Auto blogTue, 11 Mar 2014 16:02:00 EST
Let it never be said that there isn't money to be made selling high-end exotic sports cars. Last month Ferrari revealed that it had recorded record profits despite selling fewer vehicles than the year before. Now arch-rival Lamborghini has reported record revenue.
For the 2013 fiscal year, Lamborghini has announced that its revenue has increased for the third year straight - rising from 469 million euros last year (just short of $650 million at today's rates) to a record 508 million euros (over $703 million). Lamborghini reports that it has reinvested 20 percent of that turnover back into R&D.
The increased revenues come despite having discontinued its top-selling model, the Gallardo, which wound up its ten-year production run back in November to make way for the new Huracán. The increased revenues came from a higher proportion of Aventadors sold, a rise of 9 percent from 922 units in 2012 to 1,001 in 2013, representing a record for V12 models sold in the company's history and a waiting list of 12 months for a new Aventador.
The debut of the Lamborghini Huracán was (and remains) big news in and of itself, but equally as exciting is the imminent arrival of the Audi R8, which the Huracán presages. While the two will share a common architecture, don't expect that new R8 will simply be a cheaper version of the Huracán (like the current one arguably is to the Gallardo).
For one, the next R8 will be larger than the Huracán. According to emerging intelligence, Audi will make its sports car both longer and wider than the Lamborghini version. It'll also share the new Lambo's innovative carbon-fiber structure that will replace both the firewall and central tunnel. But to power it all, Audi will get more creative.
The next R8 will, like the current model and like the Huracán, offer a V10 engine at the top of the range. It will also offer the same 4.2-liter V8 as the outgoing model. But that won't be the end of the matter. Word has it that Audi is also working on a smaller, turbocharged engine to offer in certain markets that mandate smaller-capacity engines.
Last week, Lamborghini invited us to stop by its Sant'Agata Bolognese headquarters to have a look around the factory and pick up a few technical tidbits about its new Huracán LP 610-4. It won't surprise you to learn this, but Lambo's foyer is pretty rad.
Rather than front its offices and factory with a gift shop and a reception desk, Lamborghini puts its amazing heritage on full display by offering up the corporate museum as a first impression to visitors. We had coffee in the morning and lunch after the press conference in this space, with stunning Italian concept cars and production models serving as an impressive backdrop to it all. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to share the Lamborghini collection with exotic-car crazed Autoblog readers (you know who you are), we did our best to capture everything we saw in the gallery here.
With some variation, the museum's two floors are separated by vintage: older models downstairs and newer up. When you walk through the front door, you're flanked by two of the coolest Lamborghinis in the marque's impressive history: a 350 GT to the left and a perfectly green Countach LP 400 on the right. Perhaps our favorite car in the whole joint, the Countach's Bertone body is still almost impossible to believe. Up close, we're reminded how design-driven this car is; the seats are so far inboard from the scissor doors that it's difficult to imagine that engineers ever agreed that the shape was a feasible one for production or actual driving.
I've been attending the Geneva Motor Show for the better part of a decade, and it's become my favorite stop on the entire show circuit, in large part because of all the exotic automakers, coachbuilders and green startups. I also love the Palexpo's consistently mind-bending displays of tuners, who typically work exclusively on six-figure automobiles. Some offer subtle improvements and personalization programs, but most seem hellbent on being more outlandish and bizarre than the next, a room full of millionaire class clowns. More often than not, I spy something and think to myself "What kind of Nimrod would do that to a perfectly good ____ ?" This year, that rhetorical question is in fact a self-answering one.
The jokes, they write themselves.
But seriously, if you're wondering who would take a perfectly lovely Ferrari 458 Italia or a Lamborghini Aventador and affix a wild body kit of dubious aerodynamic and aesthetic merit at great extra cost (both to the car's MSRP and to its assuredly grenaded resale value), the answer could very well be Nimrod Elite Tuning, a newer high-end restyling house out of Slovakia. That last locational tidbit might also explain the company's unusual name, which is likely a nod to a mighty Biblical hunter (descendant of Ham and a king of Shinar, Nimrod is mentioned in Genesis and Chronicles) and not meant to be taken as a synonym for "idiot" or "moron."
The tuners at Hamann have gotten their hands on the Lamborghini Aventador and are offering a suite of stealthy upgrades and a boost in power for buyers who don't think Lambo's top model is already enough. The company wants to create a special model with "uniqueness in every way."
