To Build or Not to Build? Lamborghini's Miura Concept

January 6, 2006
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It's been said that the Miura was the all-time favorite of all the exotics Ferruccio Lamborghini rolled out of his plant in the Modenese suburb of Sant'Agata. And it was a traditional crowd-pleaser, as well. No wonder there was such a long line waiting to get into LA's Museum of Radio & Television last night to check out the concept car Lamborghini promised to roll out. Among the crowd were celebrities, such as ZZ Top's car-crazy Billy Gibbons, and car-collector-cum-Tonight-Show-host Jay Leno, who motored up in his own, '69 Miura.

To little surprise, the car under the covers turned out to be Lambo's near Miura concept, which will next be seen at the North American International Auto Show next week. But the prototype borrowed more than the original's name, holding close to the lines that drew such a passionate following more than three decades ago. Deride it as retro, if you will, but the reaction of the crowd was overwhelmingly positive, with the likes of Leno bugging Lamborghini CEO Stefan Winklemann to put him at the front of the line once production begins.

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The only problem? According to Winklemann, there are "zero" production plans. The Miura concept is just a fantasy, not even mounted on a running chasses -- at least for now. Other company officials suggest that under the right circumstances, they just might consider building the sleekly elegant two-seater. It's just a question of coming up with the right business case. And that can be tricky when you're talking about a car in this ultra-exclusive segment of the market. Sure, prices are high, and a production Miura would likely run at least as high as the Lamborghini Murcielago, around $250,000 or more. But that's really not all that much when you're building only 100 or so a year. In its entire, initial run, sales of the original Miura didn't even reach 800.

Still, said an obviously disappointed Leno, "I hope they build it. Why even make the concept if they're not going to?"

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