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Old 01-23-2002, 07:16 PM   #61
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The Lamborghini Murcielago

"Volkswagen’s Audi contributed its technology and approximately $150 million to design and build the Lamborghini Murciélago, a car that will be "as wild as a fighting bull," says Audi Chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen. It is an appropriate comparison, considering that the car is named after a bull that showed so much courage and spirit in an 1879 bullfight that its life was spared. The comparison is also accurate, because the 570-hp Murciélago can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach 205 mph.

Like the Diablo, its predecessor that debuted in 1990, the Murciélago's body is made of carbon fiber. The windswept shape is longer, wider, and taller than the Diablo. The Murciélago (Spanish for bat) is also sleeker, more refined, and more conservative. Lamborghini focused more on under-the-skin improvements to increase torsional rigidity and chassis stiffness instead of creating an outrageous exterior.

Of course, a company that produced the Countach cannot resist adding over-the-top external accoutrements. Active intakes behind the rear quarter windows feed air to the twin radiators. The intakes, called VACS (Variable Air-Flow Cooling System), automatically extend outward - resembling bat ears–from the body for added cooling. A rear spoiler electronically raises to one of three positions depending on your road speed. And the Murcielago retains the Diablo’s swing-up scissor doors, but the openings are wider for easier entry and exit.

Lamborghini engineers, however, consider the bodywork merely an engine cover for the midmounted 48-valve, DOHC 6.2-liter V-12. Be wary of the comfort and smooth looks of Lamborghini’s new bat mobile. It is ready to rumble with an awesome display of firepower."
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Old 01-25-2002, 04:42 AM   #62
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2002 LAMBORGHINI Murcielago

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Old 01-26-2002, 05:58 AM   #63
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Despite of 27 years separating

them, Countach and Murcielago are surprisingly similar. Take the drivetrain as an example, the V12 was evolved from the same origin without major re-think, the gearbox still sits inside the central tunnel and in front of the mid-mounted engine, which is still a unique feature of Lamborghini. From outside, you'll also notice the similarity between them. Although the new Murcielago has most sharp edges smoothened, the profile is still recognizably Countach-inspired. Plug the Diablo into the empty space between them and you'll see a clear picture of evolution.
The new Lamborghini was styled by Audi designer Luc Donckerwolcke. Before this, the Belgium has Audi A2 and Skoda Fabia under his name. But that appears nothing to design master Marcello Gandini who styled simply all previous Lamborghini supercars. Personally, I think the new design is too conservative by the standard of Lambo. Perhaps too refined as well. However, those having seen the Zagato running prototype must agree with Dr. Piech's decision to have a last-minute restyle by another one. We'll never know whether Mr. Donckerwolcke's proposal is better than his competitor in Bertone, because we will never see the latter, but it could be disappointing to many hardcore enthusiasts that the new Lamborghini was not designed by an Italian. I know the last Diablo 6.0 was also penned by Donckerwolcke, but that was just an insignificant facelift.

The highlight of the new design is purity. To certain extent it brings back the purity of the early Countach prototype - before cooling and aerodynamics requirements ruined the design. Audi-grade body panels and narrow assembly gaps is one to accounted for its purity, a pair of neat pop-up cooling ducts is another. These air intakes locate behind the rear quarter windows, or where the Countach had its NACA ducts. When the car is at rest, they recess smoothly into the body so that photographers will only see its most beautiful form. When the car is running at high speed, they don't pop up either, because air flow is strong enough to cool the engine. In this way, aerodynamic drag remains low. They only pop up and increase intake area by up to 80% when the car is running slowly, sticking in traffic or outside temperature is above 32°C. That means here in South-East Asia we are unlikely to see its purist form during the whole summer. But in case you like this playful function, you can press a button and show your guest - ah ! what a supercar !

Forget that silly thing. The focus of Lamborghini is still that thundering V12, now bigger than ever thanks to a stroke-out to 6192 c.c.. But 200 more c.c. alone is not enough for a new-age Lamborghini, so it also gets a new 3-stage variable geometry intake manifold and exhaust valve variable timing (in addition to the existing intake VVT). The variable intake was only ever used in the very secret Diablo Jota. Although press release did not mention, you can expect other technology carries over from the last Diablo 6.0, including magnesium cam cover and manifolds, titanium connecting rods, individual drive-by-wire throttles and 2-stage back-pressure exhaust system.

Although the V12 now has more displacement than the mighty McLaren F1, its maximum output of 580hp lags behind the latter by almost 50 horses. In fact, 93.7 horsepower-per-litre is not very special for this kind of cars. Even compare with Diablo 6.0, it gains just 30 horsepower - you know, that is just a small percentage for a 500-plus-horsepower engine. When measure against the limited edition Diablo GT, its advantage is further narrowed to just 5hp. However, the new engine is far more torquey and tractable, which is not very surprising if you remember that we have talked about longer stroke and new variable intake manifold. At just 2000rpm it produces a full 400lbft. That increases to the peak 479 lbft at 5400rpm. Moreover, it complies with the strict EU4 emission regulations, so compare with the old McLaren seemed unfair.

