Lamborghini’s are one of the most sought after supercars on the planet. There is something very special about what that name means and whether you’re a small child or a grown man (or woman), the word ‘Lamborghini’ is synonymous with pure Italian design and raw, brutal performance. Combined with often bold colors and an engine note that can’t ever be mistaken for anything less than the most well-tuned bull.
This article explores some of the most amazing facts you may not have heard of about the ultimate supercar marque.
1) Most expensive Lamborghini in production is the SVJ
The most expensive Lamborghini that is currently in production is the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (also known as the LP770-4). There are only going to be 800 cars produced and each will cost a little shy of $520,000. Actually, no one is going to buy a new 770-4 for that price though as there will always be options that will be added and when this is done, the price is more likely to be closer to $600,000!
The Aventador SVJ isn’t the most expensive Lamborghini you can buy today though. That award goes to the Lamborghini Veneno, of which only 14 were made (9 spyders and 5 coupés). This 6.5 liter, V12 beast, capable of getting to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and reaching over 220 mph will set you back a cool $4.5 million! I’ll have two, please!
Some of you may be wondering about the Lamborghini Egoista – well, this is not a production car, otherwise it might be in this list!
2) The fastest Lamborghini is the Veneno and Reventon
There are a couple of ways we can categorize a Lamborghini as being the fastest of course. Firstly, there’s the top speed and next, there’s the 0-60 mph time, so let’s take a look at both.
There are many Lamborghinis that have a top speed in excess of 200 mph, in fact – all the production models in the last 15 years or so will do this. However, the car with the highest top speed is actually shared between the 2013 Lamborghini Veneno and the 2003 Lamborghini Reventón, both maxing out at a blistering 221 mph!
The model with the quickest 0-60 mph time though, perhaps surprisingly isn’t one of the above. That award is given to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, with an eye-watering 2.3 seconds! Just try and imagine that – it makes you wonder how much quicker these things can actually get.
3) Lamborghini didn’t always make cars
Lamborghini hasn’t always made high-performance supercars. In fact, did you know that they used to make tractors! Actually, if it wasn’t for these somewhat unusual beginnings Lamborghini would have never produced supercars at all.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was in the Air Force during the war and served within the mechanic corps. He used the skills he’d acquired during this time after the war was over and created a repair shop in Italy. Using contacts he’d developed over the previous years, he acquired surplus military units and converted these into tractors. The business boomed as tractors at this time were in huge demand.
In 1960, he expanded his business to air-conditioning units and oil boilers. He always had a passion for sports cars though and at the time, owned a Ferrari 250 GT. He wasn’t entirely happy with the clutch though and complained directly to Ferrari who told him the problem was not with the car but with the driver! From this point, he decided to make his own V12 engines and the rest, as they say…is history!
4) The names of the cars aren’t Italian
Those of you who are both familiar with the Lamborghini models and know a bit of Italian will be well aware that the names of the cars aren’t Italian but do have a lot to do with bulls – let’s take a look:
- Espada – the direct translation from Spanish is ‘sword’, and indeed is the sword used by the bullfighter or can be referred to the bullfighter literally.
- Miura – this is a breed of Spanish fighting bulls (Ferruccio visited Dom Eduardo Miura’s ranch in early 1962).
- Urraco – in Spanish this is slang for ‘little bull’.
- Countach – a move away from the Spanish bullfighting language here and its origins are up for some dispute but is generally considered to be an exclamation.
- Jalpa – a breed of Spanish fighting bull.
- Murciélago – translates to ‘bat’ in English from Spanish and refers to a bull that survived 28 strikes from a Matador’s sword.
- Reventón – translates to ‘blowout’ in English from Spanish and refers to a bull that killed a matador.
- Gallardo – translates to ‘gallant’ in English from Spanish and was also named after a breed of fighting bulls.
- Aventador – translates to ‘fan’ in English from Spanish and was named after a particularly successful bull.
- Veneno – translates to ‘poison’ in English from Spanish and was named after the most aggressive fighting bulls to be seen.
- Huracán – translates to Hurricane (rather predictably) from Spanish to English and was named after a Spanish fighting bull from the 19th Century that was known for its courage.
So, I think you can see from the past that Lamborghini shows no signs of altering their naming convention 🙂
5) The company is no longer independent
I’m not sure how I feel about this myself. In some ways, you like the old manufacturers to not change, to be the company they once were. Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bentley to name but a few. But then, if they weren’t bought out they may no longer be with us at all, which would you prefer? Or, sometimes the reverse can happen – take Aston Martin for instance.
