The Zagato Raptor was yet another Lamborghini powered supercar, redesigned by the
renowned Zagato Styling Center in Italy, it was basically Zagato's partner, Alain Wicki in
association with Automobili Lamborghini SpA, who decided to create the stunning Raptor.
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With it's special construction for entering the car, the entire front windshield and most
of the roof part and the side 'doors' tilted upwards to allow easy access to the
futuristic two-seat alcantara interior, the car attracted a lot of attention
during it's introduction to the public on the 1996 Geneva Auto show.
Zagato used it's then brand new CAD/CAM equipment to develop this stunning prototype in less than
four months, without ever building a traditional scale model. The chassis was a tubular box-section
unit mounted underneath a stylish, aggressive looking bodywork, completed by a very exciting
interior layout. The final exterior styling was created in close partnership between
Andrea Zagato, Alain Wicki and Zagato's chief designer Nori Harada.
Alain Wicki intended to produce the Raptor in a limited production run of 50 units, and it
could sell rather well according to the response at the Geneve Auto Show, rumours state three
Raptor's where already sold when the Auto show in Geneva closed it's doors.
A very niece feature of the Raptor was the ability to convert the coupe in a roadster
or in a single-seater race car just by replacing the 'double-bubble' roof, which is a Zagato
trademark, by either a two-seater barchetta cover or a special light-weight unit covering the
passenger seat to create a mono-posto kind of race car.
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Naturally this car was basically a two-seater only, build on a tubular steel chassis with
a Carbon Fibre bodywork, and used a Diablo VT engine and drivetrain to offer full four wheel
drive, this already powerfull V-12 engine
was pushed to 620 Bhp on the Raptor by installing a Z-Engineering compressor on it, this
compressor was to become an option on the final production car.
Since the Raptor, with the closed roof installed, still was about 300 Kg lighter than a standard
Diablo VT, it could quickly outrun just about anything on the road at that time, while the
interior was very Spartan it still had airconditioning as standard.
But power has to be able to stop too, so the Brembo brake system was replaced by Alcon calipers
on massive disc brakes covered by large 18 inch diameter magnesium wheels. The ABS and
traction control systems from the Diablo
weren't used anymore, so the Raptor became quite an athlete, a true car for the very few among
us who can tame a wild bull like this. Alain Wicki, a former race car driver himself was
convinced a system without ABS could slow down a race car much faster than one using an
electronic ABS system, a statement which is very true ... if you know what you are doing.
Pricing was never set, but you could surely count on a price higher than a 'normal'
Diablo price sticker, unfortunately the Raptor never made it into actual production.
The Raptor was shipped to Automobili Lamborghi SpA after the Geneva Auto Show and several tests
were performed with it showing the extremely good driveability of the Raptor
and handling which was surely up to the normal high Lamborghini standards
but several reasons were given
as to why Automobili Lamborghini didn't want Zagato to actually build the Raptor after all.
The major reason it should have been built was given by Mr Wicki himself, it would be a great
car to bridge the gap between the Diablo and it's successor, the Canto. But Automobili Lamborghini
didn't like the idea of the Canto which was also being designed by Zagato at that time to look
like a redesigned Raptor so they decided to give the Diablo one final redesign before the Canto
would take over.
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Later Zagato was dropped as the Canto designer and Bertone was called in to design the successor
to the very popular Diablo so actually the Raptor could have been built after all, Alain Wicki
even tried to produce the Raptor himself, with help of Zagato naturally, but he also decided
to keep the fascinating Raptor a unique prototype after all.
Some time after the Geneva Auto Show the Raptor was displayed at Pebble Beach,
celebrating the Zagato name, after that it returned to the SZ Design centre in Italy, the actual
car was now owned by Alain Wicki and not by Zagato.
This exclusive 1996 Zagato/Lamborghini Raptor prototype was auctioned by Brooks Europe
during the March 2000 Geneva Auto Show.
Closing bid for this one-of-a-kind automobile reached 360,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) or
$216,371.88 USD, less than the current price of a new Diablo. A rather low price for this
very rare car but a great opportunity for the happy new owner, the car was shipped to the
United States were it is now located in a private collection.
Raptor specifications :
Wheelbase : 2650 mm
Length : 4380 mm
Width : 2020 mm
Height : 1095 mm
Weight : 1350 Kg
Engine type : DOHC V-12 mid mounted, four wheel drive
Displacement : 5700 cc
Max. power : 492 Bhp at 7000 rpm (620 Bhp with the compressor installed)
Max. Torque : 580 Nm (428Lbs Ft.) at 5200 rpm
Tires : P-Zero front 245/35ZR18 - rear 335/30ZR18
Top speed : over 330 Km/h.