Now it seems that we have forgotten the body and chassis - what Lamborghini men always see as no more than an engine cover. Size-wise, it grows a bit in wheelbase (15mm) and height (25mm) to accommodate a larger cockpit, which was the most criticized item for decades. The whole body is 110 mm longer but just 5mm wider than the already exaggerate 2040mm. Place it on a scale, without any fuel, fluid and occupants, it reads 1650 kg, 25 more than before. Inspect the materials list - the chassis is still steel tubular space frame like 27 years ago; the whole body excluding roof and doors are carbon fiber, just like the last Diablo, but now some of them contribute to chassis strength as well, so the chassis is noticeably stiffer; as before, the roof is steel, but I wonder why now the doors are relegated from aluminium to steel. You know, Audi is not renowned for steel.

Although kerb weight is up, the transmission is now 6-speed instead of the ancient 5-speed while the engine is more torquey, so Murcielago still accelerates considerably quicker than Diablo. According to Lamborghini’s figure, it needs 3.5 seconds to complete 0-60mph. According to my estimation (from past experience we should never believe the official figures from Sant’Agata), it is perhaps 3.9 seconds. As long as you compare it with production supercars, especially in this price range, you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t expect it to be a McLaren or F60-beater. Lamborghini lost that ambition long ago. Top speed, strangely, is now claimed to be just 205mph, quite conservative by Lamborghini norm. Considering the smooth body with air ducts lowered has a Cd of 0.33 (though not matching Diablo’s 0.31), it can easily reach that speed. Perhaps it will be the first-ever Lamborghini to exceed its claimed top speed ... funny.

Now about the handling department. Basically the mechanical layout remains unchanged from Diablo 6.0. For example, the double-wishbones suspensions and the mandatory 4-wheel-drive system with viscous-coupling center differential are almost unaltered. The electronic adaptive damping and adjustable ride height for front wheels are still there. The ABS is improved, traction control is added, front tyres are marginally wider, and Pirelli specially designed P-Zero "Rosso" for this car. The Brembo brakes, with 355mm / 335mm discs front and rear and 4-pot calipers, are similar to the Diablo’s. The front to rear weight distribution is barely improved by 1% to 42:58. However, the biggest improvement is fine tuning all components to extract their real potential, and to make the controls easier to live with.

Two things might contribute quite a lot improvement to handling: 1) the engine now sits 50mm lower in chassis to improve center of gravity. We always know the high-mounted V12 was one of the main reasons for the inferior handling of Countach and Diablo, so a lowered engine comes as a good news. Oddly, press release said it is due to the use of dry-sump lubrication, but in fact both its predecessors also employed that; 2) high speed stability is improved by the use of electric rear wing. up to 130km/h, that little wing is completely recessed in body. From there to 220km/h, it is raised by 50°. Above 220km/h, it is further raised to 70°. Not the most brilliant design, but it should generate a bit positive downforce at speed.

Concerning production, Lamborghini plans to build 400 cars annually. There will be a Roadster version, but not a RWD version. Just as a prediction, I think in the second-half of its life more special editions will appear, what about a new SV, SE40 or GT ?

Did I miss something ? oh yes, the name Murcielago is named after a brave bull which was spared by a famous matador in 1879. Of course, it’s a Spanish word (like Diablo). It pronounces like "more thea lago".

Now let’s open the door to see how it perform ...

On The Road

Take notes: Autocar’s Stephen Sutcliffe said the Murcielago looks far more beautiful in metal (or carbon ?) than in photo. Next time you and I see it on road, we can verify that.

However, we can’t help amazing how high quality the body panels are. No matter fitness and paint, it qualifies the highest standard set by Dr. Piech. Perhaps better, because carbon-fiber is hard to control.

Swing up the spectacular scissors door, you see the best ever Lamborghini interior. While the design by Audi designer Ralph Kluge is not special, it feels expensive. The foolish carbon fiber dash of the previous Diablo 6.0 has gone (I am still wondering how much weight it saved), replaced with a simple, elegant and leather-clad one. Although it could feel a bit Germanic-cool rather than Ferrari’s Italian-classic, its switches and buttons are tailor-made and feel good to touch. Ferrari, in contrast, still employs some Fiat switches. Admittedly, the mirror controls and a few other switches come from Audi, but then again Audi is not Fiat.

The driver still struggles to get inside, the seats are still mounted right on the floor, but ergonomics are much improved. Firstly, the driving position is more natural. Secondly, the pedals and steering wheel is less offset towards the center. Thirdly, there is more legroom, headroom (40mm) and shoulder room (25mm). The 6-footers previously rejected by the Diablo now sits happily in the Murcielago. Lastly but not least, the small and beautiful Momo steering wheel is fully adjustable.

Press the start button, the 6.2-litre V12 idles smoothly. Sound and thrust are not specially strong below 3500rpm, but throttle response is obviously sharper. Up-shift the 6-speed transmission and you’ll find the first (of many) improvement in drivability - although not light by usual standard, it is more manageable than its two predecessors. The clutch is also lighter.

Enter 4000rpm, the V12 comes into life, roaring and surging into its tremendous power band. You’ll feel that explosive power is another level from the Diablo, yet the noise remains truly Lamborghini - raw, mechanical and loud. Enter 6500rpm its full song becomes thundering loud, so breathless and so entertaining ! this goes on until the rev limiter is hit at 7800rpm.

