Here’s a question for you: what is going on with Lamborghini?[Not a valid template]
With the company celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (a milestone many considered beyond the reach of a tractor manufacturer turning its hand to the supercar game in the late 1960s), this may seem an odd question. Surely now more than ever is the time for revelry and joie de vivre in Sant’Agata? Indeed, despite 2013 being only five months old, the birthday presents have been coming thick and fast.
At last month’s Shanghai Motor Show, Lamborghini debuted not only the snappily titled Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario but also the Gallardo LP 560-2 50° Anniversario. A lick of Giallo Maggio paint (apparently Lambo’s most successful on the factory colour chart for the last 50 years), some bespoke stitching and a diffuser that defies belief hint that all 100 examples of the Aventador special edition will walk off the production line and straight into the millionaire’s garage, probably never to be seen again outside a Gumball run.
Then there’s the Veneno, the prancing horse bating racing prototype for the road that made its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, all three models of which have already been sold for a whopping, staggering, wallet-shrivelling $4 million. Each. That is more than LaFerrari and the new McLaren P1 combined, and comes in at a cool half a million more than the one-off Aventador J.
Now this week comes the latest mental bull to poke its snorting nostrils out the enclosure, the Egoista. Never before has a model been so aptly named, and I’ll even include Nissan’s Homy Super Long in that comment. Yet another celebratory model for Lamborghini’s half centennial, the Walter De Silva-designed beast is limited to one edition, has only one seat (‘Egoista’ loosely translates as ‘Selfish’ in Italian) and is powered by a 5.2-litre V10 that spits out 592bhp. Inspired by the looks of an Apache helicopter, the Egoista is all carbon fibre and was designed – according to company CEO Stefan Winkelman – to be as hedonistic and extreme as possible: the domed roof in place of doors speaks volumes in this regard.
I’ll admit I’m as big a fan as anyone of Lamborghini excess. The extreme looks and 1980s-esque ‘practicality’ of the V12 Countach (which you could neither park, steer properly or accelerate without a graceful pirouette) means it has a permanent spot in my fantasy garage. The LM002, a Hummer-rivalling SUV originally destined for Saudi Arabia and Libya before nervous backers rubbing their lire together pulled the plug, was as immovable as it was basic but has become a firm cult classic of the automotive world thanks to extreme looks and the ‘Rambo Lambo’ moniker. A Lamborghini – a true Lamborghini – loses so much of its soul when ‘practicality’ is higher up the brief sheet than ‘mental’. There’s no fear of that with the Egoista. There is though one big question: what’s the point?
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