2004 LAMBORGHINI MURCIELAGO
Worlds Fastest Cars
(from Lamborghini Press Release) In the late afternoon of
October 5th 1879, after a fierce fight in the arena of Cordoba, a bull named
Murciélago from Joaquin del Val di Navarra’s farm, had his life spared by the
famous matador Rafael Molina “Lagartijo”. This was a very rare occurrence in
bullfighting, and an honour accorded only to those bulls that have shown
exceptional courage and spirit in the arena. And Murciélago was indeed such a
bull. He was subsequently given to the breeder Don Antonio Miura, and went on to
father a formidable line of fighting bulls that extends right down to the
True to the tradition in which the bull has always been the symbol of the
prestigious motorcar company founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini--born under the
sign of Taurus, no less--the management at Automobili Lamborghini have decided
to baptise the latest car in the noble line with the name of a fighting bull.
And so, after a succession of names linked to the world of the corrida, such as
Miura, Jslero, Urraco, Bravo, Jalpa and Espada (the latter being Spanish for
sword, the weapon of the matador, and thus a symbol for the matador himself) we
now have Murciélago--which coincidentally also means "bat" in Spanish.
The Lamborghini Murciélago is 2-seater, 2-door coupé (with the now familiar
gull-wing doors) based on the traditional Lamborghini layout: mid-mounted V12
engine, typical Lamborghini transmission with the gearbox mounted in front of
the engine and the rear differential integrated into the engine unit, permanent
four-wheel drive with central viscous coupler.
This layout, successfully employed by Lamborghini for more than 30 years,
affords an optimal weight distribution (42% front and 58% rear) with conspicuous
advantages for traction, braking and handling.
The Murciélago chassis has been stiffened considerably to achieve a torsional
rigidity value in excess of 20,000 Nm/°. The suspension design (independent
double wishbones) represents the best possible solution for a high-performance
GT and, again, is in keeping with Lamborghini tradition. The external bodywork
panels are made from carbon fibre, with the exception of the steel roof and door
The rear of the car features two "active" intakes for the engine cooling air.
With the exclusive VACS (“Variable Air-flow Cooling System”), the aperture of
these air intakes can be varied to suit the driving conditions. Furthermore, to
ensure correct aerodynamic equilibrium at all speeds, the angle of the rear
spoiler can also be altered. According to the speed of the car, the rear spoiler
can assume three different positions: closed from 0 to130 km/h, partially open
(50) between 130 and 220 km/h and fully open (70°) above 220 km/h. Depending on
the aperture of the air intakes and the position of the rear spoiler, the car's
Cx coefficient varies from a minimum of 0.33 to a maximum of 0.36.
Bi-xenon headlights produce both main and dipped beams. For the windscreen
wiper, it was decided to adopt the proven single-arm pantograph design. This
system increases the area swept by the wiper blade, thereby reducing blind spots
in the visual field of the driver, and operates correctly at high speed without
obstructing the driver's view when at rest.
The wing mirrors can be folded electrically and are mounted on long support arms
so that the driver can see beyond the rear wings, which are especially prominent
when the air intakes are open. However, mirror stability is not compromised,
even at high speeds.