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Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster

Broadcast dates : 14th August 2005
20th August 2005

Hawk-eyed viewers will note that this particular Roadster is a left-hand-drive car, which means it isnít allowed to be sold in South Africa.

This is a Lamborghini display car, brought in by Lamborghini Johannesburg as a demo. In fact, two right-hand-drive examples have already been delivered to lucky customers.

The Murcielago is one of the most dramatic cars on the planet, and the Roadster version adds an element of elegance to all that raw aggression.

Subtlety has never been part of Lamborghiniís design vocabulary, ever since Ferrucio Lamborghini, a one-time tractor manufacturer, decided to build a "better car than Mr Ferrari" in the early 1960s.

The Murcielago also has variable bodywork. These air ducts elevate automatically when the engine temperature rises above a certain point, and an aerodynamic wing is also raised at high speeds.

An unusual feature of the cockpit is that the two seats are upholstered in different colours, in this case black leather and suede for the driver and green for the passenger.

The instrumentation is traditional analog, with some rather excessive numbers on display.
And just in case you were wondering where the gearlever went, this car is fitted with paddle-shift gear operation. There's also no clutch pedal.

Being a demo that has been shipped all around the world, the engine mapping had not been fully sorted for South African conditions. And nor had the speedometer!

The Murcielago is one of the most specialized cars that you can buy for road use, and nobody is claiming itís an ideal commuter. Yet maintenance and tuning on these machines has come a long way since Audi took ownership of the Lamborghini nameplate a few years ago.

With Audiís vast financial resources, development of the cars is no longer left to customers, as it was in the days of Ferrucio. These days the cars are as reliable as any econobox-shopping car.

What sort of person would buy a Lamborghini? The simplest answer would be one with plenty of money. R3,9 million, this is definitely the most expensive two-seater on the South African market.

As for the specific Lambo demographic, itís a rather eccentric one. Most people would say "Ferrari" or "Porsche" when asked what their ultimate car is.

The person who answers "Lamborghini" is standing just a little left of centre, in a stratosphere where mainstream considerations are almost irrelevant.

Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
  • Engine: V12 petrol, 6 192 cc
  • Power: 426 kW @ 7 500 rpm
  • Torque: 650 Nm @ 5 400 rpm
  • Transmission: six-speed paddle shift, all-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 3,85 seconds
  • Top speed: 330 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 25,litres/100 km (manufacturerís figures)
  • Price: R3,9-million

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