Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Coupe
Lamborghini Murcielage LP640 Coupe
After the turn of the Millennium, the term supercar was no longer sufficient to describe the extreme performance of the cars coming out of the Lamborghini factory: welcome to the hypercar.
The Murcielago, in keeping with Lamborghini’s tradition, was named after a fighting bull that was spared its life after surviving 24 sword strokes in 1879.
The bull was was later presented as a gift to noted local breeder Don Antonio Miura, prompting a famous line of fighting bulls that also went down in motoring history.
Like its namesake, the Murcielago was a snorting, muscular brute of a car, introduced in 2001 as a replacement for the Diablo, and the first new design for 11 years and the first under the new ownership of VW/Audi.
An all-wheel-drive, mid-engined monster, the original coupe stood just under 4-ft off the ground and was powered by Lamborghini’s V12 that could trace its roots right back to the company’s first cars in the 1960s.
Those famous scissor doors remained from the Diablo, and the 572bhp powerplant propelled the typically angular Lambo from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds.
The sinister shape, in roadster form, was a perfect fit for the 2005 film, Batman Returns, with its successor, the LP640, appearing in The Dark Knight.
Launched in 2006 at Geneva, the LP640, now featuring a 6.5-litre engine increasing power to 631bhp, saw a modest redesign and the introduction of launch control now standard on most supercars.
Car magazine managed to push the car to 212mph, passing 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, but all that power came at a price; urban fuel economy was below 10mpg, the least efficient in the world at the time, not that those rich enough to afford a new £200,000 Lamborghini would be too concerned.
Testing the 640LP, Car described its” sensational” sound: “…deep, bassy and barrel-chested, almost truck-like and more than a little intimidating idling away at a busy 1000rpm.
“Give it some stick though and it really comes alive. You can feel the extra 61bhp at the top end of the rev range, the 6.5-litre V12 kicking harder and smoother than before.
“In fact the LP640 is impossibly easy to drive at any speed. The steering is light but full of feedback, the body control is incredible and the traction even more so.”
For Motor Trend, just staring at the car was almost enough: “Just look at it. In its facelifted LP640 form, the Murcielago scares you more than ever. Look at the jagged edges of the sharklike nose, its nostrils bigger, more snorty.
“The threatening rotary-blade wheels. The giant tailpipe’s tip that’s turning blue with the heat. Even the refreshed taillamps that light up in the shape of nuclear-hazard symbols. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
“A Murcielago is dramatic art, and it makes its driver feel like the star.”
The ultimate LP670-4 SuperVeloce was introduced in 2009, an extreme track-oriented version producing 661bhp and shifting from 0-62mph in just 2.8 seconds.
Just 186 were produced before factory room was required for the new Aventador.