Lamborghini is responsible for bringing many of the fastest, most spectacular-looking sportscars of the last half-century into the spotlight; from the Diablo to the Aventador, there is an aura of intrigue and mystery whenever a Lamborghini is in sight, and one doesn’t easily forget when they last saw or heard one.
The company that started out producing signature-white tractors for the farmers of Europe eventually found a knack for creating cars famed for blistering performance and out-of-this-world aesthetics. And while Lamborghini’s ownership has changed hands several times since its birth in 1963, it wasn’t until 1998, when the Volkswagen Group bought the company, that the quality of cars Lamborghini was producing dramatically improved.
Keep reading to learn the story of Lamborghini and why you should own one.
The Supercar Showdown
Since the sixties, the battle for sportscar supremacy had been fought between three manufacturers, Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. Ferrari, who had experienced success in racing with the Ferrari 156 and 158, were taking ex-race engines and reworking them to deliver the muscle in their roadgoing sportscars.
Porsche, on the other hand, was taking a rather unconventional approach to finding a layout that worked best, mounting an engine in the rear of a rear-wheel-drive 2-door car, resulting in a lightweight car with handling characteristics that took many beginners by surprise on their first outing.
In the mid-sixties, Lamborghini moved away from front-engine grand tourers to mid-engine sportscars with sumptuous looks and huge, gleaming V12 engines out-back that howled tremendously when riled up, and looked like 200mph and a million bucks when stationary. On the other hand, Lamborghini has been just as synonymous with awkward low-speed maneuverability and poor visibility looking out of the cabin; forget trying to see what’s behind you.
But a Lamborghini isn’t the car you choose for practicality or to remain inconspicuous. The Lamborghini driver causes controversy wherever they go, and that’s blatantly obvious when you consider how impossible it is to ‘fit in’ with a car brand famous for its eye-searingly bright paint colors and immaculate, private jet-like interiors.
What Makes Lamborghini Unique?
Is it the magnificent orchestra of twelve cylinders working in utmost harmony that sets a Lamborghini apart from the rest? Or could it be the visual impact of the hard, edgy, radical body lines, swooping air ducts and vertical doors gracefully elevating toward the sky that has many of us smitten over the thought of owning a Lamborghini?
One of Lamborghini’s flagship assets has long been its magnificent V12 engines that provide the soundtrack of dreams, seldom heard in the supercar world. For Italian sportscar manufacturers, the engine is the life and soul of the car, and as such, it must portray the intention and emotion initially envisioned by the designers.
When engineer, Giotto Bizzarrini designed early prototypes of the first-generation Lamborghini V12 engines, he delivered iterations of a 60° naturally-aspirated V12 with an aluminum alloy block and cylinder heads, Weber carburetors, and a wet sump lubrication system.
The engine, which started out as a 3.5l V12 in the 350GT, received numerous tweaks and upgrades, seeing its capacity increase to 3.9l in the Miura, 4.8l in the Countach LP5000, and 6.2l in the Murciélago.
Lamborghini Sold to VW
In 1998, Lamborghini was sold to the Volkswagen Group, where it remains under the control of Audi to this day. The Murciélago was the first car to be produced under the new ownership deal and was well-received, still standing as one of Lamborghini’s most iconic cars of all time.
What impact has the change to VW Group ownership and Audi’s design direction had on the quality and character of Lamborghini’s cars?
Many interesting projects that have been a collaborative fusion of ideas have experienced sales success, especially the Lamborghini Gallardo, which shares much in common with the Audi R8. Until the partnership with Audi, it would not have been likely or possible to have a V10-powered Lamborghini, hinting at other interesting firsts that could be on the horizon.
The Gallardo caused major waves with its unforgettable-sounding V10 engine that screamed until it had truly made itself known, really bringing interest in Lamborghini back to what it once was, inspiring a new wave of young entrepreneurs and track day enthusiasts to step up and get a taste of this new V10-powered lunacy on offer.
The Gallardo was fantastic for sales, yet the financial crisis eventually came to put a drastic halt on sales for Lamborghini, half in fact, and indeed most sportscar models, in general, took a noticeable hit.
Lamborghini is crushing it right now!
Today, Lamborghini is experiencing an unprecedented boom in success with the Lamborghini Urus SUV – breaking all previous sales records in 2021. Now more than ever, sportscar manufacturers like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche are adapting to the changing needs of motorists and the implications of environmental restrictions in many major cities.
We never thought we’d see Porsche release a diesel-powered SUV, or witness Ferrari experiment outside the box in such a way as the 4-wheel drive FF – and yet they did. Lamborghini made the decision to dabble in something entirely new with the Urus SV, among others in their lineup, and it has paid off handsomely, opening up new avenues for ownership from a broader demographic.
The epic adrenaline rush of riding in a Lamborghini can now take you to more places than ever before, and for some, that could mean being able to pick up the kids and collect some groceries, while for others, it might be a track experience in a more performance-driven Lamborghini.
The Pros and Cons of Ownership
We’ve all seen how awkward and clunky a supercar can be, out of its natural habitat, how cumbersome it can be to park, and tricky it is to get through narrow spaces, especially when your path is blocked by stunned passers-by trying to get the perfect angle for their photo.
The pleasure of driving a Lamborghini comes from the oddly-relaxing fusion of high-end Italian luxury and divine V12 sounds coming from behind your seat. The little things, like the feeling you get when you lay eyes on the car, and when you take up your position inside the cabin.
Each Lamborghini represents a significant time in their history, loved or loathed for different reasons, yet all with varying traces of the initial goal of the founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, which was to produce quality Italian grand-tourers and sportscars that encompassed elegance, sophistication, and driving pleasure.
Lamborghini offers a new partnership compared with any other brand; a special feeling exists that is hard, to sum up in words, yet the relationship with Lamborghini becomes almost romantic.
Whether loved or hated, the unique personality of a Lamborghini will mean that you won’t have to make any more excuses; the ice will be broken for you.
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