13.07.2005 Lamborghini - for 6 years now firmly under the control of Audi - are planning to expand their model line up in a move to offer exceptional supercars in every conceivable field

Lamborghini, for 6 years now firmly under the control of Audi, are planning to expand their model line up in a move to offer exceptional supercars in every conceivable field.

Audiís success at turning Lamborghini around has been remarkable, with the supercar manufacturer reporting their first operating profit since 1998 last year. This was combined with a new production record of 1,678 units in 2004, compared to 1,357 units in 2003 which also represented a record achievement. By comparison, Lamborghini built only 216 units in 1997.

The majority of new sales are accounted for by the Gallardo, which itself is set to spawn two open top versions within the near future and a PitÚn high-performance version of the coupe in September.

Gallardo Spider at Frankfurt

Lamborghini are to launch their mainstream Gallardo Spider at the Frankfurt IAA in September, an event which is to be shortly followed by an Asian debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. First deliveries will start in early 2006.

The Gallardo Spider will incorporate an electro-hydraulic push-button soft-top. The car will represent the second soft-top in the Lamborghini range, and will be offered alongside the range-topping MurciŤlago Roadster. The MurciŤlago Roadster itself recently played a major role in the film Batman Begins, starring as the everyday car of billionaire Bruce Wayne (Batman) when not using the Batmobile.

Pictures of the new Gallardo soft-top have already been leaked, subject to a studio photo shoot. The yellow car clearly shows the carís handsome new shape, which is less radical then that of the MurciŤlago Roadster.

Unlike the 493 bhp Gallardo coupť, the Spider will be fitted with a 522 bhp version of the V10 engine. Various packages will also be available, including a special Smokerís Package which replaces the standard cup holder with an ashtray. Priced at $8,600 there is also a Carbon Fibre Interior Package (which is expensive to say the least), and will replace the standard dashboard, centre console, air vents and inner door areas with carbon fibre trim. Alongside this there will be a Leather Option, which is the same as the Carbon Fibre Interior Package. The Leather Option unbelievably includes the air vents being finished in leather instead of matte plastic (although this is also an option with Porsche and Audi). On top of this there will be a $4,000 special leather option which uses perforated Napa leather as on the MurciŤlago. A Branding Package will include Gallardo Spider script on the dashboard and rear of the car and the CI shield in the headrests.

The striking and popular glass bonnet will not be an option on the Spider, and is due to the positioning of the ragtop storage space which consumes a large portion of the engine bay.

At the moment no production orders of the Gallardo Spider are being taken, although pre-orders from dealers are being put down. Many Lamborghini dealers in the USA have already received deposits for around 15-25 cars, so around 400 Spiders may already be spoken for the US market alone.

Concept S is production go

As a preview to the 522 bhp Gallardo Spider, Lamborghini presented the wild-looking Concept S at the Geneva Motor Show in March. From the outset Lamborghini presented the possibility of producing the Concept S in limited form.

Lamborghini have now confirmed that they will produce the Concept S in limited series.  About 80-90 units are planned for production alongside the Gallardo Spider.  To be fitted with the same 522 bhp V10 as the Spider, the car will have to be properly engineered before production starts, with the example at Geneva being a mere mock-up.

Limited edition Gallardo PitÚn for delivery in September

Updates to the Gallardo and MurciŤlago are also planned within the short-term future, with prototypes seen testing at the NŁrburgring with modified bumpers and new alloy wheels. First on the list is the limited edition Gallardo PitÚn, which will also see a launch at the Frankfurt IAA in September. This car will also be fitted with the 523 bhp version of the V10 fitted to the Gallardo Spider, with the standard Gallardo coupť expecting to receive this engine in 2006.
 

Lamborghini Gallardo Piton
Lamborghini Gallardo Piton

Outwardly the Gallardo PitÚn will differ from the standard Gallardo, with the entire roof and spoiler section being finished in black and the engine cover will be made of glass, and in line with this, the rear taillights will also  be darkened.

An all-wheel drive GT version of the MurciŤlago is expected in 2006 with a mild facelift, carbon ceramic brakes and a 6.5-litre V12 pumping out 645 bhp. Hot on the heels will be a street legal version of the MurciŤlago R-GT track sportscar (above), with a 0-100 km/h  sprint  time  of  just  3.5  seconds.

As a preview to the 522 bhp Gallardo Spider, Lamborghini presented the wild-looking Concept S at the Geneva Motor Show in March. From the outset Lamborghini presented the possibility of producing the Concept S in limited form.

As a preview to the 522 bhp Gallardo Spider, Lamborghini presented the wild-looking Concept S at the Geneva Motor Show in March. From the outset Lamborghini presented the possibility of producing the Concept S in limited  production.

