What's New for 2008
The Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 carries over virtually unchanged for 2008.
So you've sold that dot-com and attained the high life. The mansion's been purchased and the multicar garage is begging for an exotic supercar. In your search for one, it's natural to first turn to the Italians, makers of such exotic items as Lamborghinis and Monica Bellucci. In order to better attract the latter, may we humbly suggest a selection from the former.
Short of the out-of-this-world, extremely limited-edition Reventon, the 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 is the quintessential Italian exotic. While the car's basic form was introduced seven years ago, it underwent major changes last year, including the addendum to its name, LP640, which refers to its engine position en Italiano (longitudinale posteriore) and that it makes 640 horsepower. (Well, actually it's 632 hp if you want to be a stickler for such things.) The result is a claimed 0-60-mph sprint in less than 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph. If you want something more extreme, you'll have to conduct a more obscure search for something like a Pagani Zonda F -- or better yet, skip buying that yacht and spring for a Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
Two varietals of the 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago (pronounced Moor-see-EH-lah-go) are available: the standard coupe and convertible roadster. The latter features a cloth-covered roof panel that plops atop the cockpit like a giant toupee and takes several minutes and a degree in civil engineering to erect. It also tends to fly off at speeds in excess of 100 mph -- the owner's own hairpiece will follow shortly thereafter.
For that topless pleasure, Lamborghini charges an extra $30,000, which likely won't faze buyers much given that the base coupe starts north of $300K. Of course, there's plenty more that can be added to the bottom line. Choosing carbon ceramic brakes, an "e-gear" automated-clutch manual transmission and the glass engine cover will add about another $30,000. Want to spruce up the cabin with a sprinkling of carbon fiber or titanium trim? That'll be $6,500, please. A variety of other options skyrocket the price (not including the Ad Personam customization program), making it possible to spend upwards of 60 grand on extras alone.
If that doesn't make your eyes bulge and wallet throb, it's a good bet you really have achieved the high life. So congratulations, but if you should actually come across Miss Bellucci, we have bad news: She's married to that French guy from "Ocean's Twelve." Oh well, the Murcielago is sure to attract other Italian beauties -- and a fair share of onlookers, too.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 is an exotic supercar available in two-seat coupe and convertible roadster body styles. The latter features a makeshift cloth roof that, according to Lamborghini, should only be used at speeds lower than 100 mph.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels with 245/35ZR18 performance tires in front and 335/30ZR18s in back, an adjustable suspension that can raise the front to prevent curb or parking block scraping, xenon headlights, a tilt-telescoping steering column, leather upholstery and interior trim, automatic climate control and a CD/DVD/MP3 stereo. Optional upgrades are extensive, including carbon ceramic brakes, a Kenwood touchscreen navigation system, carbon fiber or titanium trim packages, a glass engine cover and innumerable ways to customize the interior and exterior via Lamborghini's Ad Personam program.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2008 Murcielago LP640 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 that produces 632 hp and 487 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, as are front, center and rear limited-slip differentials. A six-speed manual transmission with a gated metal shifter is standard, while the paddle-shifted "e-gear" automated-clutch manual is optional. The Murcielago accelerates up to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a spine-bending 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 211 mph. Fuel economy with the manual transmission is 8 mpg city and 13 mpg highway -- not that you really care, but it's nice to know should someone ask.
The 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago has a decent menu of active and passive safety features. To protect the driver (mostly from himself), all-wheel drive, traction control and massive ventilated antilock brakes with six-piston brake calipers are standard. The roadster also comes with automatically deploying rollover bars. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional on both body styles, while neither side airbags nor stability control is available.
Interior Design and Special Features
With its trademark scissor doors, it's hard to confuse the 2008 Murcielago with anything other than perhaps another Lamborghini, the Gallardo. However, parent company Audi's influence is obvious inside the LP640, with plenty of properly fitting leather and soft-touch materials. Unlike the Gallardo, however, the stereo and climate controls are not boosted from Audi and are subsequently a little strange and look out of place.
The roomy cockpit features comfortable seating that won't leave you reaching for the painkillers. Though not as flamboyant as the exterior, the interior styling is still befitting a vehicle that commands such a high price of admission. The roadster's convertible roof is more aptly described as a toupee perched atop the cockpit. Also, the top is difficult to put on and due to its tenuous nature, drivers are warned not to use it above 100 mph -- which can be achieved in 2nd gear.
With a width only a Hummer H1 owner could love, the 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 can be difficult to maneuver around town and in other tight spots. But really, who actually cares about a Lambo's practicality? Thanks to the 632 hp and all-wheel drive, full-throttle acceleration is otherworldly, with a soundtrack to match. Around corners, the Murcielago hardly feels like a precision instrument because of its girth, but it's capable nonetheless. It should be noted, however, that the "limit" for this car is razor thin -- it'll grip and grip and grip some more, but once you finally reach its limitations, it's nearly impossible to recover.