the ‘prototype’ for the Countach S. By the time Mr Wolf had his third custom built Countach, he convinced Lamborghini to produce ‘his’ modified car. Although not following the exact specifications of the Wolf Countach, the S did make use of the same 5.0- litre engine, and Pirelli P7 tyres, however needed a full suspension redesign by Dallara. ( Lambocars 2000-2013) The car was also fitted with large wheelarch extensions, new interior and a new front spoiler. An extremely popular part, was the Wolf spec rear wing, which only became available later on.

Enthusiast though, believe the car changed from the original beautiful, elegant, curved and simple lined car, to a faceted brutal  geometric machine, with wide arches and excessive scoops. Apart from the styling, the 400S had in fact actually decreased in power, as opposed to the standard 400 model, so for this reason production continued for both models. ( Lambocars 2000-2013)

11coutachlp400s

In 1980, however, things were not looking good for Lamborghini. Still a strong believer and supporter of Lambo, Bertone came up with a new concept car. This car was the Athon, and designed by Marc Deschamps, the successor of Gandini, the car was an instant hit with press and the general public. This got people talking and hyping about Lamborghini, but unfortunately it was not to be.  It was an exquisite futuristic open top concept, but was a one off, with no follow up, and now resides in the Bertone museum. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

12athon

The company came closer and closer to bankruptcy, and liquidation, and by February of 1980, it was put into receivership and declared bankrupt. The only received revenue was from the two most important Lamborghini dealerships in the world, for up front orders. At this stage, the court ordered the company to be put into the trust of Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimram, two supercar loving brothers with a sugar empire . In May 1981, the company got sold to Mimram and was promptly renamed ‘Nuova Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini’. (Lambocars 2000-2013) With new ideologies and the availability of financial backing, a reconstruction was set out and things were about to get a whole lot better for Lamborghini throughout the 1980’s. ( Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

 

 

References: 

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1963-1964 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1963-1964/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1965-1966 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1965-1966/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1967-1972 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1967-1972/>

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1972-1980 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1972-1980/>

Lambocars (2000-2013) timeline [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/timeline.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Zagato – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/3500_gtz_by_zagato.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) 350 GTS – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/classic_gt/350_gts.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Bizzarrini P538 – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/bizzarrini_p538.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Lamborghini Bravo by Bertone – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/lamborghini_bravo_by_bertone.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Cheetah – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/off_road/cheetah.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Countach LP400S – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/countach/countach_lp400_s.html>

Lambocars (2000-2013) Lamborghini Athlon by Bertone – the STORY [online]. available from <http://www.lambocars.com/prototypes/lamborghini_athon_by_bertone.html>

Miller, A. (2014) ‘18 things you didn’t know about Lamborghini’ Supercompressor [online]. available from <http://www.supercompressor.com/rides/18-thigns-you-didn-t-know-about-lamborghini-italian-supercar-facts>

 

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The heritage of Lamborghini

In order to understand how “Automobili Lamborghini” came to be, we need to know the history of the man behind the company. This man was none other than Ferruccio Lamboghini, born in 1916 in the beautiful town of Modena, Italy (Lamboweb 2014). He was born a Taurus, which actually set the bull as the logo for his company. (Todayifoundout 2013)

At the time of World War II in the early 1940’s, Lamborghini joined the army and was stationed at the Greek, Rhodes island. Being situated just South-West of Turkey, fortunately this area was very calm during the war, almost isolated from the rest of world. It was here that Lamborghini became known as a wizard at mechanical improvisation, he was a genius at repairing all the broken cars, trucks and motorcycles which had to be done using reused part, and on the spot. (Lamboweb 2014)

After World War II, he returned to his hometown of Modena, and opened up a small car and motorcycle repair shop. Soon enough he realised that there was a massive demand for tractors in the area, which came with the post-war agricultural upswing. Surely enough, Lamborghini started to build himself a name in the tractor manufacturing business. It turned out to become an extremely successful business and soon enough expanded the brand to heaters as well as air conditioners. By 1960 and before his fiftieth birthday (Automobili Lamborghini 2014), he was very wealthy and successful, he had made a name for himself in the industry and owned a collection of super cars.

Lamborghini, however, was never really satisfied with the quality of the cars that he owned. Coming from a mechanical background it wasn’t long until he was taking apart his cars, checking how they worked, how they were built, what chassis and electronics they used, and he decided to make his own supercar, a better supercar. This meant taking on the likes of brands such as Ferrari, Jaguar and Maserati. (MacKenzie 2013)

Naturally, people thought he was mad, and there are several stories as to how this whole idea came to be. The most popular is that, Lamborghini became annoyed that his Ferrari was constantly breaking down, because Ferrari mainly made road cars to support his racing legacy financially, and wasn’t too concerned about the road cars. This sparked an argument between Ferrari and Lamborghini, and he decided to take on Ferrari to show him what a real supercar is meant to be.