Now turn into a bend. The nose points precisely to where you steer. Steering feel is still on the heavy side, but more communicative and responsive. Apparently, the stiffened and fine-tuned chassis has tamed the wild bull with far better balance and agility. Push it for a few laps more, you’ll realize the new Lamborghini feels smaller and lighter than it is. The Diablo used to feel big and bulky in corners, had to apply that "slow-in, fast-out" technique; the Murcielago feels a proper sports car now. It changes direction crisply yet fluently. It grips harder and stops quicker. More importantly, it is far more forgiving to errors. If you enter a corner too quick and brake hard, its tail will remain planted. The old car ? you’ll end up in gravel facing the opposite direction. It is this kind of forgiving manner that raise confidence of pushing the car to its performance envelop, enjoying its deep-reserved potential more frequently.

Nevertheless, the bull still fail to match the agility of real sports cars like Ferrari 360 Modena and Porsche 911GT3. These cars can be pushed even harder. They will powerslide without drama and still feel entertaining. In contrast, the big Lamborghini is still somewhat handicapped by its actual dimension and weight.

The Murcielago really feels much faster than the Diablo, although we are still waiting for the first set of test data. However, it is undoubtedly far more user-friendly than the Diablo. Steering, clutch and gearchange are all lighter to operate. Ride quality is also superior. Build quality and cabin comfort are vastly improved. Now driving the big Lamborghini is no longer a painful experience. At the same time, its performance is more accessible, thanks to much better handling. We are pleased to see it improves in every area, satisfying the requirements of comfort as well as driving fun. We didn’t expect that, but new owner Audi really polished the Italian diamond, making it more desirable than ever.

Of course, subjectively speaking, the Countach remains to be the greatest Lamborghini of all time. The Murcielago doesn’t innovate anything, it just releases the full potential of the forward-thinking Countach which set out those formulas some 27 years ago.


Specifications

Model Murcielago
Layout Mid-engined, 4wd
Size (L / W / H / WB) mm 4580 / 2045 / 1135 / 2665
Engine V12, dohc, 4v/cyl, VVT,
variable intake, variable exhaust.
Capacity 6192 c.c.
Power 580 hp
Torque 479 lbft
Transmission 6M
Suspensions All wheels double wishbones
Tyres F: 245/35 ZR18; R: 335/30 ZR18
Weight 1650 kg (dry weight)
Top speed 205 mph (claimed)
0-60 mph 3.9 sec (est)
0-100 mph 7.8 sec (est)
_________________________

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Old 01-27-2002, 05:55 AM   #64
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Bull duster!

