The Car Connection Lamborghini Murcielago Overview
Building on a tradition established by the Countach and Diablo, the Lamborghini Murcielago's 2001-2010 run saw some of the most extreme interpretations of the Italian automaker's exotic philosophy brought to life.
The first Murcielago, built through 2006, established the template for the models to follow: all-wheel drive, mid-engined, and extremely low. The original Murcielago sported a 6.2-liter V-12 engine rated for 571 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission handled gear shifts, while a a viscous center coupling distributed power to the front wheels as needed. Speed, as you'd expect, was tremendous: 60 mph arrived in just 3.8 seconds, and the top speed was in excess of 205 mph.
In 2004, Lamborghini added a Roadster to the Murcielago line, which offered the same core mechanical and performance characteristics as the coupe.
The second-generation Murcielago, launched at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, saw a number of performance enhancements. The V-12 engine's displaced grew to 6.5 liters, output was increased to 631 horsepower, and the LP 640 designation was added to the Murcielago title. A new six-speed e-Gear automated sequential manual transmission was added in addition to the six-speed manual. A mild exterior styling update helped keep the Murcielago's look fresh, and the suspension was re-tuned.
The Murcielago LP 640 Roadster was introduced later in 2006 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, again adding a convertible experience without substantially changing the car's mechanical configuration.
Toward the end of its model run, the Murcielago gained a number of special editions, including the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce (or SV, as it's commonly known). The Murcielago SV gained another 30 horsepower to bring the total to 661 hp, enabling a top speed as high as 212 mph with a low-drag rear wing; top speed with the Aeropack wing was 209 mph, thanks to drag induced by greater downforce. The SuperVeloce also lost 220 pounds of weight compared to the standard Murcielago, helping to shave 0-60 mph times to just 3.2 seconds. Only 186 Murcielago SVs were built before the end of the car's run.
Other special editions of the Murcielago include the LP 640 Versace, a model designed with the famous style house's themes--and materials--in mind; the LP 650-4 Roadster gave a small performance boost to the drop-top's stats, and was available only in a limited selection of colors.
In 2011, Lamborghini replaced the Murcielago with the Aventador, which takes the flagship model of extreme design, performance, and price to new levels. For more on the Aventador, read our review.