They have changed hands several times over the last hundred years and were ever owned by Ford at one point. Now though, they are back in independent hands, owned by the one and only Andy Palmer himself.
Back to the point, Lamborghini is now owned by the Volkswagen group, who also owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, and Porsche – so they are in rather good hands I think. Also, arguably the more recent Lambo’s are more reliable than old as they can utilize Audi engines and electronics!
6) Lamborghini still make their cars by hand
Hard to believe in this day and age but yes, Lamborghini still hand-build their own cars. These days, more and more car manufacturers are leaning towards automation – but not Lamborghini. They pride themselves on their workmanship and for them, this would be a step backward! All the cars that are made in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, are made by individuals, many of which have spent years learning their trade.
For a mass manufacturer, such as Ford where millions of cars are produced each year that are identical to each other it would not make sense making them any other way. However, when you count production in the hundreds and out of those the majority have customer options that make each one slightly different from the next, then automation becomes difficult.
Another reason is customer expectation. I don’t know about you but if I spend a lot of money on a supercar, I’d rather it was built by skilled individuals rather than a robot. Surely it would just take some of the emotion out of the whole occasion, would it not? Anyway, for me – long may these supercar manufacturers continue to be made by hand!
7) You can make money with them
Believe it or not, it is possible. However, like many financial transactions you have to have a lot of money to make some. The vast majority of people will acquire their vehicle via finance, which makes it even more difficult than what it was originally. However, it can be done and this is how:
- Look for a low-mileage, limited option model that is over 10 years old and has a full-service history. At the moment, Gallardo’s are probably best avoided as a large number (relative to how many Lamborghini usually produce) were made. For example, a Murciélago which has less than 15,000 miles on it and has had all the right services at the right time.
- Buy the car using cash, not finance – it will cost you most likely in excess of $200,000. If you buy via finance you will have to be sure you can make more than the finance charges are going to cost you!
- Treat the car well and drive it, but not too excess. You’re not going to be able to enjoy the car that much as mileage will need to be limited to at the most ~2,000 miles a year.
- You are going to need to maintain it and get lucky, clutch replacements can cost ~$5,000 for example if it needs replacing.
- Keep the car for anything between 2 and 5 years.
Now, if you’re lucky and based on how previous examples have moved recently (like for instance the Countach) I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your $200k car is then worth in excess of $250k, or more! There will always be someone who has enough money to buy a possible future classic if it stands out enough from the others.
8): You WILL be self-conscious driving one
Whether you’re stuck in traffic, going to fill up with gas or going for a cheeky McDonalds, people will stare at your car and they will stare at whoever is driving it. It’s sometimes easy to forget this when you own one but Lamborghinis are very rare.
People, generally speaking, love Lambo’s and they will want to take photos, videos and generally just gawp. Whenever you fill up with gas and the forecourt is full, if it feels like you have 10 pairs of eyes on you, it’s probably because they are! If you’re not 100% comfortable with yourself then everything you do becomes difficult, you’re under pressure.
I once drove into a gas station (I have a Gallardo) and my gas-lid wouldn’t open when I clicked on the switch inside. I tried several times but no joy. Everyone wondered what the idiot was doing in the orange Gallardo in the gas station. I actually pretended to fiddle with something in the (ridiculously small) glovebox before driving off and parking around the corner where I tried to work out what was going on.
Of course, if you’re extroverted then you’ll love all the attention it gives you 🙂
9) Everything takes longer when you have a Lambo
Following on from the last fact, everyone will want to talk to you when they see you get out of the car! Personally, I think this is awesome. This usually happens to me after I’ve parked the car somewhere and I’m returning to it. There will be someone just looking at it, someone taking a photo of it or more commonly families with children who are extremely excited about it. I remember when I was a kid a Lamborghini Countach pulled up next to me and asked me directions to somewhere.
I could hardly talk I was so excited about it all! Bizarre I know but to a little boy with posters of a Red Countach on their wall, this was a big deal for me!
Usually, I’m more than happy to have a chat about it and it’s funny how many times you hear the same questions such as, “How fast does it go?”, “What kind of mpg do you get?” and “How much did it cost you?” etc. If kids are involved then I’ll make a bit more effort and will always let them have a sit in the car so their mum or dad can take a photo or two – it’s all part of the experience and a part I really love 🙂
10) They don’t compete in Formula 1
Well, this is mostly true. Lamborghini has supplied a Formula 1 engine, back in 1992 and it competed in 89-91 (although in partnership with Lola, Lotus, and Ligier). However, apart from this they really haven’t been involved and it does make you wonder why when we see the red Ferrari’s every year.
