>> Come back to CAR Online at 7pm (8pm CET) tonight for all the pictures and info on the new Lamborghini concept car
Those of you with keen memories will recall that two years ago a string of teaser pictures in the lead up to the 2008 Paris motor show eventually revealed the Estoque four-door supersaloon concept. Now Lamborghini is at it again – and today they’ve released the sixth and final teaser photograph, hinting at what we’ll see at the 2010 Paris show on 30 September.
Rather than publish six separate stories with increasing levels of exasperation at the drip-feed, we’re just going to put all the photos into this article page, and update the details as they land in our inbox.
What has Lamborghini revealed today?
It’s a shot of an exhaust pipe, which exits the concept car just below the support for the rear wing.
What about the other teaser images?
We’ve now seen all six images, and they’ve shown everything from vents in the bonnet to stylish flourishes atop the V10 engine, plus glimpses of the interior and what appears to be a carbonfibre wheel. The concept car is expected to be almost completely carbonfibre, very light and Gallardo-powered.
Why is Lamborghini showing such a car? Because the next V12 supercar will have a carbon tub, and the company is keen to push its lightweight expertise ahead of that car’s launch, and the impending carbon Mclaren MP4-12C. ‘From the middle of the Eighties, the average weight of our cars has increased by 500kg because of active and passive safety, comfort and emissions reduction issues, and this is something that we have to change,’ said Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann. ‘Since we cannot reduce safety or comfort in our cars, we have to reduce the weight by using new materials. The magic word for this is carbonfibre. Every new Lamborghini will make the best use of carbonfibre to reduce weight.’
He goes on. ‘Design has been and always will be reason number one, and we will make sure a Lamborghini will always be recognisable through its significant stylistic features,’ pledged Winkelmann. ‘Regarding performance, until few years ago priorities were, in this order: top speed, acceleration and handling. In recent years this has been changing. Together with design, handling and acceleration are becoming more important. Speed is not as important anymore, because all super-sports cars are exceeding 300km/h (186 mph) and this is a speed that you cannot reach even on a race track, let alone normal roads. We think it is time to make a shift and talk more about handling and acceleration.’
Lamborghini R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani has told CAR that the company wants to cut its supercars’ CO2 output by 35% from 2008 levels before 2015. He told us: ‘One of the most important parts of our CO2 road map is weight reduction. We have opened a laboratory for composite materials at the University of Washington in Seattle and have a partnership with Boeing, who have best-in-class technology on the 787 Dreamliner. We’ve worked with them for a couple of years.
‘We are working on lightweight, intelligent materials. I’ve seen a small deflector made from carbonfibre and other materials, which moves when you apply a voltage – you can open and close it with no need for a motor. It means you can change the shape of a car with different aero for handling mode, and another shape when you want maximum speed. Having something that moves by 90deg without the need a heavy, expensive electric motor is good news for us.
‘Stop-start solutions, mild hybrid systems, biofuel solutions are already in our development pipeline for potential production cars to achieve our 35% CO2 reduction.’
So expect some sort of technical showcase for the future, obviously in the form as a car as the teaser pictures preview, and hopefully with all the tech that Reggiani promised us, but still with four-wheel drive: ‘Four-wheel drive is one of our USPs,’ Reggiani told CAR. ‘If you don’t have 4wd with the power we now have – more than 570bhp in the Gallardo, more than 650bhp in the Muricelago – you will just get wheelspin. Wheelspin is inefficient and loses control. It’s not the right engineering solution for us.’
>> So just what will Lamborghini show at the 2010 Paris motor show? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and let us know what you think