Used 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago Coupe
Edmunds' Expert Review
Outrageous on so many levels, the Lamborghini Murcielago remains the ultimate exotic thrill machine.
Formerly owned by Chrysler and later an Indonesian company called Megatech, the Italian exotic car company fondly known as Lamborghini is now owned by Audi/Volkswagen. In 2002, Lamborghini introduced 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.
The Murcielago (pronounced "Mercy-ell-ah-go") is Lamborghini's flagship and as such is essentially an evolution of the previous Diablo. Its 6.2-liter, V12 engine, mounted amidships, has numerous high-tech engineering features to help both maximum power and overall smoothness and tractability. Power is sent to all four wheels through a viscous all-wheel-drive system with limited-slip differentials at both ends. Underneath the carbon-fiber body panels (the roof and doors are still steel) is a tubular steel space frame. Last year, Lamborghini introduced a Murcielago roadster. It has additional structural bracing and auto-deploying rollover bars to compensate for the loss of the fixed roof.
From a practical standpoint (a concept applied loosely to any Lamborghini), the company's newer Gallardo is a better car. Its performance capability is very similar to that of the Murcielago, yet it's more comfortable and easier to drive. And it's cheaper. But we're pretty sure there will always be a place for a car like the Murcielago. More so than Mercedes-Benz's SL65 AMG and SLR McLaren or Aston Martin's V12 Vanquish, the Murcielago has an undeniable, big-and-brash street presence. It's a bit of a throwback to the way supercars used to be made, actually, though thankfully without the heavy controls and awful ergonomics. In spirit, the Countach and Diablo live on, and we're happy to see it.
2006 Lamborghini Murcielago configurations
The exotic Lamborghini Murcielago is available as a coupe or a convertible. Both models come fully loaded with all the typical supercar trappings. Major standard equipment includes effective air conditioning, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows and locks, and a CD audio system. The suspension's damping can be adjusted, and one can also electronically raise the car's front suspension 45mm to avoid scraping the Murcielago's (normally) low-slung chin on driveway aprons. Optional upgrades include carbon-ceramic brakes, a navigation system, a carbon-fiber interior trim package, and various other ways to customize the interior trim and exterior paint.
Performance & mpg
A 6.2-liter, V12 engine fills the Murcielago's engine bay, and it makes 580 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque at 5,400. All that brute force is fed through a six-speed manual transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system. A paddle-shifted sequential gearbox, dubbed e-gear, is also available. Zero to 60 mph happens in about 3.8 seconds, and the car will run up to about 205 mph if given the room.
Huge ventilated disc brakes with antilock control bring this beast to a stop, and a sophisticated traction-control system helps keep it on the road.
Modulating the clutch and touchy throttle takes some getting used to, and the optional sequential manual isn't as quick on the draw as we'd like. Similarly, the handling favors neutral understeer -- safe, but not ultrathrilling. Though the Murcielago borders on ponderous at low speeds, all shortcomings are quickly forgotten once the mighty V12 slingshots you into the next time zone.
The Audi influence is obvious inside the Murcielago, with plenty of properly fitting leather and soft-touch materials. 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 convertible's removable canvas top is rather fussy to install or stow, and works better as an emergency shower cap rather than a truly functional top.
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It's a little disquieting to think there are people out there in the community at large who feel that the 6.2-liter Lamborghini Murciélago is a little under-endowed with a mere 570 horsepower at its disposal. Still, it's a fact that upstarts like the Koenigsegg CC8S can deliver more punch, not to mention hypercars like the Porsche Carrera GT, the Ferrari Enzo and the outlandish Bugatti Veyron. Lamborghini, once the exemplar of automotive extremity, found its flagship out-muscled by some prêt-a-porter Mercedes-Benz models. Corrective action was required and the 640-hp 2006 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 is the result.
Don't bother fronting up at a Lamborghini dealer with a billfold the size of a wrestler's neck. Every LP640 produced has already been snapped up, but Sant'Agata didn't invest millions in a car that would only be enjoyed by a privileged few. Virtually every aspect of this car will filter down into the 2007 model-year Murciélago. The 6.5-liter V12, the carbon-ceramic brakes and the Enzo-humbling acceleration courtesy of Lamborghini's "Thrust" launch control will make next year's Murci that rarest of things — a supercar bargain.
