The Lamborghini Murciélago is the first clean-sheet design for the legendary Italian marque since they were acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 1998 and placed in the care of their AUDI AG subsidiary. Despite this, the Murciélago features several nods to Lamborghini's heritage: the scissor doors that swing upwards, the V12 engine, and the instantly recognizable styling. As with most other Lamborghinis, the Murciélago has made many appearances in video games, usually alongside its little brother, the V10-powered Gallardo.
About The Name
In keeping with Lamborghini tradition, the Murciélago was named after a fighting bull, in this case, one that was famously spared by the matador, a rare honor, after surviving an amazing 28 sword strokes to keep on fighting. Murciélago is also the Spanish term for "bat", explaining the car's appearances in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies.
The Murciélago was introduced with a 6.2 liter V12 engine making 580 horsepower, and the only transmission available at the time was a traditional 6-speed manual. In 2006, the car was given a mid-life refresh with the LP640 variant. The V12's displacement was enlarged to 6.5 liters and 60 horsepower was added for a total of 640 (hence the LP640 designation). A semi-automatic transmission was also added to the option sheet. Dubbed "e-gear", this transmission works like the ones in a Formula 1 car, with gear changes engaged through paddles on the steering wheel. Reverse gear is engaged through a button on the dashboard, and there is no clutch pedal to worry about. The traditional 6-speed manual continues to be available on the LP640.
Regardless of engine, the 0-60 MPH times are under four seconds, with the LP640 variant capable of 3.4 second sprints to 60. Top speeds can range from 205 MPH for the original and Roadster variants to 213 MPH for the LP640 coupe.
There are five total variants on the car:
- Murciélago Coupe
- Murciélago Roadster
- Murciélago LP640 Coupe
- Murciélago LP640 Coupe
- Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce
The difference between the vanilla Murciélago and the LP640 variants, besides the engine and the available e-gear semi-automatic, is the interior being given a redesign for more comfort and headroom, the exhaust being reworked to fit in with the rear diffuser, and changes to the front and rear bumpers and the side intakes.
The Roadster variants are characterized by their cloth tops that must be attached and removed by hand. Lamborghini advises keeping speeds under 100 MPH with the top on to avoid them being ripped off the car at high speeds.
The LP670-4 SuperVeloce, or SV, variant is the ultimate high-performance Murciélago, weighing 220 pounds lighter than the LP640 coupe due to extensive use of carbon fiber inside and out and a lighter exhaust system that adds 30 more horsepower for a total of 670. This is good enough for 0-60 sprints of 2.8 seconds, according to Road & Track magazine, and a top speed of 213 MPH. A giant "aeropack" wing can be installed on the car for better stability at high speeds, but the top speed will be knocked down to 209 MPH as a result.
Appearances In Video Games
As mentioned above, the first appearance of the Murciélago in a video game was Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, where it showed up alongside with its predecessor, the Diablo (here in 6.0 VT form, the most recent Diablo before being discontinued in 2001). It has since appeared in games from the Midnight Club, Test Drive, Gran Turismo, and Forza Motorsport franchises, amongst others. The Roadster's first known appearance was in Test Drive Unlimited, the LP640 first appeared in the collectors edition version of Need for Speed Carbon, and the LP670-4 SuperVeloce first appeared in Forza Motorsport 3 through the supercar DLC pack.
The Murciélago was replaced by the Lamborghini Aventador in 2011, after a 10-year production run. The Aventador features a similar body shape to the Murciélago, but Lamborghini incorporated its new design from their concept car, the Lamborghini Reventón. The Reventón design was said to be inspired by "the fastest airplanes", and it bears a similarity with the F-117 Nighthawk. That design has now been implemented into the Aventador.