Understanding cars: 1st Gen(Pre LP) Murcièlago
Was it a worthy successor to the Diablo? Or did Audi ruin it?
The year was 2001. Jeremy Clarkson probably didn't what a haircut is, and it was about two years since Lamborghini was acquired by Audi (part of Volkswagen Group). The Diablo had aged, and Audi wanted to forge a new way forward for Lamborghini Automobili. There answer was the Murcièlago.
As all other Lamborghinis, it was named after a fighting bull. This specific bull survived 28 sword strokes in 1879. Murcièlago in Italian means "bat". The person responsible for the design of the Murcièlago was Luc Donckerwolke.
The Murcielago was built from steel chassis, which made it heavy (1841kg/4015Ib). The doors and roof were steel, but the body panels were aluminum and carbon fiber(specifically the engine compartment panels).
The wheels were made from aluminum, fairly improved the unsprung mass of the car. The Murcièlago had a double wishbone suspension, and all wheel drive. The engine capacity was also increased, from 6.0 to 6.2 l, making 575bhp at 7500rpm and 470 Ib ft. The engine was mated to a 6 speed gated manual transmission, with e gear being an option.
Now there was something particularly interesting about the Murcièlago's handbrake. When you wanted to turn it on when you parked,it was fine. But since it would get in your way when trying to exit the car, you could just push it down and it will ease exiting it. At some point one could get confused and wonder if the handbrake is on or off, so you just had to know whether the car is rolling or not.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lamborghini, there were 50 special edition Murcièlagos in Verde Artemis. These also had a special cream interior and newly designed exhaust (which explains why it's shinier than the one on the base Murcièlago)
Then there was the SVR package. Now,this particular one was not the factory option. It featured an obscene body kit and exhaust system, and the steering wheel was cut......in half.
The ending of the Pre LP Murcièlago
We have now come to the end of the Pre LP Murcièlago. That brings us to the Roadster.
As I think we all know, the Murcièlago roadster had a particularly horrible roof: it could take up to 30 minutes to set it up. Not what you want when it's raining.
But aside from that, the roadster was made for the driver to have a particularly emotional feel with the car: open top, V12, open roads were the perfect combination to enjoy the car: hoping that the weather doesn't hate you.
It also weighed an extra 20 to 30 kgs more than the coupe, but still retained the responsiveness of the steering.
That brings us to the end of part 1. The next time we will start on the LP Murcièlago. Thanks for reading.