"The Murciélago, (pronounced murthy largo) is named after a bull which had its life spared in 1879 by the famous matador Rafael Molina "Lagartijo" for showing exceptional courage and spirit in the arena. And its one of the fastest and most expensive sets of wheels on the planet, built with one primary objective, to make it's prancing horse bedecked arch enemy eat dust!
For many, the fighting bull has always been a symbol of power, aggression and courage, characteristics that are shared by all cars of the Lamborghini marque. In depictions of bullfights, bull and matador together form an emblematic unit, an antithetic combination of brute force and elegance. Hence Lamborghini's latest supercar is named after that bull which in 1879 showed such courage and was spared to father a formidable line of fighting bulls that extends right down to the present day - Murciélago, a name that expresses the dynamism, elegance and power of this Italian marque's latest thoroughbred.
Each of Lamborghini's creations are classics in their own right and in planning their latest offering, Lamborghini's brief to the designer was simple: “We'll make the engine, you design the body to fit”. The “mission” was to design a worthy successor to the Lamborghini Diablo: the new car had to be exciting, unmistakable, but also safe and ergonomic. Now, under the guidance of Audi, the companies new owners, a new finesse and lack of some of the marques previous tendency towards gaucheness has launched the marque to new levels of exoticism which has ensured chock-a-block full order books. The result is a creation in steel and carbon fibre precisely tailored to suit the engine, that enhances the performance of its twelve cylinders. The Murciélago has a strong athletic stance, achieved by reducing the front and rear overhangs and by visual emphasis of the muscular contours above and around the wheels. The complex interplay of the body curves as they flow seamlessly into one another creates a subtle tension.
The Murciélago follows in the footsteps of the immortal Miura, Countach and Diablo, and is a 2-seater, 2-door coupé based on the traditional Lamborghini layout: a mid-mounted V12 engine with the gearbox mounted in front of the engine and the rear differential integrated into the engine unit, a layout that has successfully been used by Lamborghini engineers for more than 30 years affording optimal weight distribution (42% front and 58% rear) with conspicuous advantages for traction, braking and handling.
The central concepts of the Murciélago's design are purity of line, muscularity, aeronautical influence and efficiency - and it is still unmistakably a Lamborghini. Tradition is kept steadfast by the use of a single-arm windscreen wiper and gull-wing doors. Because of the low seating position, drivers have limited rearward visibility, but this is aided by long support arms for the foldable exterior mirror.
External body panels are made from carbon fibre, with the exception of the roof and door panels which are of steel construction. Styling features that are also functional, include two "active" intakes to aid in engine cooling which Lamborgini calls VACS (Variable Air-flow Cooling System). Depending on speed and ambient temperatures, the aperture of these air intakes can be varied to allow the engine to gulp less or more air into the engine as its needs dictate for cooling and combustion.
Correct aerodynamic equilibrium at all speeds, is assisted by the angle of the rear spoiler that can be altered from a closed position (from 0 to130 km/h) to partially open (130 to 220 km/h) and fully open (above 220 km/h).
The heart of any supercar is its engine. In the case of the Murciélago, it is a firebomb, while still complying with the strictest emission standards in the world, including those of the United States, Japan and Europe - 12 cylinders of raw DOHC power with a displacement of 6192 cc, it is made entirely from aluminium alloy and produces 426 kW at 7500 rpm and 650 Nm torque at 5400 rpm, enough for a top speed in excess of 330 km/h and a 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds. Power is delivered to the road via a new 6-speed Lamborghini gearbox with internally mounted pump to force lubrication. Use of the latest generation double and triple-cone synchronizers and optimization of the control linkage have allowed for an appreciable reduction in the effort required to change gears. The clutch control system has been optimized by the fitting of a slave cylinder on the axis of the clutch release bearing, the result being a significant reduction in the force required to operate the clutch pedal.
According to Lamborghini, torque delivery is optimized across the entire engine operating band thanks to the adoption of a variable-geometry intake system (VIS), variable valve timing (VVT) on both inlet and exhaust camshafts, and a "drive-by-wire" electronic throttle control, which makes for reduced emissions, improved idle speed control and improved driveability. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that at just 2000 rpm, the Murciélago produces more torque than the maximum value attained by the majority of Granturismo cars in today's market.
The Murciélago, like its predecessor the Diablo, is equipped with permanent four-wheel drive and a central viscous coupling (Viscous Traction System), with 45% limited slip and the front with 25% limited slip. This solution represents an active traction control system: excess torque on the primary axle (rear) is automatically transferred to the secondary axle (front) to maintain ideal traction at all times. And to meet the demands of extreme driving, the Murciélago is equipped with an additional system that acts on the engine itself to reduce power in the case of loss of traction.
The independent front and rear double wishbone suspension, with steel arms and automatic or manually adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers with electronic damping control, optimize handling and straight-line stability. Front "Antidive" and rear "Antisquat" systems guarantee perfect suspension behavior during acceleration and braking. The Murciélago sits on 245/35 ZR 18 tyres up front and 335/30 ZR 18 gumballs at the rear. The new PIRELLI P Zero “ROSSO” tyres allow for a more comfortable ride, reduce road noise and improve handling.
All that power and performance requires some pretty sophisticated deceleration equipment and lets face it, a parachute might be all the rage at drag strips, but a rather inelegant solution on the M1 North. So, the Murciélago is equipped with a braking system consisting of four disc brakes, each with 4 hydraulic cylinders per caliper, fed by separate independent hydraulic circuits for the front and rear axles. The system includes a tandem master cylinder, a vacuum servo brake, an emergency brake and a parking brake. There is also a 4-channel ABS system with DRP (Dynamic Rear Proportioning) and TCS. The TRW antilock braking system, which forms an integral part of the basic braking system, consists of an electro-hydraulic control unit and 4 wheel-speed sensors. Newly designed wheel rims aid in cooling the brakes.
Occupant safety is ensured by the use of airbags, while the car complies with all EU, Japanese and US safety standards in terms of interior passenger protection, occupant crash protection, side impact protection, fuel system integrity, inflammability of interior materials, and frontal or pole impact.
The driver information system includes an instrument panel with trip computer that displays average and maximum speed, maximum acceleration, distance to empty, a chronometer and a voltmeter.
Among the other driver's aids are an electric control to fold the electrically-heated wing mirrors, the non-reflective rearview mirror, and the axle lifting system that, at low speeds, allows the car's front axle to be raised by 45 mm. Bi-xenon headlights provide the appropriate lighting power for a machine this fast.
The interior features leather upholstery, 3-spoke sports steering wheel (also in leather) and a steel gear lever and selector gate. Numerous storage compartments are provided, and the radio and CD autochanger are tailor-made to Lamborghini's specifications.
Indications are that six of these beautiful beasts are headed for our shores next year, all of which are spoken for and at around R3.8 million a piece I suspect that if you should happen to come across one, the rather smug owner is likely to impolitely request that you look but don't touch!"
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Old 01-28-2002, 06:58 PM   #65
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Lamborghini Murciélago

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Old 01-30-2002, 08:14 PM   #66
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Sports cars steal show

Sexy, stylish concept vehicles rule Frankfurt
___

FRANKFURT, Germany
By Paul Lienert / Special to The Detroit News

Safety and ecology remain powerful twin themes that continue to rivet the attention of the world’s automakers.

But there still appears to be a place for sex and romance in the auto business, judging from the displays at the 59th Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung here.

The biennial motor show, one of the world’s largest, has attracted more than its share of fuel-efficient and socially responsible small cars, as well as an abundance of people-friendly family vehicles in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

But much of the focus at this year’s show is on high-performance sports cars and concepts.

The spotlight is shared by Italian automakers who are fielding new premium two-seaters that are destined for North American showrooms, as well as several intriguing concepts from traditional British marques that point the way to future styling trends. The German have weighed in, too, with new editions of their top-of-the-line models.

