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]

 

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Lamborghini’s precarious journey to the safety of VW

Lamborghini, throughout its’ 51 year history has been through some rather difficult times and turmoil. In fact, the Italian powerhouse has had more owners than you can count on one hand. This means that the company exchanged hands at an average rate of more than one per decade. That’s quite impressive actually, although in a bad way; and needless to say, the supercar business is quite erratic and unpredictable.

‘Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini’ was founded in May 1963 in Sant’Agata, Italy; by its’ first and original owner; the man himself, Ferruccio Lamborghini.  (Automobili Lamborghini 2014) Through the passing years, and under the rule of Ferruccio, the company gave birth to the most exquisite array of cars. These included masterpieces such as the 350GTV, Miura, Espada, Urraco, and the legendary Countach. (Lambocars 2000-2013)

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Over the subsequent years, social situations and Labour unions facing difficulties, meant change and unrest; and many companies and especially factories came to their knees. At this point, in 1972, Ferrucio sold 51 percent of the company to Swiss industrialist Georges-Henri Rossetti, and later the remaining 49 percent to a friend of his, also a Swiss man, Rene Leimer. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

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Right after the Swiss overtaking, and by 1973, the Arab-Israeli war was threatening petrol supplies, and thus, the need for such excessive cars had pretty much almost completely diminished. In 1977, Lamborghini tried a collaborative project with BMW, however was not a success, and tried another joint venture in 1977. This time, creating a partnership with ‘MTI’ Mobility Technologies International, to create military off-roaders for the US; this too ended in decay. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

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In 1978, the Italian courts appointed a new head, Alessandro Arteses. By 1979 however, the company was quickly taken over by Raymond Noima and Hubert Hahne, a German racing driver. (Sheehan 1999-2014) By 1980 the company was declared bankrupt, and the courts appointed; the once again Swiss; Mimran brothers. Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran, were very wealthy and had a booming sugar empire in Senegal.

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By 1981 the Mimran brothers had outright bought the company, and injected the much needed cash to bring the brand back to life, while also expanding the factory premises. The cars were flowing smoothly through the years, with models such as the Jalpa P350, the Countach LP500, and the LM002, although they were not exactly in excess. (Lambocars 2000-2013) Times were tough as always, and although the Mimran brothers did an excellent job at keeping the company moving, a larger investor needed to  step up to the plate. (Sheehan 1999-2014)

On the 23rd of April 1987, American car giant Chrysler took the reigns of Lamborghini. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014) Being in command, the US firm helped bring Lamborghini back on its feet, and up to pace in the supercar market segment. They created the ever so successful Diablo with its many variations; including an entire one-make race series achievement. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

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In the year 1993, on the 20th of February, Mr Ferruccio Lamborghini, the creator of the amazing brand, passed away in Purgia, Italy. (Lambocars 2000-2013)  The next year in 1994, Chrysler came to financial difficulty and suddenly sold the company off to a group of Indonesian investors, led by Tommy Surharto of the Surharto Family. (Lamboweb 2014)

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Under the influence of the Indonesians, the Diablo range saw further success, and by the late 90’s a successor was in the pipeline. The end of the 1990’s, however also brought along a financial crisis, which affected the investment group and so, they decided to join forces with Audi to develop the Diablo replacement. (Automobili Lamborghini 2014)

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By now, Audi saw, that the company was in trouble, and could not let a great opportunity go, and thus, in 1998, Audi AG purchased Automobili Lamborghini, and became the new sole owner of the company. (Lamboweb 2014) This led to some great developments, and transformed the brand into what it is today. In essence, the Audi-VW bailout of Lamborghini was the best thing that could have happened to the company.

