Lambo boss bans retro design

Published: 06 October 2006

New Lamborghini models will strive to make automotive history, not repeat it, vows the company’s president.

Lambo’s brief flirtation with retro design – epitomised by the January 2006 Miura concept – is over, says boss Stephan Winkelmann. ‘The Miura was a celebration of our history, but Lamborghini is about the future. ‘Retro design is not what we are here for. So we won’t do the Miura, even as a limited edition.’ Lamborghini unveiled the updated Miura to celebrate the original supercar’s 40th birthday. But a plan to build the car stalled, when the business case didn’t stack up.

Winkelmann also said that other iconic nameplates – such as the Espada 2+2 or the LM002 SUV – were unlikely to be resurrected either. ‘The concept of a Lamborghini 2+2 or an SUV is possible, but we wouldn’t use the name Espada or LM002.’ The rumour mill suggests an SUV will be the next all-new Lamborghini. The high performance 4x4 should share the underpinnings of Audi’s forthcoming Q5 crossover. The Cayenne rival, expected in 2008, will have typically outlandish styling.

‘I want Lamborghini on the edge,’ said Winkelmann. ‘Our brand values are uncompromising, extreme and Italian. And I want our product to match the brand. Lamborghinis must be lower, wider and more sharply styled than our rivals.’ To tide us over, expect more versions of the existing range. A roadster version of the LP640 is expected in late November, and stripped out versions of the V12 Murcielago and V10 Gallardo are also on the cards. The Gallardo might even go rear-drive, to save weight and boost agility. But Winkelmann vows Lamborghini will not grow too quickly. This year, Sant’Agata expects to sell a record 2000 cars. ‘It would be easy to sell more than 2000 cars next year, but I want a sustainable business and we don’t want to risk the brand. And I don’t want customers to have to wait longer than 12 months,’ said Winkelmann.

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine