The Lamborghini Murciélago was styled by Belgian Luc Donckerwolke. He had been chief designer at Audi – which, in ’98, was taken over by Lamborghini. Traditionally, the latter had recruited Italian design houses. On that basis, Bertone were briefed to create the new car. And indeed, their work was ready to go into production. At the last, though, the Bertone project was canned. The design reins were duly passed to Donckerwolke.
When the Murciélago was launched, it was with no lack of fanfare. Sicily’s Mount Etna provided the backdrop. The accompanying son et lumière show was equally spectacular – including, as it did, a volcanic eruption. Well, a virtual one, at any rate!
Designer Donckerwolke decked the car out in razor-sharp lines. Bodywork was carbon-fibre and steel. The chassis was fashioned from high-tensile tubing. Given the supercar’s shape, a low drag coefficient was a gimme. As a result, top speed for the Murciélago was a searing 205mph. 0-60 appeared in 3.85s. Notwithstanding, steady torque delivery – and electronic engine management – rendered the car relatively tractable. Suspension and brakes were, naturally, state of the art. Late in the day though it had been, Lamborghini’s decision to give the design gig to Luc Donckerwolke paid off. The Murciélago exhibited plenty of Italian flair … as well as a dash of Belgian panache!