Named after yet another bull, the Lamborghini Murcielago began its reign in 2001. The Murcielago was a bull famous for surviving 24 sword strokes in an 1879 fight with the famous Matador Rafael Molina Sánchez (El Lagartijo).
It is said that the bull was so passionate in its fight such that the matador spared its life which was a rare honor in bull fighting during the time. Later, the bull was given to a breeder as a gift. Surprisingly, the breeder’s name was Miura…yet another name of a Lamborghini super car.
First generation of Lamborghini Murcielago
Angular surfaces and a low slung body whose highest point is less than 4 feet above ground is what strikes one on glancing at the Murcielago. Just like its predecessors, the Murcielago carries the scissor doors which add to the special Lamborghini aura.
The first generation Murcielagos were released in 2001. They were powered by a 6.2 L, V-12 engine which has its origins in the 1960’s. This engine produced 572 hp enabling the car to run from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
The vehicle featured a rear differential which was integrated with the engine. Viscous coupling center differential provided drive to front wheels. The engine was mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which sent power to the rear wheels. Its suspension used double-wishbone design while its body was made from steel, aluminum and carbon fiber components.
The Murcielago’s rear spoiler and its active air inlets which were integrated to its shoulders were controlled electromechanically. They used to deploy at high speeds so as to optimize its aerodynamics and cooling effect. The first models were just called Murcielagos but later on the models incorporated alphanumeric designations.
The new naming strategy incorporated their engine output and configuration. In 2005, one of the first generation Murcielagos were used in the movie “Batman Begins”
Murcielago Variants through the years:
The Murcielago Roadster variant was added in 2004. The vehicle was designed to be an open top car. It featured a soft rooftop to protect occupants against harsh weather. It had a warning on the windshield advising drivers not to exceed 100 mph with the rooftop in place. The Roadster design was inspired by the B-2 stealth bomber as well as the 118 Wally Power yatch.
The Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640
Two years later in March 2006, Lamborghini released a new variant of the Murcielago at Geneva Auto Show. The car which was dubbed “the Murcielago LP 640’ was so named to reflect its engine placement longitudinally at the rear (longitudinal Posteriore) and its power output of 640 PS.
The new model had a bigger engine whose displacement was now 6.5 L. The car produced 640 PS (631 hp) at 8,000 rpm. Its exterior was also upgraded. Both the front and rear fascias were upgraded and side air inlets were placed asymmetrically with the left side feeding oil cooler. At the back, a new exhaust system was integrated with the rear diffuser.
Other features included a modified suspension, upgraded clutch, and a new stereo among others. Carbon-fiber reinforced Silicon Carbide ceramic composite brakes, a glass engine cover and chromed paddle shifters were offered as options. The car was EPA rated at 8 mpg city and 13 mpg on highway making it the least fuel efficient car in 2008.
This car was used in the movie “the Dark Knight” in 2008. The Roadster was also upgraded to LP 640 status.
The LP 670–4 SuperVeloce
In 2009, the automaker introduced the Super Veloce variant. Lamborghini uses the SV moniker at the end of a model’s production run. The SV variants are usually very extreme.
The SV was equipped with a V12 engine which produced 661 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle had a lighter exhaust system, updated intake and revised valve timing systems. Carbon fiber was also extensively used leading to reduction in its weight by about 220 lbs.
The Lamborghini Murcielago SV accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and had a top speed of 209 mph with its standard Aeropack wing but could attain 212 mph when fitted with a smaller spoiler offered as an option. Its steering was also tuned for high-speed sensitivity. The vehicle had a price tag of $ 400,000 before options.
While the Super Veloce marked the end of the Murcielago’s reign and gave way to the Aventador, a number of limited edition Murcielagos were also produced, they included;
The 40th Anniversary Edition
In 2004, 50 Murcielagos were produced during the company’s 40th anniversary. The vehicles featured a blue body color, upgraded wheels, carbon fiber exterior detailing and revised exhaust systems. On the inside, the vehicles featured a numbered plaque on the rear window as well as a special leather trim.
The Murcielago LP 640 Versace
This was a special edition of the LP 640. It was released at Paris Auto Show in 2006. Only 20 units were made in either coupe or roadster bodies and were either painted black or white.
Lamborghini collaborated with Versace fashion house to craft their interiors hence the name. Their cabin featured a 2-tone Versace leather and Gianni Versace logo. Each model was accompanied with a matching Versace luggage, driving gloves and shoes and a matching watch from Versace Precious Items division.
LP 650–4 Roadster
In 2009, the automaker released a limited edition of the Roadster dubbed the “the LP 650-4”. It had a higher output of 641 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque which enabled it to make the 0-60 mph dash in 3.4 seconds and attain a 210 mph top speed.
The vehicle featured Grigio Telesto gray color trim with Arancio orange contrast on the outside as well as the inside.
LP 670–4 SuperVeloce China Limited Edition
Lamborghini offered a special edition to the Chinese market in 2010. The vehicle is distinguished from the standard SV by its middle stripe. Only 10 units were produced. The vehicle produces 670 hp, makes the 0-60 mph run in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 213 mph.
The Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT
This is the model’s racing variant which was developed in a joint venture with Audi Sport and Reiter Engineering. The R-GT features RWD and only 9 units were produced. The R-GT has won in a number of races including the Zhuhai 2 Hours and GT1 class in 2009’s 1000 km de Catalonia to name just but a few.