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Although we were worried that Audi's adoption of Lamborghini would dilute the Italian supercar's pizzazz, it has actually resulted in a much improved road burner that sports cleaner styling, more sensible ergonomics and better all-around performance.
Blinding performance, hospitable cockpit, livable ride quality.
Real estate-sized price means that only the very few will get to own one.
Available Murcielago Coupe Models
Use the Edmunds Pricing System to help you get the best deal:
Lamborghini replaces the raw-edged Diablo with a more refined and more aesthetically pleasing 200-mph supercar.
Once again, Lamborghini changes hands. Formerly owned by Chrysler and later an Indonesian company named Megatech, the Italian exotic car company is now owned by Audi. And along with this new parent comes a new child, a high-strung yet well-mannered bambino called Murcielago. As with some past Lambos, this car gets its name from a legendary fighting bull, in this case, one whose life was spared because of the extraordinary courage he displayed while in the ring.
Not one to mess with tradizione, the Murcielago keeps the mid-mounted V12 architecture of its predecessors: the Diablo, Countach and Miura. With an increase of 0.2 liters over the Diablo's V12 and a gaggle of high-tech engineering features, such as variable valve timing and variable intake manifold volume, the mighty 12 now makes 572 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Redline is set at 7,500 rpm, making for a scintillating soundtrack when conditions allow.
As with the Diablo VT, the Murcielago sends this stampede to all four wheels, (70 percent to the rear and 30 percent to the front) although it is now done via a six-speed gearbox that replaces the former five-cog unit. Charged with getting the power to the pavement are 18-inch wheels that wear Pirelli P-Zeros measuring 245/35 front and 335/30 rear. An electronically controlled suspension, traction control and massive antilock disc brakes do their part to keep things under control.
A smoother skin, comprised chiefly of carbon fiber, covers all that muscle, presenting a more balanced and cleaner look than the Diablo. Air scoops located behind the side windows are invisible as they lie flush with the body until more cooling is needed, at which point they automatically pivot open to feed more air to the beast. Likewise, a rear spoiler hides within the rear deck, ready to flip up 50 degrees when the Lambo's velocity exceeds 81 mph. When this land-locked missile passes the 137 mph mark, the spoiler increases its angle of attack to 70 degrees in order to supply more downforce, and hence, greater stability. Even the more mundane aspect of parking has been considered, as the Murcielago has the ability to raise its front suspension 45mm so as to avoid scraping its (normally) low-slung chin on driveway aprons and the like.
Audi's biggest influence has been on the interior. It is much improved over the Diablo's, designed for more comfort and efficiency. The seats offer more support, the footwells won't cramp your Nikes and the controls are more intuitive -- all good ideas considering that distractions could be dangerous in a car that can move as quickly as this one.
To answer the burning questions of "how much?" "how quick?" and "how fast?" we offer the following numbers: $273,000, under 4 seconds from 0 to 60 mph and around 205 mph. All but the first one work for us.
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