The Murci�lago originally went on sale in 2002. In 2006, a boost in engine power and size demanded a new name. Now called the Murci�lago LP640, the LP640 is the larger of the two models offered by Lambo; the other being the Gallardo. Murci�lagos come in coupe and roadster models.
Equipped with permanent all-wheel drive, the Murci�lago holds a 6.5-liter V-12. Lamborghini says the Murci�lago can roar from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed beyond 205 mph.
Starting in 2004, Lamborghini's six-speed manual transmission could be operated by a new "E-gear" system that eliminated the clutch pedal. This gearbox delivers electrohydraulic sequential shifting. Twin paddles on the steering column yield upshifts and downshifts, while a Reverse button is mounted on the dashboard. With the recently added power, stronger transmission and axle components were also added.
An open-roofed Murci�lago roadster debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in spring 2004 and went on sale later that year. The Murci�lago can be equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes, and an Interior Carbon Package is optional.
Lamborghini's less-expensive Gallardo is produced in the same Sant'Agata, Italy, facility as the Murci�lago. Though owned by Audi AG since 1998, Automobili Lamborghini functions as a separate entity.
Somewhat angular in appearance but accented with flowing curves, the Murci�lago may recall memories of the automaker's bizarre-looking Countach, which preceded the Diablo in Lamborghini's model lineage. Sporting a wedge-shaped profile like that of the Diablo, the Murci�lago features scissors-style doors hinged above the front wheel wells.
Other than the steel roof and door panels, the coupe's bodywork is composed largely of carbon fiber and is built over a frame made of high-strength steel tubing. Weight distribution is 42 percent in the front and 58 percent at the rear. Aluminum-alloy wheels hold 18-inch Pirelli tires that are wider in back.
Mounted on long arms that let the driver see beyond the prominent rear fenders, the mirrors can be folded back electronically. A number of visible air intakes and vents help cool the V-12 engine and the brakes. Two active intakes at the rear use a Variable Airflow Cooling System that permits changes in the aperture to accommodate different driving conditions. The rear spoiler can move into three distinct positions.
Two occupants get leather-upholstered seats. The driver faces a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel. Lamborghini says the chassis is lower and the door-opening angle greater in the Murci�lago than in the Diablo, making entry and exit a little easier. All instruments are grouped on a single, electronically controlled panel.
Under the Hood
The mid-engine Murci�lago packs a 6.5-liter V-12. A six-speed manual transmission sits ahead of the engine and can be operated by Lamborghini's "E-gear" sequential-shifting system, which deletes the clutch pedal. The all-wheel-drive system employs a central viscous coupling.
All-disc Brembo antilock brakes are standard.