Ballsy Bulls: Lamborghini's modern Range-Toppers
A retrospective look into some of lamborghini's most expensive, exclusive and astounding Limited-Edition supercars.
It started with the Reventon. There had been special edition Lamborghini’s before, as well as some truly wild one-offs, but when the Murcielago-based Reventon debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show it set a rather controversial precedent. Some longtime fans of the brand saw it as a cash grab that didn’t exhibit enough innovation or engineering prowess to command a multi-million dollar price tag. Others applauded Lamborghini for not becoming a staid supercar maker under Audi’s ownership. Yet the trend continued, and today there are several such cars to look back on.
If you’ve been to my tribe In Limited Production before, you may have read my introductory piece on the Reventon. Despite the vortex-forming wheels, TFT liquid crystal display, matte grey paint and entirely new bodywork, the F22-inspired Lamborghini was very much a gussied up Murcielago LP640. Yet it cost approximately $1.5 million. Part of this was the exclusivity it offered, as only 20 coupes were built before 15 Reventon roadsters rolled out of St. Agata. But after car lovers picked their jaws off the soft auto show carpet, one question came to mind: Why pay over one million dollars for ten extra horsepower and some gimmicks? Before anyone could answer, each and every Reventon found an owner, and that was that. In an interview with Top Gear, Lamborghini’s CEO at the time Stephan Winkelmann said, “We took it to the U.S in August 2007 and pre-sold all the cars based on a scale model. It helped us recognize the potential of the brand without knowing it at that time.” Little did Lamborghini fans know that such rare supercars would continue to populate the brand’s factories.
Next came the Sesto Elemento. What started as a concept shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show became a track-only supercar for the uber-wealthy. Just 20 were made, with the price reported to be between $2.2 and $2.9 million. However, the Sesto Elemento differed from the Reventon, and the other cars on this list, by signaling what innovations were to come from the automaker. The car was essentially a Gallardo powertrain surrounded by a carbon chassis and carbon fiber body panels, a rolling example of weight-saving to the nth degree. The supercar weighed just over 2,200 pounds, and introduced the world to forged composite, a new way to implement carbon that Lamborghini is currently researching further with Boeing. This, coupled with Lamborghini’s promise to focus more on lightening it’s historically massive cars, made a significant statement about where the manufacturer was heading.
In 2012, Lamborghini revealed a real stunner. The Aventador J is something the brand doesn’t make too many of: a one-off. Not a concept meant to preview future design languages and engineering innovations, but a true one-off. It continued the trend of featuring forged composite but other than that didn’t display any groundbreaking technologies. It was simply an Aventador sans windshield with lovely red paint and a carbon bodykit. And somebody bought it before it was even unveiled to the public. Not much else to say about that, enjoy the press photos.
The Lamborghini Veneno isn’t worth $3.9 million. Yes, it’s a visually arresting car. Yes it’s fast, rare and unlike anything else. But $3.9 is an absurd amount of money, that fact is indisputable. In 2013 you could buy a Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, LaFerrari, AND an Aventador before coming close to the price of a Veneno. It’s essentially, you guessed it, an Aventador with 50 more horsepower, a slightly reworked interior and an outlandish new set of body panels. Nothing to warrant it’s price tag. And I can’t think of anything more Lamborghini than that.
And finally we wrap up with the Centenario. A carbon-bodied salute to what would’ve been Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. Once again this limited-edition supercar was built around the Aventador platform but brought significant new features, some of which have trickled down into the Aventador S. It brought four wheel steering, a large touchscreen in the center console (curiously, it wasn’t added to the Aventador S), a more powerful V12 making 770 horsepower and reworked active aerodynamics, specifically the stretched rear wing. Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were build with each costing nearly $2.3 million. It summed up what Lamborghini is today, a brand that continues to produce outrageous looking cars while still making sure to push their cars forward on technological and engineering standpoints.
Photos taken by Lamborhini, Jalopnik and Morgan Mathurin Photographie