Symphony for the devil
Figuring that it would represent a slightly easier baptism on Tuscany's Mugello race circuit, I opted for an LP640 with the six-speed e-gear sequential manual (paddle-shift) transmission. One of Lamborghini's senior suits reckoned only around 30 percent of customers opted for e-gear, a figure no doubt helped by the system's reputed appetite for clutch plates. Stephen Winkelmann, president and CEO of Lamborghini, sits alongside. I ponder my place in Lamborghini folklore if I wrap the car around the Armco with Lambo's head as my co-pilot.
The Murciélago's trucklike amble at low revs gives little clue as to the apocalyptic power delivery that awaits. Snick 3rd with a small lift of the long-travel accelerator and reacquaint it with the bulkhead, however, and there's a properly quick surge at 3,000 rpm, which gathers at 4,500 as the exhaust clears its throat followed by the all-wheel-drive system shuttling torque to the rear and the most magnificent feral yowl up to redline that's now pegged at 8,000 rpm. Grab for the next gear and you can feel the accelerative Gs weighting your very fingertips, the scenery exploding through the widescreen windshield. No lift this time. Winkelmann grins.
The first corner of Mugello approaches, and with a glorious brap-brap we drop two gears while giving the ceramic brakes something to consider. With substantial 15-inch-diameter discs at the front, it takes awhile to tune your braking efforts in; the first few corners seeing the Murciélago pull up with yards in hand. Getting back on the gate after trail braking brings the massive slug of V12 aluminum behind your right shoulder back to life. With no stability control system, it's down to you to keep it tidy. After two laps, I'm utterly wrung out, my eyeballs gritty, prickly heat rising up my back, and a massive surge of adrenaline leaving me a little juiced and shaky. This thing is Colonel Kurtz-made metal.
The Audi influence is never that far from the latest Murciélago. Nothing falls off and the "dynamic press launch" is run with Teutonic efficiency. The days of turning up at Sant'Agata to be kept waiting for hours for a car in a nicotine-stained waiting room while apologetic secretaries mother you with endless thimblefuls of syrupy espresso are long gone. The LP640 interior is treated to quality switchgear and cowhide with lozenge-shaped stitching, and a hefty Kenwood stereo/sat-nav screen. Carbon-fiber detailing is an expensive option.
A single exhaust so large you'd need to check it for bums in the morning is the most arresting exterior change, but there are also new Hermera alloy wheels that resemble shurikens, a sharper and more Gallardo front spoiler, and taillamps that glow like incandescent biohazard signals. The flanks are now asymmetrical, with a vented slash on the right-hand side and a dark maw hiding the oil cooler on the left. Underneath, there are uprated springs, stabilizers and shocks.
One of the most difficult jobs at Lamborghini must be deciding when aspects of the cars become clichés or parodies of themselves. The scissor doors remain and the firing order of the 12 cylinders is still etched into the cam cover. Originality buys a lot of goodwill and Lamborghini gets away with features that come off as hokey when others imitate. The numbers (1-7-4-10-2-8-6-12-3-9-5-11) are now a little more prominent, housed under a clear glass engine louver.
That wrecking ball of a V12 likes to give off a traditionally agricultural vibe, but in truth it's now an unremitting tech fest. Fully 90 percent of this power plant has been revised from the cylinder head and intake system to the crankshaft, camshafts and exhaust. In uprating the 6.2-liter engine, torque and driveability were key targets for improvement, and a continuously variable timing system on both the intake and exhaust sides coupled with a drive-by-wire engine-management system softens the initial throttle tip-in, but then deals a better hand every time, the redline rising by 500 crushingly exploitable rpm.
The hot seat
Fifteen laps in and the groove is forming. Mugello is no longer a staccato lunge toward the next forbidding crest and an embarrassed tiptoe over. Each corner now offers flow and possibilities to explore the 2006 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640's playful side. Get a handle on the sheer physics of this thing and the LP640 is, on occasion, fairly benign, the almost pornographic girth getting lost when the leviathan Pirelli P Zero Rossos are bested by 487 pound-feet of torque and skim into those fleeting moments of neutrality. I return to pit lane wearing a grin wide enough to swallow a wok.
Used 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago Coupe Overview
The Used 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe AWD (6.2L 12cyl 6M).
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.