A-Z Supercars: Lamborghini Murcielago

Lambo’s new flagship for a new millennium was just as wild as its forebears

Driving a Murcielago through the middle of a town was almost an act of civic beneficence. It was a kinetic sculpture that put the day’s drudgery on hold, if only for a few seconds. Effortlessly cool, it didn’t have to compete for attention. It didn’t have to compete at all.

Take the LP640-4: 0-60mph in 3.3sec, 211mph flat-out. The performance was exciting, entertaining, accessible, the sensations it generated all-consuming and hugely addictive. From the beginning, the Murcielago’s V12 was arguably the greatest ever to power a production car. Given its head on any decent straight, its push was unabatingly savage, gear after bellowing gear. And remember we’re talking about an engine whose lineage stretches back some 40 years. 
And the Murcielago was the perfect showcase. Naturally, it was thunderously fast down the straights but also awesomely stable under braking, and precise and poised through the turns. The ride was firm but well controlled and the body structure felt vault-solid.

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Then there was the LP670-4 SV – the definitive Murcielago and possibly the definitive supercar driving experience; the wildest ride, the seat to be in if you wanted your sensible world coordinates shredded and blown away. A savagely fast car, the SV hammered so much immediacy and raw excitement into the usual supercar mix – even as defined by the LP640 – your heart nearly leapt out of your chest. The modest 30bhp hike (making 661bhp) looked a lot more impressive in conjunction with the 100kg drop in weight. Factor-in a bodyshell, aerodynamics and suspension all reworked to generate more grip and suddenly Lamborghini’s argument that, while a rear-drive Murcie looked good on paper, the SV actually needed its four-wheel drive to make good on its extra potential, didn’t sound like a boast.

Specifications

Years made 2001-2011 Engine V12, 6496cc (LP670-4 SV) Max power 661bhp @ 8000rpm Torque 487lb ft @ 6500rpm 0-60mph 3.2sec Max speed 212mph Price £270,038 new (SV, 2011),£75-250,000 today

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