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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy since 1977

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FAST: Lamborghini Murciélago

FAST Issue no.1

Introduction

Before I go on with this first post let me quickly introduce you to this new
weekly section on SB entitled FAST. I have a passion for cars, especially fast
cars. Nevertheless it’s not all about facts and figures — I especially
value the design of a car. FAST will present you with an exotic car every week (price and exclusivity are not the only criteria). The good thing: you can contact
me
and make suggestions, or send in your own short review.

You can be sure to find the stylish Italians, the classic British, the big
Americans, the powerful Germans and the fast Japanese, but there’s also
those rare and unique vehicles from all over the world. FAST will mainly review
the design of the car, with a quick overview of the most important facts and
figures related to performance. Without further ado, let me introduce you to
our first candidate: the Lamborghini Murciélago.

Lamborghini Murciélago
Lamborghini Murciélago
Lamborghini Murciélago

Design

Lamborghini’s have not really been known for their elegant design, and
probably rightly so. This reputation goes way back but got even worse with the
Countach, mainly produced in the late 1970’s. The Murciélago was introduced
in 2001 after the somewhat successful Diablo. One characteristic design element
of Lamborghini are its — now classic — swivelling doors, definitively not usable,
yet very cool for looks. The lines of the Murciélago design are composed
of straight lines with plenty of edges, a nice effect in my opinion. A peculiar
element is the air flow entrance on either side of the car, near the rear (expanded
on the first picture) which open above a certain speed. Both useful for cooling
the engine and a lovely, although maybe somewhat overdone, feature.

Lamborghini’s are not about elegance or details but about performance
and bold attitude. Just look at those pipes, don’t they just beg to roar?
The rear of the car is definitively odd at first sight, especially the big
space below the tail lights. That notwithstanding it’s a nice butt. Overall
it just comes across as a mean beast, ready to rip some asphalt. It’s
obviously not as elegant as some other Italian rivals but it surely has spirit,
passion and sheer aggressiveness. Now let’s hope its parent company, Audi,
will not Germanise Lamborghini too much in the future.

Designer: Luc Donckerwolcke

Facts & Figures

This item was posted by dhilhorst on Friday, April 9th, 2004.

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14 comments on “FAST: Lamborghini Murciélago”

  1. Posted by Jeff Minard on Friday, April 9th, 2004.

    You should also include the 1/4 mile times. :D

  2. Posted by Didier Hilhorst on Friday, April 9th, 2004.

    Jeff, I’ve added the 1/4 mile. I’m not going to add much more since it would only complicate matters and I’ll have a hard time digging up all the stats for older cars. Besides I’m actually more interested in design. Though you got to have some figures. Not surprisingly in Europe we never use 1/4 mile. But it’s a nice one to have in the list.

  3. Posted by Mike on Friday, April 9th, 2004.

    Oh, Didier! You’re my favorite blogger from now on.

    I’ve got the Murciélago diecast model, along with its little brother, the Gallardo. If I had to choose, I’d take the Gallardo, just because it’s smaller and probably easier to manage on the road.

  4. Posted by Alex H. on Saturday, April 10th, 2004.

    I actually prefer the Gallardo’s design to the Murcielago’s. THe Murcielago’s headlights irritate me. Don’t ask me why.

  5. Posted by Didier Hilhorst on Saturday, April 10th, 2004.

    It will come as no surprise that the Gallardo will be included in some future issue. Overall the Gallardo is just a better engineered car. You don’t need hours of practice before even being able to handle it. That’s definitively some good influence from Audi. The swivelling doors have also been replaced by normal (sideways opening) doors. But more coming on the Gallardo in a few issues!

  6. Posted by David on Monday, April 12th, 2004.

    The parent company is actually Volkswagen, who also happens to own Audi.

  7. Posted by John on Monday, April 12th, 2004.

    DH, you may enjoy this excellent Lamborghini site

    http://www.timpelen.com

    Cheers

    John

  8. Posted by Chris K. on Monday, April 12th, 2004.

    Lamborghinis are fast yes, but they are ill-handling vehicles. This is why you will rarely see a Lambo in a major racing event. These are strictly straight line vehicles. They will handle better than any “average” vehicle, but for the kind of money they command I would expect better handling. We’ll see how the Gallardo does as it is a direct competitor to the awesome 360 Modena. Ferrari are not sitting idle, however, with more power to be infused in the 360s V8.

    Let’s HOPE VW adds some German flavor to tighten up the handling of these cars.

  9. Posted by Didier Hilhorst on Tuesday, April 13th, 2004.

    David, technically you’re right. But Audi is directly responsible for engineering etc. Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini are divisions of the same automotive group, known as VAG, based in Germany. Usually I just refer to Audi as its parent company.