Enthusiasts are keenly interested in two new Italian exotics: The oddly named Lamborghini Murcielago, the long-awaited successor to the Diablo, and the Maserati Spyder, the softtop companion to the 3200 GT coupe.

On the German front, Mercedes-Benz is showing its redesigned SL coupe/convertible while Porsche has added a new Targa model to its 911 range.

LAMBORGHINI
MURCIELAGO

Based in Sant’Agata, Italy, Automobil Lamborghini years ago adopted the Raging Bull as its symbol, in response to the fabled Prancing Horse of Maranello-based rival Ferrari.

Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, born under the sign of Taurus, embraced the imagery of Spanish bullfighters, and many of the early names of classic Lamborghini cars — Miura, Urraco, Jalpa, Espada — come from the corrida, or bullring.

Now owned by Volkswagen’s Audi AG, Lamborghini again turned to the world of bullfighting when it came time to christen the successor to its exotic Diablo sports car.

Murcielago, the company says, is the name of a legendary bull whose life was spared in 1879 by the matador after a particularly fierce and courageous match in Cordoba.

Obscure and difficult to pronounce, the name (which is also Spanish for bat) seems apt on a vehicle which, on paper at least, appears to be more powerful and technically proficient than the Diablo, but lacks the presence and panache of its predecessor.

True, the signature gullwing doors and midships V-12 layout have been retained. Even the general wedge-like shape is familiar. But all the exterior surfaces, fashioned in steel and carbon-fiber, have been softened and blurred. The end result is a slick and visually appealing profile that lacks the quirky character and edginess of the Diablo.

At the heart of the car is a DOHC 6.2-liter V-12 engine that uses a 60-degree all-aluminum block and is fitted with variable intake and variable valve timing. Coupled to a new six-speed manual gearbox, the engine’s output is prodigious: 570 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, which enables a top speed of more than 205 mph and 0-60 acceleration in around 3.8 seconds.

Lamborghini expects to bring a small number of Murcielagos to the United States in 2002. Its retail price will likely reach nearly $300,000.
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Old 01-31-2002, 07:29 AM   #67
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Murciélago by BBC Top Gear report

Lamborghini Murciélago - Introduction


A far cry from Ferruccio Lamborghini’s first foray into things automotive - making tractors - the latest model to sport the famous badge, the 200mph+ Murciélago, is a sports car formidable.

Although there are bound to be comments about the Murciélago being little more than an upgraded Diablo, Lamborghini’s newest release has a few tricks up its sleeves to subdue any doubters. Or as the case may be, stop them completely in their tracks.

The engine has been lowered by 50mm in its setting, decreasing the overall centre of gravity, and the noise is the stuff that dreams are made of...

The steel roof (which makes up an essential part of the chassis) aside, most of the body shell is made from extremely strong and light carbon fibre panels helping to keep the weight down – and there’s no Diablo style wing to the rear.

Kitted out with a quad-cam 48-valve V12, the Murciélago might be slightly tubbier than the Diablo, but it’s more powerful, lower and even boasts an extra gear over its schoolboy pin-up sibling.

Those concerned that Audi’s influence on proceedings may have Germanised Lamborghini needn’t worry. If there has been any dulling of the fervour, it’s been remarkably well hidden; spirit, passion and sheer aggressiveness are still intact.

Lamborghini Murciélago - Styling


They’re not really a shy retiring lot at Lamborghini – and the Murciélago is certainly no shrinking violet either; every inch of its powerful body screams LOOK AT ME from the top of its lungs.

Less angular than the Diablo, or that ultimate accessory of 80s decadence the Testarossa, the Murciélago styling comes from the pen of Luke Donckerwolke, whose other designs of notable interest include the distinctly un-sporty Audi A2. Go on, look to the right of the screen...

When compared to earlier designs from the Italian stable, the Murciélago is a distinctly curvaceous little number for a car sporting the Lamborghini badge. But this new-found roundedness for the new millennium has in no way compromised the squat aggressiveness of the silhouette. If anything, the smoother front and rear overhangs and wheel arches accentuate the feeling of sheer power exuding from the Murciélago.

As you’d expect on a Lamborghini the beetle wing doors, if you let them, dominate the silhouette of the Italian muscle car, but why you’d want to stop, unless it's for petrol, we’ve no idea...

A speed sensitive rear spoiler protrudes 50 degrees from the otherwise smooth rear bodylines when the Murciélago reaches 81mph, and slides completely open to 70 degrees when the car reaches 137mph. Not a car to hammer past the traffic police in, then (not that we’re condoning such behaviour you understand)...

Lamborghini Murciélago - VACS


Packed full of clever features, the variable airflow cooling system is just one of the ideas that makes the Murciélago stand out from the pack. Oh, and it just happens to be a first on any production car...

Rather than the huge vents necessary to keep the 6.2-litre V12 beast of an engine cool, (which add a mere 15 percent of actual usefulness to be offset against their aerodynamic inefficiency) Lamborghini has gone for a rather clever little alternative – VACS (Variable Air-flow Cooling System).

VACS adjusts the intake apertures electronically to take in huge gulps of air for optimum engine performance, negating the need for huge and unsightly (in this day and age) vents.

