Lamborghini Murcielago

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(from Lamborghini Press Release)  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.

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.