In a continuation of Lamborghini’s tradition of giving its cars names from the world of bullfighting, the Murciélago was named for a fighting bull that survived 28 sword strokes in an 1879 fight against Rafael “El Lagartijo” Molina Sanchez, at the Coso de los califas bullring in Córdoba, Spain. Murciélago fought with such passion and spirit that the matador chose to spare its life, a rare honor. The bull, which came from Joaquin del Val di Navarra’s farm, was later presented as a gift to Don Antonio Miura, a noted local breeder; thus began the famed Miura line of fighting bulls, which provided the name for one of Lamborghini’s first great cars.
Murciélago is the Spanish name for the bat. The word is pronounced [murθiˈelaɣo], with a voiceless dental fricative [θ] (as in English thing), in the Castilian Spanish spoken in most of Spain. However, the Italian automaker often uses the Southern Spain and Latin American Spanish pronunciation, [mursiˈelaɣo], with an [s] sound.
The Murciélago is a four-wheel drive, mid-engined sports car. Its coupé body is especially low-slung, with its roof rising to just under four feet above the ground. The supercar features scissor doors, which contribute to its exotic image. First-generation Murciélagos, produced between 2001 and 2006, were powered by a 6.2-litre V12 which traces its roots back to the company’s beginnings in the 1960s. The rear differential is integrated into the engine unit, and the four-wheel drive features a central viscous coupler. Power was sent to the wheels through a six-speed manual. The Murciélago possesses an independent double-wishbone suspension design, and features a combination of carbon-fiber and steel bodywork. The rear spoiler and the air scoops integrated into the car’s shoulders are electromechanically activated, and fold out from the body at high speeds to aid aerodynamic performance and provide additional engine cooling, respectively.
The V12 engine in these cars produced just under 580 PS, or pferdestärke (German: horse strength), a unit of power commonly used in Europe. The engine was capable of powering the car to a speed of 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds. The first-generation cars, equipped with the 6.2-litre V12, were produced between 2001 and 2006, and are known simply as Murciélago. Although subsequent versions of the Murciélago were designated with their engine output in PS, the original cars were not designated “LP 580″ in line with the later convention.
The Murciélago Roadster was introduced in 2004 as a 2005 model. A sign on the windshield header advises the driver not to exceed 100 mph (160 km/h) with the cloth top in place. Designer Donckerwolke cited the B-2 stealth bomber, the Wally 118 WallyPower yacht, and architect Santiago Calatrava’s Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in Valencia, Spain as his inspiration for the roadster’s revised rear pillars and engine cover.
40th Anniversary Edition
In 2003, Lamborghini celebrated its 40th anniversary by releasing an Anniversary Edition of the Murciélago. In prior decades, the company had released commemorative editions of the Countach and Diablo. The 40th anniversary cars were produced in a limited run of 50 vehicles; enhancements included a limited-edition Blue body color that was labelled “Jade-Green”, carbon-fiber exterior detailing, upgraded wheels, a revamped exhaust system, and a numbered plaque displayed inside the rear window. The interior featured a new leather trim and additional electronic features.
In March 2006, Lamborghini presented a new version of its halo car at the Geneva Motor Show; the Murciélago LP640. . The new designation accompanying the car’s name indicated the engine’s position and orientation within the car (Longitudinale Posteriore, or “Rear Longitudinal”), and referenced the V12 engine’s uprated power output; with its displacement increased to 6.5 litres, the engine in the new car made 640 PS (471 kW; 631 hp) at 8000 rpm. The Murciélago’s exterior received a minor facelift, with revised front and rear fascias and side air intakes. A new exhaust system is shaped into the rear diffuser, and the left-hand side air intake is enlarged to accommodate the oil cooler. A revised suspension , a launch control system, and an all-wheel drive system round out the performance modifications. A new 6-speed “E-gear” sequential automatic transmission became available as well. The LP640 wears 335/30 tires on its rear wheels. Interior seating was reshaped to provide greater headroom, and an improved stereo system forms part of the updated dashboard. The U.S. MSRP was set at $318,800. Optional equipment included Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite brakes, chrome paddle shifters and a glass engine cover. The 2008 car’s estimated fuel economy for the 6-speed manual is 8 miles per US gallon (29 L/100 km; 9.6 mpg-imp) city and 13 miles per US gallon (18 L/100 km; 16 mpg-imp) freeway, making it the least efficient 2008 car for city and highway driving, according to the EPA.
At the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show, Lamborghini announced that the Murciélago roadster had also been updated to LP640 trim.
The Murciélago LP640 Versace is a special edition of the LP640 that was first revealed at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. The twenty white and black cars feature two-tone black and white trim inside and out, with interiors finished in custom Versace leather, along with a Gianni Versace logo plaque. Lamborghini also presented a black and white LP640 Roadster Versace, again only twenty were produced.