The Limited wears a two-tone body kit in Stealth Grey matte paint with Poison Green trim. Hamann adds carbon fiber pieces with new air vent inserts at the front, a two-piece front spoiler and side skirts. The rear receives carbon fiber replacements for the diffuser, engine air intake, spoiler and apron. It is also offering two different sport exhausts - a standard version and a race version... complete with backfire baked in. Finally, the custom Lamborghini is shod with forged, aluminum wheels that are 20 inches in the front and 21 inches in the rear. The interior remains basically stock except for being covered in green leather and contrasting black with green stitching.
Hamann isn't just about style. It is also giving the Limited a boost in performance to 760 horsepower and 542 pound-feet thanks to a few tweaks of the Aventador's software. It seems that if Lamborghini isn't giving buyers enough, then Hamann is happy to take things to the extreme at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Feel free to read more below.
European tuners show up at the Geneva Motor Show in spades to display their very expensive wares in hopes of finding a handful of buyers. The only way to set your company apart is to make cars that are increasingly extreme. Mansory is no different, and to keep up with competitors it has brought the 1,600-horsepower Carbonado GT to Switzerland.
The GT starts life as a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, but practically every body panel is replaced with new carbon fiber pieces. It doesn't hide it either with the entire center portion of the car finished in clear-coated carbon. The biggest changes include fenders that are 1.6-inches wider at the front and 2.0-inches wider in the rear, and even the wheels have carbon inlays.
To make sure the Carbonado GT has the power to back up its hardcore looks, Mansory has fitted the Aventador's 6.5-liter V12 with two turbochargers to produce the aforementioned 1,600 hp and torque electronically limited to 855 pound-feet. The powertrain is upgraded to take the boost with pistons, connecting rods, rod bearings, crankshaft and cylinder head being replaced with high-performance units. Mansory claims the highly modified engine gets the GT to 62 miles per hour in 2.1 seconds and to a top speed of 230 mph.
If you're into cars and are familiar with this little thing called the Internet, you've no doubt seen the new Lamborghini Huracán by now. And while it might seem redundant to talk about the hot new Lambo again, the stunning coupe finally, officially makes its public debut here at the Geneva Motor Show. In other words, it's an excuse for us to bring you yet another set of photos, ripe for the droolin'.
Senior Editor Seyth Miersma already divulged the important factoids in our recent Deep Dive, but let's quickly recap. The bull's beating heart is a new, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10, good for 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. In other words, she'll be super quick, with Lamborghini estimating a 0-62 time of just 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of over 202 miles per hour. All that force gets sent to the ground via all-wheel drive, all packaged up in a coupe that is, well, freakin' gorgeous.
The Huracán goes on sale this summer, and Lamborghini expects it to easily eclipse the outgoing Gallardo in terms of sales. We can't wait to drive the thing, but until then, another batch of photos will have to do. Check 'em out in our gallery above.
In what appears to be the first of a series of shorts akin to Project Hexagon in advance of the official reveal of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, Lamborghini has released its first trailer. We don't get much from this video - a man, a car, a storm, a hot dispatcher with a headset - but it's not like we need much enticement to spend time with the new junior bull. In fact, senior editor Seyth Miersma spent some time drooling all over the thing this week.
The Geneva Motor Show unveiling of the 610-horsepower coupe will be live streamed on March 4. We'll be there with cameras on burst mode, but until then there's the video below, the configurator, our Deep Dive, and the mini site to enjoy.
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:02:00 EST
We're comfortable ranking the new Lambo with a score of "Monica Bellucci" on the scale of Italian hotness.
We're fresh from the heart of the Lamborghini headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, where Italian and German executives have been beaming like proud papas in front of their soon-to-debut Huracán LP 610-4. The successor to the ultra-successful Lamborghini Gallardo will have its coming out party at the Geneva Motor Show next week, but there's no need to wait any longer for the details of this hotly anticipated model.
The Lamborghini Huracán might be one of the most anticipated cars to come out of Sant'Agata since the launch of its predecessor, the Gallardo. While we're stuck waiting to drive the V10-powered, all-wheel-drive Huracán, we can at least play around with the all-new configurator, which has just gone live.
Now, in terms of other online builders, the Huracán's is rather light. Tweakable features are limited to exterior and interior colors, wheel designs, caliper colors and a few other smaller items. There are also no prices listed, although this is hardly unusual for exotic configurators (Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce all leave pricing info off their configurators).
Despite being rather low on stuff to do, designing one's personalized Lamborghini will always remain a pleasant means of whiling away a slow day at work. Hop over to Lamborghini's website and have a look.