Presented as a concept car in 2003 in Detroit – where it generated significant interest among Italian supercar enthusiasts – the production version of the Murciélago Roadster makes its official debut at the Geneva Show 2004. The latest arrival at the House of the Raging Bull takes its inspiration from the great Italian tradition of open vehicles. As powerful, fast and extreme as the Coupé version from which it derives, the Lamborghini Murciélago carries on Lamborghini’s twelve cylinder roadster tradition: from the 350 GTS to the Miura Roadster, right up to the most recent Diablo Roadster. This has been achieved without compromising the performance expected from a real Lamborghini. Thanks to accurate design, the open version also delivers excellent handling, acceleration and driving safety characteristics.
As with the Coupé, the design of the Murciélago Roadster is exclusive, aggressive and extreme. In creating the Roadster, the designer Luc Donckerwolke did not restrict himself to ‘cutting off’ the roof of the Coupé. He bestowed it with its own appearance, making the Murciélago Roadster a truly unique model. The exterior design is characterised by a true muscularity that interacts with aggressive lines, exploring the whole language of Lamborghini design and raising it to a new, higher level. The aggressive, exclusive and extreme themes are also reflected in the interior design, with streamlined headrests that perfectly integrate mobile air vents and ‘asymmetrical’ leather upholstery. This enhances the whole driver’s part of the cockpit. The front and lateral glass parts have been designed like a crash helmet visor, in order to integrate perfectly with the structure of the vehicle.
In order not to alter the aesthetics of the car, the electronically controlled safety roll bars are automatic, extending only when necessary. As a result, optimum vehicle aerodynamics are maintained. The newly conceived wheels are also in harmony with traditional Lamborghini design, with round holes that intersect the spokes. There is easy access to the bonnet, which is opened at the front as was the case with the legendary Miura. Finally, the exhausts are also new, with a more aggressive ‘section’ than the Coupe.
The Roadster differs from the Murciélago Coupé in certain important technical details. Various structural chassis components – in steel and carbon – have been redesigned to ensure adequate torsional stiffness, even though there is no roof. In particular, there is a special stiffening lattice on the engine compartment structure. As an optional feature, this lattice is also available in a visible carbon fibre version. Without altering the extreme features of the car, there is also the option of mounting a soft top roof (‘R-top’) which, as in the tradition of this kind of model, is only designed for temporary use (for example in the case of sudden rain) and at a recommended maximum speed of 160 km/h.
Despite the absence of the roof, structural modifications have ensured excellent levels of rigidity. This rigidity and the optimised suspension ensure that driveability and performance are definitely not inferior to those of the Coupé. Lap times for the two versions of the Murciélago at various handling circuits have proven to be more or less identical.
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Source: Lamborghini Press Release