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Murciélago reaches end of line

2010-11-08 10:47

STANDING OVATION: Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann (in the grey suit) joins his assembly team in bidding the last Murcielago a fond farewell.

Production of Lamborghini’s seminal V12 supercar has come to an end.

Although the very last Murciélago actually left Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata plant in May, 2010, Lamborghini only officially announced its headline model’s retirement last week.

BEST LAMBO V12 EVER

Since its introduction back in 2001, the Murciélago has proven a tremendously successful venture for Lamborghini. All in all 4099 units of the mid-engined V12 supercar were produced, making the Murciélago Lamborghini’s best selling V12 supercar of all time.

Fittingly, the 4099th Murciélago produced was an LP 670-4 Superveloce finished in ‘Arancio Atlas’, or shocking orange for those who prefer their colour charts in standard English.

Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, said: "For almost a decade the Murciélago was the icon of the Lamborghini brand and it was enormously successful. The Murciélago embodies the pure, unadulterated values of our brand. It is truly extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian."

The Murciélago’s successor – widely believed to be the Jota – will debut some time in early 2011.

TRUNCATED OVERHANG

The new headline Lamborghini will swop Murcielago’s rather antiquated steel chassis construction for an aluminium and carbon-fibre spaceframe – which should borrow heavily from parent company Audi’s R8 project.

The current Murcielago’s wheelbase is expected to be carried over (axle centre-points are only 15mm further apart than an R8), with only a truncated front overhang the obvious packaging change.

Crucially, Lamborghini is expected to stay true to its traditional V12 formula for the Murcielago’s replacement.

The company's V12 engines have featured traceable technical details of the original Bizzarini 3.5 V12 first seen in 350GT back in the 1960's, right up to the LP 670-4 Superveloce. Lamborghini is understandably keen not to retire this heriatage.

By retaining the V12 layout, Lamborghini will shun the current trend by performance car manufacturers to delete cylinders and add forced induction in an attempt to balance the demand for performance with the reality of emissions regulation.

A turbocharged V12 Lamborghini just wouldn't be right, now would it?

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