As a happy by-product of this process, the open vents also look rather cool, and there’s a button on the centre console allowing the driver to flap at will!

Lamborghini Murciélago - Mechanicals


Buy a Lamborghini and you’re going to be expecting something fairly special. Be rest assured, the Murciélago is special.

Although slightly heavier than its Diablo sibling, (thanks to a couple more horses stashed under the bonnet) the Murciélago's power to weight ratio is slightly up on that of the Diablo 6.0 VT. If you want to own the most powerful Lamborghini road car ever made, you’ll need to scour those small ads for the limited edition Diablo GT. If you’re happy knowing you’re sitting in front of the most powerful Lamborghini road car engine ever, the Murciélago fits the bill.

The aluminium (hmmm must be the Audi influence showing through) mid-mounted 6.2-litre V12 engine pumps out 571bhp at 7,500rpm (21bhp more than the Diablo at 7,100rpm) with a peak torque output of 479lb ft at 5,400rpm.

It’s good for a top speed of over 205mph, which should embarrass the majority of drivers not armed with an F1 car, and takes 3.8 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill.

Lamborghini Murciélago - Specifications

Engine:
6.2-litre petrol V12:
571bhp@7500rpm
479lb ft@5400rpm

Transmission: permanent four-wheel drive
Length: 4580mm
Width: 2045mm
Height: 1135mm
Wheelbase: 2665mm
Weight: 1650kg
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Old 02-06-2002, 01:50 AM   #68
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The new Batmobile from Lamborghini

"With a maximum speed of 330 km/h and a 0-100 km/h figure of 3.8 seconds this car is truly worthy of Batman himself. Murcielago (pronounced 'moor-see-EL-ago') means 'bat' in Spanish and is named not after Adam West's character but after a particularly courageous bull whose life was spared by the famous matador Rafael Molina 'Lagartijo' in 1879. Lamborghini traditionally names its cars after bulls or people or things connected with bullfighting - Murcielago the bull was ultimately sold to the breeder Don Antonio Miura - inspiration for another Lamborghini model, and of course the Lamborghini symbol itself is a roaring bull.

The Lamborghini Diablo had been in production since 1990 and it had been an open secret for a while that the company was working on a replacement. The takeover of Lamborghini by Audi in 1998 put project L147 on hold for a short time and ultimately changed its direction. Lamborghini are at pains to point out that the car is Italian in inspiration and not German, although the final design settled upon by the company was by Audi designer Luc Donckerwolcke in preference to designs submitted by Bertone, IDEA and Heuliez.

I'd still like it in black
The car follows the traditional Lamborghini layout - a 2-seater 2-door coupe with gull-wing doors and a mid-mounted engine, giving optimal weight distribution (42% front and 58% rear) and in turn producing much better traction, braking and handling characteristics, along with permanent 4 wheel drive. In addition the body is made of carbon fibre (apart from the steel roof and door panels) which gives greater torsional rigidity - this means improved suspension behaviour and handling which translates into greater driving comfort and noticeable reduction in interior noise levels.

The engine is a monster and is of course an improvement on the Diablo engine. It keeps the same basic configuration - a V12 dohc - but bumps up displacement from 5992cc (Diablo VT) to 6192cc by increasing the stroke and lowering the engine by 50mm by changing the engine to dry sump lubrication. Power goes up from 525bhp (405kW) to 580bhp (426kW) at 7500rpm. Torque delivery is optimised across the entire operating band - even at engine speeds relatively low for a sports car - thanks to the variable geometry intake system (VIS), variable valve timing (VVT) on inlet and exhaust camshafts and the 'drive-by-wire' electronic throttle control, which helps reduce emissions and improve idle speed control and driveability.

Another innovation is the Variable Airflow Cooling System (VACS). Cooling such a huge engine would normally require huge air intakes to provide for extreme operating conditions (eg very high external air temperature) which are only very occasionally encountered. Such large air intakes adversely affect car aerodynamics and so performance. VACS allows the air intakes to be altered to suit driving conditions - either manually, or automatically in response to engine coolant/external air temperature (like the rear spoiler). These VACS wings will probably become the hallmark of the Murcielago.

There are other 'firsts' in the Murcielago - it is the first 6-speed model and Lamborghini's traditional heavy clutch is eased with the introduction of a 'slave cylinder' system. Lamborghini have also ensured that the Murcielago complies with all new safety standards. The advanced braking system uses 4 disk brakes with ABS and a TRW antilock braking system. An electro-hydraulic control unit calculates the speed and acceleration of each wheel and when it detects slip on any wheel it changes brake fluid pressure to give maximum braking force on that wheel. And if there is an impact the car has 2 airbags - a 60 litre driver's side and a 130 litre passenger side bag.

Audi's injection of money into Lamborghini has ensured that the development of the Murcielago has not been compromised in any way - 16 prototypes have been put through their paces compared to only 5 Diablo prototypes and Audi have given access to their test facilities and the Nurburgring and Imola racing circuits for testing.

