||2-door coupe, production car
|Miles Per Gallon:
||580 bhp @ 7500 rpm
||480 lb-ft @ 5400 rpm
||f: 64.4 / r: 66.7 in
||12.0 sec @ 121 mph
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
In the late afternoon of October 5th 1879, after a fierce fight in the arena of Cordoba, a bull named Murciélago from Joaquin del Val di Navarra´s farm, had his life spared by the famous matador Rafael Molina "Lagartijo". This was a very rare occurrence in bullfighting, and an honour accorded only to those bulls that have shown exceptional courage and spirit in the arena. And Murciélago was indeed such a bull. He was subsequently given to the breeder Don Antonio Miura, and went on to father a formidable line of fighting bulls that extends right down to the present day.
True to the tradition in which the bull has always been the symbol of the prestigious motorcar company founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini - born under the sign of Taurus, no less - the management at Automobili Lamborghini have decided to baptise the latest car in the noble line with the name of a fighting bull. And so, after a succession of names linked to the world of the corrida, such as Miura, Jslero, Urraco, Bravo, Jalpa and Espada (the latter being Spanish for sword, the weapon of the matador, and thus a symbol for the matador himself) we now have Murciélago - which coincidentally also means "bat" in Spanish. An unusual name, perhaps, but nonetheless one that effectively expresses the dynamism, elegance and power of the latest thoroughbred to emerge from the Lamborghini stable.
The concept 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. This layout, successfully employed by Lamborghini for more than 30 years, affords an optimal weight distribution (42% front and 58% rear) with conspicuous advantages for traction, braking and handling. The Murciélago chassis has been stiffened considerably to achieve a torsional rigidity value in excess of 20,000 Nm/°. The suspension design (independent double wishbones) represents the best possible solution for a high-performance GT and, again, is in keeping with Lamborghini tradition. 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. Bi-xenon headlights produce both main and dipped beams. For the windscreen wiper, it was decided to adopt the proven single-arm pantograph design. This system increases the area swept by the wiper blade, thereby reducing blind spots in the visual field of the driver, and operates correctly at high speed without obstructing the driver's view when at rest. The wing mirrors can be folded electrically and are mounted on long support arms so that the driver can see beyond the rear wings, which are especially prominent when the air intakes are open. However, mirror stability is not compromised, even at high speeds.
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. Lamborghini's brief to the designer was simple: "We"ll make the engine, you design the body to fit". 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 central concepts of the design are purity of line, muscularity, aeronautical influence, efficiency and "made to measure". Certainly the lines of the Murciélago do justice to its illustrious heritage and echo the styling features of some of the most significant icons to be produced by the marque. In its lines can be seen the wedge shape of the Countach, the sensual tension of the Miura and the dramatic proportions of the Diablo, with its futuristic cabin.
The Murciélago's engine - which complies with the strictest emission standards in the world, including those of the United States, Japan and Europe - 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. Torque delivery is optimised across the entire engine operating band (even at engine speeds relatively low for a sports car) thanks to the adoption of a variable-geometry intake system (VIS), variable valve timing (VVT) on both inlet and exhaust camshafts, and the "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 maximum value attained by the majority of Granturismo cars in today's market. Unlike its predecessor, the Murciélago has a dry sump lubrication system that allows the engine to be positioned 50 mm lower, with a consequent lowering of the centre of gravity. The variable intake system, which essentially alters the geometry of the intake system upstream of the primary intake passages, provides three different operating modes obtained by the opening and closing of two butterfly valves (one on the plenum chamber and one on the by-pass pipe), the operation of which is entrusted to the Lamborghini LIE engine control units. 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.
To avoid this compromise, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. has designed a variable air-flow cooling system in which the aperture of the air intakes can be altered to suit the cooling requirements of the engine and the external air temperature. As a consequence, the car's aerodynamic characteristics are only compromised when necessary, which, as stated previously, amounts to only about 15% of the total vehicle usage.
The Lamborghini Murciélago has - for the first time in the history of the Brand - a new 6-speed gearbox, while the transmission maintains the traditional Lamborghini layout. To increase the general rigidity of the system and improve basic stability in operation, the primary shaft and the secondary shaft are each mounted on three bearings (as against 2 on the Diablo).
Gearbox lubrication is forced, with a pump mounted inside the gearbox itself. Use of the latest generation double and triple-cone synchronizers and optimisation of the control linkage have allowed for an appreciable reduction in the effort required to change gear.
The rear differential is flange mounted to the engine so that it can be replaced without having to remove the complete powertrain from the car.
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.
Furthermore, in order to meet the demands of extreme driving, Lamborghini has also developed a traction control system that acts on the engine itself. When the limits of grip are reached, driving torque is suitably reduced by intervening on both the throttle (by way of the DBW system) and the injection/ignition systems.
Chassis and Suspension
The Murciélago chassis has been stiffened considerably to achieve a torsional rigidity value in excess of 20,000 Nm/°. The attainment of this value was one of the fundamental objectives of the design programme, and translates into a significant improvement in the car's performance: improved suspension behaviour and handling, greater driving comfort and an appreciable reduction in interior noise. The chassis consists of a frame made of high-strength steel tube, with structural elements in carbon fibre/honeycomb. The carbon fibre elements are attached to the steel frame using a combination of adhesives and steel rivets. The chassis, which has a structural steel roof and a carbon fibre floor pan attached to the tubular frame, incorporates pressed steel panels with stiffening ribs, which also have a structural function.
Safety is one of the strong points of the Lamborghini Murciélago. The braking system consists of four disk brakes, each with 4 wheel cylinders per caliper, and two independent hydraulic circuits - one for the front axle and one for the rear. 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. The electro-hydraulic control unit, with dedicated microprocessor, receives the signals from the 4 electromagnetic speed sensors mounted on the hub flanges, and calculates the speed and acceleration of each individual wheel. Using this information, the microprocessor is able to detect a tendency to slip on any wheel and modulate the fluid pressure in the corresponding brake line accordingly, in order to restore the correct speed and thereby maximum braking force on that particular wheel. The 4-channel system is able to monitor and control each wheel independently. To maintain the safety guaranteed by the two fully independent braking circuits (one for the front and one for the rear brakes) the hydraulic components of the control unit are doubled up, so that no part of the braking system is common to both the front and rear brakes. In the event of a malfunction of the ABS (signalled by a red warning light on the dash) the basic braking system will still continue to function normally. The DRP function has reparameterised with respect to the previous model to guarantee an optimum distribution of the braking force between the front and rear wheels in all conditions - even those not calling for intervention of the ABS.
Equipment & Comfort
At the wheel of the Lamborghini Murciélago, the driver is in complete control. The clear, accurate instruments and their respective controls are all grouped together on a single electronically-controlled panel, which has undergone numerous aesthetic and ergonomic improvements. This panel is directly interfaced through a CAN bus to a Lamborghini GFA control unit (body computer). The instrument panel includes a trip computer that displays average and maximum speed, maximum acceleration, miles to empty (range), 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. The interior features leather upholstery, 3-spoke sports steering wheel (also in leather) and a steel gear lever and selector gate: another refinement that is a long-established Lamborghini tradition. Numerous storage compartments are provided, and the radio and CD autochanger are tailor-made to Lamborghini's specifications. Options include low ratio gears and satellite navigation system.