What's this – a hotter Murcielago?
So it seems. Lamborghini's top brass swore blind at the launch of the Gallardo that there was no stripped-out Murcielago LP640 waiting in the wings. 'The LP640 is wild enough,' Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini's president told us. But he's obviously changed his mind – as our exclusive pictures of this lightweight Lambo special show. Despite the impenetrable ring of secrecy surrounding the development of this new iteration – no one at Lamborghini will officially acknowledge its existence – our sources claim the LP640 will not adopt the Superleggera name, but rather the more hallowed Superveloce badge.
Hmm, Superveloce. That sounds vaguely familiar
First seen on the last of the Miura P400 (the one without the eyelashes around its headlamps) and later on the Diablo, Superveloce is Italian for high speed… Expect it to bow in at the Frankfurt Motor Show this coming September, wearing a £230,000 price tag. Although the LP640 is due for a final swan-song power hike before its Walter de’Silva-penned replacement arrives at the turn of the decade, it's thought that the LP640 SV will go on an extreme diet and rely on a lower kerb weight and shorter gear ratios to give it even more ferocious in-gear go from its mid-mounted 6.5-litre V12.
Where will the weight savings come from?
Like the Gallardo Superleggera, the LP640 SV's kerb weight will drop by an anticipated 100kg to 1565kg, boosting its power-to-weight ratio to 409bhp per tonne. Think of it as a slightly bigger Caterham R400 and you'll get the idea. Fitting carbon ceramic brakes, stripping the cabin of everything but the essentials and even using titanium wheel nuts (like on the Gallardo Superleggera) should easily take care of the necessary weight loss, but the SV will retain its all-wheel-drive layout.
Any other changes?
As well as that outrageous wing – supplied by Boeing, we hear – the SV is expected to get a revised set of gear ratios to keep the longitudinally-mounted engine spinning close to its wailing 8000rpm redline. Although this should drop the 0-60mph spring time from 3.4sec to three seconds dead and deliver eyeball-flattening mid-range acceleration, expect the shorter ratios to peg back top speed from 210mph to an even 200mph. Roll on September. And don't rule out the possibility of a Gallardo SV arriving late next year to take on Ferrari's F430 Stradale. The hardcore Gallardo will be a full blown hardcore racer, shedding more weight and gaining more power, and giving Lamborghini an effective three-tiered Gallardo model line-up.