In the flesh the car is squat and mean and looks bulkier and more muscular alongside the Diablo (Lamborghini claim a Cx drag coefficient of .33-.36 depending on VACS deployment). The Murcielago was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September this year and cars are already rolling out of the factory. With Lamborghini you cannot really use the term 'production line' - each car is hand built entirely in the factory - even down to making and stitching the seats and upholstery from materials chosen by the buyer. At the moment production is left-hand drive only - right-hand driver production is due to start in early January 2002 with the Murcielago scheduled to make its debut in Australia at the Melbourne Motor Show in late February. There are 17 Murcielagos on order for Australia and if you are interested in buying one prepare to part with 'something under $600,000 AUD'. ItalianCar will be organising a test drive just as soon as we can come up with the money..."
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Old 02-06-2002, 02:10 AM   #69
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Bull Fighter

Cast an eye over the uncluttered lines of the Lamborghini Murcielago and it is undistinguishable a Lamborghini at its purest form. Fear that the Diablo would be the last pure supercar with the takeover by the VW empire was put to rest. “I knew it had to be a real Lamborghini and that meant knowing what a Lamborghini is. I wanted to take the DNA of the Miura, Countach and Diablo and let it evolve in the cleanest possible way,” says Luc Donkerwolke, Murcielago’s designer.

Ever since Ferrucio Lamborghini decided to try to build swifter and more exciting road cars than his archrival Enzo Ferrari just up the road in Modena, Lamborghinis have been engine-led motorcars. This time it’s no different: at the core of the Murcielago sits yet another incarnation of the V12 that first appeared in the Countach in 1973. And this time it has a 6.2-litre capacity, mated to a 6-speeder, churns out 571bhp @ 7500rpm and 671Nm @ 5400rpm while top speed is at 330km/h. But problem presented was the cooling – Huge power means needing huge rear wing scoops to keep the temperatures of its V12 down, Donkerwolke worked out an idea to put in a pair of moveable intakes scoop, one at each side and will only deploy when it is necessary. Cool.

Lamborghini claims the Murcielago will accelerate do the century sprint in 3.8sec and get to 160km/h in about 8.0sec. Not quite McLaren F1 territory, but not far off. The sensational engine sound coupled with the jet-like acceleration just makes the Diablo feel old and slow. Very old and very slow.

Vital changes were also reflected in the interior, owner Audi has dramatically improved all the bits you can’t see, such as air-conditioning, ABS, cabin ergonomics and all the electronic system. The cabin is bigger with extra inches here and there, the pedals and Momo steering (with a full size airbag) positioning contributes to a better driving position than its predecessor. What the customer will be aware of, hopefully, is that the new Lamborghini feels more comfortable, spacious, safer and more reliable than the Diablo.

Mine you, you still sit very low in the car and at accurately raked angle, and climbing in requires a concerted effort than a contortionist.
But the most important thing about the Murcielago, is not that it’s so much quicker than its already brisk predecessor, it’s that, fundamentally, it hasn’t changed in personality one bit. The fact that it’s now easier to drive, more friendly on the limit, less thirsty and much more comfortable is great, of course, but the key thing is: it’s still the ballsiest supercar on the planet.
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:27 AM   #70
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Stock No. M-207

The Lamborghini Murciélago is 2-seater, 2-door coupé (with the now familiar gull-wing doors) based on the traditional Lamborghini layout: mid-mounted V12 engine, typical Lamborghini transmission with the gearbox mounted in front of the engine and the rear differential integrated into the engine unit, permanent four-wheel drive with central viscous coupler. The Murciélago chassis has been stiffened considerably to achieve a torsional rigidity value in excess of 20,000 Nm/°. The external bodywork panels are made from carbon fibre, with the exception of the steel roof and door panels.
The rear of the car features two "active" intakes for the engine cooling air. With the exclusive VACS ("Variable Air-flow Cooling System"), the aperture of these air intakes can be varied to suit the driving conditions. Furthermore, to ensure correct aerodynamic equilibrium at all speeds, the angle of the rear spoiler can also be altered. According to the speed of the car, the rear spoiler can assume three different positions: closed from 0 to130 km/h, partially open (50°) between 130 and 220 km/h and fully open (70°) above 220 km/h. Depending on the aperture of the air intakes and the position of the rear spoiler, the car's Cx coefficient varies from a minimum of 0.33 to a maximum of 0.36.

One of the key styling features of the Murciélago is the way the cabin is seamlessly integrated in the lines of the body: this distinctive approach, previously encountered on both the Countach and Diablo, has a single arc extending from the front to the rear that emphasises the overall wedge shape of the car

The Murciélago's engine ¾ which complies with the strictest emission standards in the world, including those of the United States, Japan and Europe ¾ is a 12-cylinder 60° V with a displacement of 6192 cc, made entirely from aluminium alloy and designed for unleaded fuel, producing 580 CV (426 kW) at 7500 rpm and 650 Nm torque at 5400 rpm.

The VACS ("Variable Air-flow Cooling System") is an entirely new concept in air intake technology. A high-performance car obviously requires a high-power engine. And, in turn, a high-power engine needs an efficient cooling system with appropriately proportioned air intakes. In a conventional fixed system, these air intakes have to be dimensioned to suit the most extreme operating conditions, such as, for example, very high external air temperatures, even though these conditions are rarely encountered during normal running accounting on average for only 15% of the vehicle's total usage). This means that air intakes have to be made too large for average use, thus compromising the car's aerodynamic characteristics and performance.