Ferruccio

Following this incident, Lamborghini decided to bring his supercar company to fruition and founded ‘Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini’ in 1963, and bought a large plot in Sant’Agata, Bolognese to become the official home of the Lamborghini brand. Just a mere 25 kilometers from the city of Bologna, he built an ultra modern factory, with the best facilities for this purpose, and was unrivaled at the time for automotive manufacturing. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014). Although, he had created such an extravagant manufacturing plant, Lamborghini didn’t like to be too far from the action. He built the management offices right next to the Factory building, so he could personally monitor the factory floor and work on the cars himself, to make sure all the cars were up to his standards.

Between setting up shop in the spring of 1963, and the very first official presentation, Lamborghini didn’t have much time. The Turin Auto Show was in the beginning of November in 1963, looming upon them quickly, this meant only a few months to come up with the ultimate supercar of the time. Lamborghini knew this was an enormous challenge, but also knew exactly what he wanted, and therefore got the best people for the job. Giotto Bizzarini, had designed the most recent Ferrari engines of the time, and created the best V12’s in the world, and quickly became the man in charge in terms of engine development at Lamborghini. For this endeavour he also hired Giampaolo Dallara, and Giampaolo Stanazini, two young, abitious and promising upcoming engineers to oversee production and the manufacturing of the rest of the car. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014).

In just a mere 7 months, after the opening of the factory, the first masterpiece was born. In the shape of a concept show car, ready for its debut and ready to put Lamborghini into the history books as a supercar company, the Lamborghini 350 GTV prototype was born. Designed by Franco Scaglione, the car was a sleek Gran Turismo car, and although it was a brilliant first attempt at a car, some critics called it “overdesigned” and “Batmobile”. (MacKenzie 2013)

350gtv

After receiving these comments and not exactly reaching the expectancies of Ferruccio, the car was then sent to the Carrozeria Touring design firm in Milan for some tweaking Felice Bianchi Anderloni. (MacKenzie 2013). In the next year, 1964, following its first ever debut, a road going version of the car came into production, named the 350 GT. With only 120 350 GT’s built, the car was quickly was succeeded by the new 400 GT. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

350gt

In 1963 Lamborghini told Italian journalist Athos Evangelisti that; “In the past, I bought some of the most famous GT cars, and found several flaws. They were either; too hot, not very comfortable, not fast enough, or not finished to perfection. Now I want to make a flawless GT. Not a technical marvel, just a very normal, very conventional, perfect car.” (Lamborghini 1963 cited in MacKenzie 2013)

The 400 GT featured a four litre engine, and made use of the first in-house Lamborghini designed gearbox. This car was then developed from a 2 seater GT car, into the 400 GT 2+2, with two extra seats behind the normal ones and reaching a production figure of 273 units. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014).  The cars got the attention of the numerous European and American publications and received great reviews. Word got out of the success and quality of Lamborghini and customers soon enough started to take notice (MacKenzie 2013).  It was these exquisite cars that got the wheels spinning for Automobili Lamborghini, and became the founding roots of the brands’ rich supercar heritage for decades to come.

400gt

Lamborghini started to thrive by 1965, and everyone started to take notice of the beautiful GT cars rolling out of the assembly line. Lamborghini always wanted to make flawless “normal” road going cars and wasn’t interested in concept cars (MacKenzie 2013). This however didn’t deter his two enthusiastic engineers. Getting their inspirations from racing cars of the time, they had been coming up with all sort of new, interesting, innovative and exciting ideas. Their idea was to fit the 400 GT 4 litre V12, transversely, in the middle of the car, behind the cab. This was a revolutionary idea, however, to the surprise of the engineers the 400TP project, was approved and given the go ahead, by Ferruccio. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

Thinking that the car would never get more sales than fifty units, Lamborghini thought that it would make for great advertising for the company. Although a great visionary and innovator, even Ferruccio, couldn’t see the potential of this new way of building a car, and the legend that it was to become. This car was of course the almighty Miura; and keeping up to its name, it certainly charged forward with the strength and prowess of the famous Miura Bull. Selling over 500 units, (MacKenzie 2013) the car became a legendary supercar, and the first real predecessor to all modern supercars. Lamborghini had thus created the basis for the future and continuous success for his world renowned supercars.

Miura

 

References:

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1963-1964 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1963-1964/ >

2014 Automobili Lamborghini (2014) History 1965-1966 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1965-1966/>

Lamboweb (2014) History [online]. Available from <http://www.lamboweb.com/History.htm>

MacKenzie,A. (2013) ‘50 years of the Raging Bull: A Lamborghini retrospective’ Gizmag [online]. available from <http://www.gizmag.com/lamborghini-history-50-year-anniversary/26808/>

Todayifoundout (2013) Lamborghini cars were a result of a tractor company owner being insulted by the founder of Ferrari [online]. Available from <http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/03/lamborghini-cars-were-a-result-of-a-tractor-company-owners-frustration-with-ferrari/>

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