We have known for some time that the Lamborghini Murciélago would see an end to its existence this year. Although many expected to see the replacement, commonly referred to as the Lamborghini Jota, debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, everything that is known about the new Lamborghini is based on rumors, spyshots and speculation.
According to information posted on a Ferrari message board, the Jota may actually be called the LP700-4, offering 700 horsepower and yielding a top speed somewhere in the area of 217mph. Again, nothing has been made official by the Italian automaker but one thing is certain - based on the direction of the Lamborghini brand we can expect the Murciélago replacement to be one fantastic sports car.
During the event at which the picture on the right was taken, Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann had this to say about the end of the legendary Murciélago:
"The Murciélago embodies the pure, unadulterated values of our brand. It is truly extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian. This already makes it one of the legends of the sports car world. But the Lamborghini story continues. In 2011, we will take a huge step into the future with the successor to the Murciélago – with the most innovative technology and, once again, truly stunning design."
The Murciélago production ends on the same day that I get my first ride in one
Lamborghini announced the news of the 4,099th and final Murciélago production this past Thursday and that was the same day that I was able to experience the awesomeness of a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 first hand. While attending the 2010 SEMA Show, the History Channel featured their “Top Gear Taxi” program to help hype the upcoming American version of the British smash-hit TV show Top Gear.
This SEMA Show program offered ride-alongs in a variety of ultra rare, super high end models including the LP640, the Ferrari 458 Italia, and the CDC Firebreather - among others. Having had experience in many of the other brands offered by the History Channel on the behalf of Top Gear USA, I picked the Arancio Atlas Murciélago LP640 (shown on the right, covered in yellow vinyl for that New York taxicab look) to be my chariot.
Our ride along took us around Las Vegas, giving a quick tour of the area around the Convention Center while enjoying the luxurious interior trim of the Italian sports car. Also, the hired wheelman of the Lamborghini was kind enough to show off the acceleration abilities of the Murciélago LP640 on a couple long, open stretches of Vegas roadway. The combination of the roar of the LP640s V12 mill and the intense acceleration off the super coupe drew attention from everyone around us and it was clear to see why Lamborghini has obtained their reputation for driving excellence.
The Lamborghini Murciélago leaves behind a short-lived legacy for Italian luxury and performance but like the Spanish fighting bull from which it drew its name, the Murciélago’s time must come to an end.