The VW group have previously shown no interest in Formula 1 but there was some speculation that they might make a showing again but it doesn’t look like it will happen in the short term. Stefano Domenicali, the Lambo chief has ruled out joining F1 until at least 2022. He has even said that Lamborghini’s priorities, at least in the short term just don’t align with an F1 switch.
11) The police use them in Dubai
It has long been known that in Dubai the police have some very special cars at their disposal. One of these is the Lamborghini Aventador and what a car to have. I mean, you’re hardly likely to outrun it, right? In fact, arguably it might be pretty cool to be pulled over by one of these!
12) A choice of engines – Lamborghini V10 or V12?
Most people associate the powertrain on the Lamborghini with the V12 and this is broadly accurate. However, the ‘entry-level’ models are fitted with a V10. It’s a little odd calling a Lambo an entry-level model but the ‘baby’ version always has the V10 and the normal doors, not the V12 and the scissor doors! This was the case with the Gallardo and then its replacement, the Huracán.
Look at the Diablo, the Murciélago and now the Aventador – all have the scissor doors and the V12. These are only included in their ‘premium’ range so whatever replaces the Aventador will also have these…or will they? I’m pretty confident it’ll have the scissor doors but the V12? Unfortunately, I feel the days of the V12 may be almost over as more manufacturers head towards hybrid. My personal opinion is that there will be one more model after the Aventador that will be tied to this powertrain, but after that…who knows?
13) They made an SUV before they were cool
Most of us are aware that Lamborghini has now entered the competitive SUV market with their somewhat impressive Urus but did you know they’ve been in this market before?
Infact, they had a few:
- Lamborghini Cheetah – this was actually a prototype off-road vehicle developed by Lamborghini in 1970. It was powered by the Chrysler 5.9 liter V8 but was never developed due to numerous problems.
- Lamborghini LM001 – another prototype and was revealed in 1981 next to the Jalpa. However, the LM001 had some serious handling issues under acceleration and was eventually canceled.
- Lamborghini LM002 – produced been 1986 and 1993, 328 units were produced and the model is now an extremely sought after vehicle. Powered by the same V12 that was found in the Countach (although a 7.2-liter version could be purchased if that wasn’t enough power for you). It came with special Pirelli tires with an ahead-of-its-time run-flat design that was made just for the LM002. It also came with a massive 45 gallon (169 liters) fuel tank. If you want to get your hands on one these days, it will cost you at least $300,000!
Then, from 1993 to 2018 – nothing, until the incredible Urus came along.
14) You might be able to afford one
A lot of people write off the Lamborghini immediately as they assume there’s no way they can afford one. Well, they may be right, or perhaps not? In the last few years it has become slightly easier to get into one of these cars and as long as you can afford the monthly payments, insurance and running costs then you may be surprised. Probably the first one I’d suggest you look at is the Gallardo and if you’re on a budget, check out the first generation model (2003-2008, pre LP).
For a rough estimate of the price, a 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo with about 25,000 miles will cost you about $80k. Insurance varies dramatically, of course, depending primarily on your age and background. However, on average you should budget for around $1,500 a year. For servicing, you should budget $1,500 a year but ideally have some in reserve for some surprises (tires, etc.).
Finance costs vary depending on a lot of factors such as:
- Initial value of the car
- loan rate
- length of loan and final balloon payment
For me, my Gallardo cost about $150k. I put about $50k down as a deposit and my monthly payments are just over $1,000 a month for four years. There is then a final balloon payment of about $75,000 after this time. I imagine I will have either sold it by that point and re-financed to buy another or got out of the market, depending on my situation at that time!
Anyway, check out my article here to see if you can afford a Lambo!
15) The older V10’s sound better than the newer ones!
Now I’m not saying that the new V10’s on the Gallardo (for instance) sound bad, as they most certainly do not! However, they have a different engine note to the earlier pre-LP version. This has something to do with the firing pattern in the engine. In the Gen 1 V10, the firing order was even, compared to the odd-firing order in the LP’s. There were other changes to the engine but it is believed that it is this that causes the difference in the sound.
This is more noticeable at higher revs. The older odd-firing engine can scream like an F1 engine and it has an engine note that the more recent even-fired engines do not.