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Volkswagen took over Auto Union in 1974, although decided to keep Volkswagen and Audi as separate brands. (Volkswagen 2014) VW, however doesn’t only account of Audi, as it has its hands in a lot of pies in the automotive industry. In 1980, it acquired ‘Chrysler Fevre Argentina S.A.I.C’ and promptly renamed it to ‘Volkswagen Argentina S.A.’ (Volkswagen 2014) In 1991, it also purchased Skoda in its’ entirety and adopted it into the VW Group (Volkswagen 2014)

The year 1998 was a massive achievement for Volkswagen, as it managed to collect an array of manufacturers in the luxury car segment, and call them its’ own. This consisted of the additions of ‘Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd’, ‘Bentley Motor Ltd, ‘Bugatti International S.A Holding’, becoming ‘Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.’, as well as ‘Automobili Lamborghini SpA’.(Volkswagen 2014)

It seems then, that Volkswagen can be compared to the bully on the school playground who just takes everybody’s toys for himself. The only difference is that, had the bully not taken those toys for himself, they would have been broken into pieces in the hands of their original owners, and thus would leave them with nothing to play with. The actual Volkswagen Group then, is really more of a car brand philanthropist, rescuing all the companies from certain doom. Thus, the VW Group actually consists of the brands; Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, Seat, Skoda, and of course, VW, including VW Commercial Vehicles as a separate entity. (Volkswagengroup 2014), ( Volkswagenag 2014)

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The overtaking of Lamborghini came at a great point in time, and Volkswagen managed to transcend the brand towards growing success. Without the VW ‘bailout’, who knows how many more unstable hands the legendary Raging Bull would have had to endure, and indeed, would it have survived at all? It’s not all down to just money either, as Volkswagen, have a very long heritage and history of expertise. One thing is for sure though, the Germans really know how to build a true Italian supercar; they combined World class precision and engineering to the Lamborghini name and created the vibrant and passionate, yet sophisticated image that it transmits today.

 

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/>

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 1994-1998 [online]. available from <http://www.lamborghini.com/en/history/1994-1998/>

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

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

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

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

Sheehan, M.W. (1999-2014) ‘The Lambo Dealer, the $12m Swindle, the Slammer’ Ferraris-online.com [online]. available from < http://www.ferraris-online.com/pages/article.php?reqart=SCM_200906_SS>

Volkswagen.co.uk (2014) Volkswagen and Audi Brands unify in Germany [online]. available from <http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/timeline/event/58>

Volkswagen.co.uk (2014) Volkswagen acquires Chrysler in Argentina [online]. available from <http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/timeline/event/413>

Volkswagen.co.uk (2014) Skoda becomes fourth independent brand for Volkswagen Group [online]. available from < http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/timeline/event/449>

Volkswagenag.com (2014) Brands and Products [online]. available from <http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/content/en/brands_and_products.html>

Volkswagengroup.co.uk (2014) Five brands, one career [online]. available from <http://www.volkswagengroup.co.uk/content/sites/vwcorporate/volkswagengroup_couk/en/home.html>

 

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

16

 

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>

Motortrend.com (2014) available from <http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/exotic/1201_2012_lamborghini_aventador_lp_700_4_test/photo_21.html>

Otowall.com (2014) available from <http://otowalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lamborghini-Veneno-Wallpaper-HD.jpg>

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>

Soulsteer.com (2013) available from <http://soulsteer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lamborghini-goes-mental-with-Aventador-J-1.jpg>

Shmee150.com (2014) available from < http://shmee150.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/350-lambos-tour-of-the-lamborghini-50th-anniversary-grid.jpg>

Taringa.net (n.d) available from <http://www.classicdriver.com/sites/default/files/styles/colorbox/public/_mg_7278.jpg?itok=XEITTc3v>

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)

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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.

12

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:

Automobiletrendz.blogspot.com (n.d) available from <http://img.favcars.com/lamborghini/diablo/wallpapers_lamborghini_diablo_1993_1.jpg>

Bibipedia.org (n.d) available from <http://bibipedia.org/upload/gallery/images/Le_catalogue_des_voitures/Lamborghini/Diablo/Diablo_1990_-_1999/Lamborghini_Diablo_1990_-_1999_1.jpg>

Carstyling.ru (1999) available from <http://www.carstyling.ru/resources/studios/1988_Bertone_Lamborghini_Genesis_03.jpg>

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Photobucket.com (2014) available from <http://s188.photobucket.com/user/FabspeedMSP/media/Concorso%20Italiano/DiabloLineup6.jpg.html>

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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/>

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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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Wallpaperup.com (2011-2014) available from <http://www.wallpaperup.com/uploads/wallpapers/2013/07/13/117803/8c8f62556549431372884f9cdc68acca.jpg>

Silverstoneauctions.com (n.d) available from <https://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1968-lamborghini-miura-p400>

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