The Murcielago is widely considered to be Lamborghini’s stepping stone into the 21st century. Like most other Lamborghini products, their first production under the Audi umbrella was also inspired by bullfighting. Murcielago was the name of a bull that sustained 28 sword strokes and was spared by matador Rafael Molina “Lagartijo” for his resilience. (Murcielago was later donated to famed breeder, Antonio Miura, the inspiration for Lamborghini’s first mid-engined supercar.)
Luc Donckerwolke, former design director for Lamborghini, Bentley and Audi, drew inspiration for the Murcielago from the B-2 stealth bomber and the Wally 118 WallyPower yacht. Donckerwolke’s masterpiece was low-slung, with only part of the car that rose more than four feet off the ground being the scissor doors in their raised position.
The first generation Murcielago was a top-performing production car at the time of its release. The flagship “Lambo” housed a 6.2-liter V12 engine that delivered 572 horsepower to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. The car was capable of hitting 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds and had a top speed of 205 mph.
The Murcielago helped lead Lamorghini out of the financial crisis of the late 90s and started a successful run at the turn of the century. It was the perfect successor to icons like the Countach and Diablo and served as a launchpad for the Gallardo, Huracan and Aventador.
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