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Lamborghini are to launch their mainstream Gallardo Spider at the Frankfurt IAA in September, an event which is to be shortly followed by an Asian debut at the Tokyo Motor Show

Lamborghini Gallardo Piton
Lamborghini Gallardo Piton

The limited edition Lamborghini Gallardo PitÚn, with 523bhp available, will be launched at the Frankfurt IAA in  September


Outwardly the Gallardo PitÚn will differ from the standard Gallardo, with the entire roof and spoiler section being finished in black, and the engine cover will be in glass. In line with this, the rear taillights will also be darkened. Six external colours will be available depending on the colour of the brake callipers. These colours are: Grigio Altair (grey callipers), Grigio Proteus (yellow callipers), Ballon White (grey callipers), Giallo Midas (yellow callipers), Arancio Borealis (grey callipers) and Verde Ithaca (grey callipers). The car will receive starfish Callisto alloy wheels (which will also feature on the Gallardo Spider) as standard fitted with Pirelli Corsa track tyres (although road tyres can also be ordered as a free option). The suspension will be lowered and stiffened and the gearbox will receive shorter ratios for faster acceleration. The back of the car will be fitted with an integrated camera on the rear spoiler to aide parking, projecting an image onto a 16:9 multimedia screen.

Stainless steel kickplates engraved with the Gallardo PitÚn script and upgraded Perseus leather upholstery (optionally perforated) will increase the equipment level over the standard Gallardo. The bi-colour theme of the exterior will also continue inside with stitching, piping, carpet borders and leather inlays following the main exterior colour. To make the PitÚn even more unique, there is the possibility to engrave the name of the owner in the cars identification plate (not available with the optional Smokers Package).

Performance of the PitÚn is breathtaking, with the 0-100 km/h dash coming up in 3.95 seconds. Top speed lies at 315 km/h. Despite being a sportier and faster version of the Gallardo, the PitÚn will be heavier than the standard coupť with a dry weight of 1,430 kg. Around 250 examples of the Gallardo PitÚn will be built and priced at around 10.5% higher than the standard Gallardo (around $200.000).

Further developments of the current range

Another update will include an all-wheel drive GT version of the MurciŤlago expected in 2006 with a mild facelift, carbon ceramic brakes and a 6.5-litre V12 pumping out 645 bhp. Hot on the heels will be a street legal version of the R-GT, with a 0-100 km/h sprint time in just 3.5 seconds.

Lamborghini were also testing a turbo diesel version of the Gallardo, with power coming from the 5.0-litre 309 bhp VW TDI V10 engine fitted to the Pheaton and Touareg luxury cars. Lamborghini engineers are said to be happy with the performance, but problems concentrate on power delivery due to the limited rev-range characteristics of diesel engines. Through updating the Gallardo and MurciŤlago, Lamborghini aspire to produce 2,500 units annually by 2006, a figure still some 1,800 units behind the likes of Ferrari.

It has long been made aware by Centro Stile Lamborghiniís chief designer Luc Donckerwolke that Lamborghini are seeking to expand their offerings. This statement came with the presentation of scale styling models lined up at CSL at the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory. These scale styling models show potential future concepts based upon the legendary 1980ís LM 002 4x4 and the 2+2 Espada from 1968. The styling models sparked off rumours that Lamborghini would introduce such designs in the future both priced under 200.000 euros.

It has since been confirmed that if Lamborghini introduce the 2+2 coupť proposal, it will not be marketed as the Espada, despite the car being to referred to as such internally. If the car enters production it will be based around the Volkswagen D4 architecture, with all-wheel drive and power coming from the Gallardo 5.0 V10 and MurciŤlago 6.2 V12. This news is not new, but Lamborghini-sponsored designs by Emily Sawamura from the Pasadena Art Center have kept interest in this potential future model high. The name of Sawamuraís design is Lagartijo, inspired by the matador that spared alongside the famous fighting bull MurciŤlago.

Alongside the 2+2 coupť is the new 4x4, touted as the LM 00X. This particular vehicle is anticipated in three limited edition versions: high spec 4x4 Reef Runner, toned down 4x4 Road Runner and low-drag 4x4 Race Runner. If the 4x4 sees the light of day, it is expected with 2-door bodywork with scissor doors similar to those presented on the Land Rover Range Stormer concept.

A hot new rumour recently emerged that Lamborghini and Audi were considering a baby entry-level hardtop model to fit underneath the Gallardo. Such a particular ĎLambo bambinoí would be engineered by Audi and maybe based on their forthcoming Quattro Le Mans sportscar. Mated with an Audi V8 of around 330 bhp and with a simple 6-speed transmission, this baby baby Lambo could be presented in 2008. The sprint time from 0-100 km/h would be around 4.5 secs and a top speed would lie in the region of 300 km/h.


 

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