LP 650-4 Roadster
In 2009, Lamborghini released a limited-run update of the Murciélago Roadster. The LP 650-4’s engine is rated at 650 PS (478 kW; 641 hp) and 660 N·m (490 lb·ft), allowing the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 330 km/h (210 mph). All cars are painted Grigio Telesto grey with Arancio orange highlights. The color scheme is continued on the interior, which features an asymmetric dash design.
LP 670-4 SuperVeloce
At the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled a new version of the Murciélago, the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce. The SV moniker had previously appeared on the 1995–99 Diablo SV, a highly tuned version of the car that appeared close to the end of the model’s production run.
The SuperVeloce’s V12 produces 670 PS (493 kW; 661 hp) at 8000 rpm and 660 N·m (490 lb·ft) of torque at 6500 rpm, thanks to improved valve timing and intake system modifications. The car’s weight was reduced by 100 kg (220 lb) by swapping several interior parts and exterior panels out for carbon fiber replacements, along with the installation of a new, lighter exhaust system. The LP670-4 SV comes standard with the LP640’s optional six-piston caliper, 15-inch carbon-ceramic disc brakes, slowing black 18-inch wheels. In its June 2009 issue, Car and Driver magazine predicted that the LP 670-4 SV was capable of reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standing start in just 3.2 seconds. Lamborghini claims the car can reach 342 km/h (213 mph) with an optional smaller spoiler, or 337 km/h (209 mph) with the standard Aeropack wing.
According to Maurizio Reggiani, head of Lamborghini R&D, the SuperVeloce’s steering was tuned for high-speed sensitivity. Production of the top-of-the-line Murciélago was limited to 350 cars, priced at $450,000. On the motoring show Top Gear, Richard Hammond staged a race between the LP 670-4 SV and a Mercedes McLaren SLR 722, what he calles “Hyper Car royalty.” The Mercedes only just won, proving that the Lamborghini was a force to be reckoned with.
|Model||Engine||Power, Torque@rpm||Acceleration (seconds)||Top Speed|
|0-60 mph||0-100 mph||0-150 mph||Quarter Mile|
|Murciélago (2001 – 2005)||6.2 L V12||580 PS (427 kW; 572 hp), 649 N·m (479 lb·ft)||3.8||8.6||21.4||12.6@116 mph||official: 340 km/h (210 mph)|
|Murciélago LP 640||6,496 cc (6.496 L; 396.4 cu in) V12||640 PS (471 kW; 631 hp)@8000rpm, 660 N·m (487 lb·ft)@6000rpm||3.4||7.5||–||11.4@127 mph||official: 340 km/h (210 mph)|
|Murciélago LP 640 Roadster||640 PS (471 kW; 631 hp)@8000rpm, 660 N·m (487 lb·ft)@6000rpm||3.4||8.1||16.1||11.8@126 mph (203 km/h) (C&D)||official: 340 km/h (210 mph)|
|Murciélago LP 650-4 Roadster||650 PS (478 kW; 641 hp), 660 N·m (487 lb·ft)||3.4||–||–||–||official: 340 km/h (210 mph)|
|Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce||670 PS (493 kW; 661 hp)@8000rpm, 660 N·m (487 lb·ft)@6500rpm||3.2||6.8||–||firstname.lastname@example.org (R&T)||official: 342 km/h (213 mph),
337 km/h (209 mph) with Aeropack Wing
|Murciélago, Murciélago LP 640, Murciélago LP 640 Roadster, Murciélago LP 650-4 Roadster||6-speed manual||6-speed e-Gear|
|Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce||6-speed e-Gear||6-speed manual|
The Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT is a race-only version of the Murciélago, developed jointly with Reiter Engineering and Audi Sport. It has rear-wheel drive unlike the standard Murciélago to comply with the FIA, ACO, and JAF rules. The car retains the standard Murciélago V12, but has air restrictors to manage power. Its acceleration and top speed are highly dependent on the gearing selected for a particular race track.
In December 2006, Reiter Engineering tested an upgraded Murcielago R-GT LM, featuring redesigned body work and a new rear wing with less drag.
In April 2009, in an LMS 1000 km de Catalunya race, a Murcielago R-GT of the Russian IPB Spartak Racing Team won the GT1 class, against a Corvette C6-R and a Saleen S7-R. The drivers of the IPB Spartak Racing car were the Russian Roman Rusinov and the Dutch Peter Kox. They crossed the finish line 2 laps ahead of the first Corvette, in 2nd place. Before the race, the Lamborghini set the pole, but was moved to the end of the grid due to some technical irregularities. The second international win for the Ragin Bull GT car.