    To my knowledge the Lamborghini Gallardo is a big improvement in terms of handling and reliability. Definitively some german influence there. Of course I haven’t driven it myself. Unfortunately!

  10. Posted by lolly on Friday, April 16th, 2004.

    Believe it or not, the same bloke designed the Audi A2.

  11. Posted by Peter on Wednesday, April 21st, 2004.

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you all for your comments on this marvelous car. I would like to add some corrections to your comments. One could think that I have a somehow tinted view of things concerning Lamborghinis, being responsable for the sales of the largest european Lamborghinidealer, Garage Affolter in Porrentruy and Geneva, but…

    1. No discussions about the design. It’s such a personal thing. We know however that people go nuts about the design of our cars. They just love it!

    2. Handling. Both cars are handling wonders. The Gallardo makes circles around the F-360 stradale. Neither the GT2 Porsche nor the F-360 stradele stand a chance against the Gallardo. All performance figures of the Gallardo are better. This is proven by tests of french, italian and german journalists and racedrivers. The cars really is today the thing to beat! The Murciélago is in my opinion even better. It is faster an as goodhandling as the Gallardo. I suppose that Chris K. didn’t ever drive one of these cars! Older Lamborghinis were maybe a little difficult to drive, but wasn’t it the case with the older Turbos (Porsche) and the older Ferraris? The Murciélago just came in 3rd on its 1st appeareance on th LMSA Series (Valcenia 18th april). It would have won the stint, if they didn’t blow a fuse in changing the drivers! So much for the drivability of these cars. Oh, before I forget it, the Gallardo was named the besthandling wintersportscar in the snow! (This was the famous german periodical AMS, who came to that conclusion!)

    3. Swivelling doors. It is a trademark of the Lamborghinis. It is very handy when you are in a parking space whereever in Europe. Try to get out of whatever big Coupé (2-doors car)when you park the car in a parking lot. (Ferrari 575, CL 600, 645, name it and try it) You’ll always have difficulties getting out of the car. Sometimes it is even impossible to get out of it, because of the cramped space here in european parkings! The swivelling doors are unfortunately only available on the Murciélago. This is a price issue. Too bad, because we encounter the same problem as discribed above with the Gallardo. So, to finish the issue, doors look awesome and are useful. Maybe one gets a little wet in the rain, when one gets out of the car, but I think that happens with every car, when you get out of it!

    Sorry about the length of my reply, but I think it is necessary to give these additional informations to all the aficionados!

    Keep the good work up! Best regards

    Peter

  12. Posted by Chris K. on Wednesday, April 21st, 2004.

    I suppose you do have a biased view Peter. Are you an Automobili Lamborghini Spa employee or a salesperson?

    I’m glad to see Lamborghini back in action in the FIA GT series. You failed to mention that two Ferrari 550 Maranellos finished ahead of the Murcielago and a new 575M just behind it (19 seconds). The leader was over a minute up front at race end.

    Does Lamborghini have plans for a 2004/05 Le Mans entry? If I remember correctly the Diablo GT-R didn’t even finish in 1995 (the last time it raced at Le Mans). The Murcielago will have stiff competition!

    How about the ALMS? Bring the Murcielago stateside, we’ve got some C5Rs waiting for it!

    The Gallardo may have better numbers on paper than its competitors, but ask any real racer what they would like to take to the track and a 360 or GT3 would be a unanimous choice.

    You are correct; I have never driven a Lamborghini. I do not have plans to ever drive and/or own one. I’ll leave these overpriced beauties to celebrities and the wealthy “style over substance” crowd. Lamborghini is headed in the right direction with the Gallardo though. Ferrari is paying attention have already have a 430 Modena in the works.

    Ferruccio Lamborghini was a former Ferrari owner, remember?

  13. Posted by Didier Hilhorst on Wednesday, April 21st, 2004.

    Ah, the age old rivalry between Lamborghini and Ferrari. If you ask me that’s a pretty good thing. It makes the supercar battle more interesting. Admittedly Ferrari has a tremendous track record when it comes to racing, with F1 being their best example. Not even Peter can deny that. Personally I find that Lamborghini’s have something special when it comes to design specifically. Don’t ask me what or why, but there’s something about those cars that makes them different.

  14. Posted by Melvin Guzman on Friday, April 23rd, 2004.

    Me as a 16 year old teenager i personnaly thing that the Lamborghini are an extremely nice designing cars, that are very unique compare to the Ferrari, porsch, etc…

    When it comes to racing we all know that the Lamborghini are an extremely fast cars and that they could be very challenging, they can also be very hard to beet sometime but with the headline i kind of doubt it, but if you know how to handle them the proper way its a different story…

    This is my opinion towards the Lamborghini, and if i had enough money to afford those, it will be an honor of buying one for myself.

    Thank you…