Thanks to the 580 CV (426 kW) maximum power output of its its 60° V-12 engine, delivered at 7500 rpm, and its 650 Nm maximum torque, the Lamborghini Murciélago can exceed 330 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. Compared with previous models, the driveability of the Murciélago is significantly improved, thanks to the smoother torque curve, increased power, the new 6-speed gearbox and the improved electronic engine management system. Handling and high-speed stability are also better, thanks mainly to the improved torsional rigidity of the chassis, the lowering of the car's centre of gravity, the optimisation of the suspension and tyres and ¾ last but not least ¾ the improved aerodynamics.

We are currently taking orders for December delivery now!


Contact Dealer : Motorcars International
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Old 03-21-2002, 07:17 PM   #71
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The first new Lamborghini in 11 years had a rough ride before it even turned a wheel in public, writes Angus MacKenzie.

The launch of the new Murcielago - like previous Lamborghini names, it's derived from Spanish bullfighting lore; in this case a bull spared in a famous fight in Cordoba in 1879 - has been twice delayed, reportedly at the personal insistence of VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, who acquired Lamborghini in 1998 and put it under the direct control of Audi management.

Lamborghini's long-awaited replacement for the outrageous Diablo bears the same codename - L147 - as the car Lamborghini was developing when taken over by VW. But the production Murcielago has completely different styling and a host of new technical features. And while insiders won't confirm that Piech effectively sent L147 back to the drawing board, suppliers hint that the Murcielago has been a rush programme.

The Murcielago's low, swooping profile is the work of VW Group designer Luc Donckerwolke, whose previous credits include the Audi A4 Avant and the Skoda Fabia. It's a clean, professional piece of design that pays subtle homage to past Lamborghinis - there's just a hint of Marcello Gandini's signature asymmetric rear wheel arch, for example - but somehow lacks the sheer theatre of the Diablo, the Countach and the Miura.

A lack of jewellery in the detailing - particularly around the head and tail lights, and in the interior - gives the Murcielago a curiously downmarket feel up close. On the move, though, speed sensitive active air intakes that automatically pivot through 20 degrees to increase cooling capacity, and a three position active rear spoiler provide a touch of visual drama.

Most of the Murcielago's body is carbon-fibre - only the scissor doors and roof are steel - and the chassis is made of high-strength steel tube bonded to carbon fibre/honeycomb structural elements using adhesives and rivets. The wheelbase has been extended 15mm compared with the Diablo, all of it forward of the driver's H-point to improve room around the pedals.

Suspension is double wishbone all round, with coil-over electronically controlled dampers front and rear. The giant vented and cross drilled disc brakes feature anti-lock modulation, and the 18 inch diameter alloy wheels are shod with Pirelli P Zero tyres - 245/35 up front and 335/30 at the rear.

The Murcielago's 6.2 litre V12 is a development of the Diablo engine. It now has a dry sump, which allows it to be mounted 50mm lower in the car, plus variable valve timing and a variable geometry intake system. Peak power is 580bhp at 7,500rpm, while the maximum 480lb/ft of torque is produced at 5,400rpm.

Lamborghini engineering director Massimo Ceccarani claims the variable induction systems enable the V12 to produce more than 368lb.ft. of torque from just 2,000rpm.

The engine drives all four wheels through an upgraded version of Lamborghini's viscous coupled four wheel drive system and a new Lamborghini-designed six speed manual transmission. Although slightly heavier than the Diablo VT, Ceccarani says the Murcielago will sprint from zero to 62mph (100km/h) in just 3.8 seconds, and top 206mph (330km/h). Lamborghini plans to build just 300 Murcielagos a year - the V12 engine is hand assembled at the rate of just 2.5 units a day. But the managing director of Lamborghini Holdings, Giuseppe Greco, has revealed VW is investing 250 billion lire in the company over five years.

About six percent of that has already been spent on upgrading the Lamborghini factory at Sant'Agata; the rest has been committed to developing a new, smaller, less expensive Lamborghini designed to compete directly with Ferrari's F360 and Porsche's 911. This car, due in 2003, will increase Lamborghini's total output to about 1,800 cars a year.

Source: www.just-auto.com (9/10/01)
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Old 04-13-2002, 09:17 PM   #72
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Available Options

Acceleration 0 - 62 mph (0 - 100 km/h) -- 3.95 sec.
Brakes -- Power vacuum, H system with ABS + DRP aluminum alloy
Chassis -- Tubular steel with carbon fiber components
Cooling circuit -- 15lt.
Cooling system: -- Two water radiators + oil cooler, variable geometry air inlet system
Engine capacity 6192 cc
Engine oil (total capacity, radiators, filter and oilducts) -- 12lt
Front -- Independent wishbone, coil springs, anti - roll bar, telescopic dampers, electronically controlled shock absorbers
Fuel Injection -- sequential multiport
Fuel tank -- 100 lt.
Ignition -- static ignition, with individual coils
Max speed -- Over 200 mph (330 km/h)
Number of Cylinders -- 12 V
Rear -- Independent wishbone, coil springs, anti - roll bar, telescopic dampers, electronically controlled shock absorbers
Steering -- Power assisted rack and pinion
Transmission -- 4WD (viscous traction)
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