It has been going around the Internet for a while now, but finally something tangible has been seen of what very well could be the next super car from Sant'Agata.
On a snowy test track spy photographers have been able to take images of a test car that clearly shows some special lines that could be interpreted as belonging to a new Lamborghini to succeed the by now aging Murciélago flagship.
It has even been given a name : the Jota, derived from that amazing and legendary Miura from the early Seventies and revived for a short period of time on the Diablo SE30 limited edition as a power upgrade, the Jota could now become a model on it's own.
Naturally no official details are available, it hasn't even been confirmed what this test car represents, but from the images we can see it has the massively wide rear wheels as seen on the Murciélago, so it probably isn't a Gallardo successor although it does use the exterior rear view mirrors from the V10 model at this time, but I'm sure these will be replaced by the time we see it being unveiled in Geneva or Paris in 2010.
We could also speculate that the current steel tube chassis will be replaced by an aluminum space frame clothed with carbon fiber panels to keep weight down, as usual the styling is camouflaged in these shots, but still we can expect styling cues from the Reventòn and Estoque, if we look closely at these shots we could discover those 'opening' shoulder air intakes remain on the successor.
Power could be from a newly developed V12 engine, direct fuel injection will probably raise power output above the 700 Bhp mark being delivered on a new all-wheel transmission that could be acquired from Sweden based Haldex. Remember the engine currently mounted in the Murciélago is still based on the original 3.5 Liter V12 used back in the Sixties on the classic 350GT, so it might be time to take a totally different approach this time.
But just take a close look at these spy shots ... from the front right up to the rear wheel it looks like a Gallardo, the same mirrors, the same door style, the same triangular small window in front of the door, look closely at the design of the door and the front fender and you can clearly see this isn't even an upward opening door, I doubt the Murciélago successor will not use these Lamborghini trademark doors ... but things change considerably around the rear wheel.
Notice that small triangular air exhaust just in front of that rear wheel ? it must be there for something, probably oil cooler like on the LP640 model, the Audi R8 style sides cover the shape of the air intake behind the door, and they even taped some 'TestaRossa' style fins on the door, but I'm sure these won't be there on the production model.
The shoulder mounted air intakes are similar in style to the Reventòn ones, also the engine cover looks like it has been 'borrowed' from the Reventòn two door, and just above that triangular air outlet on the sides there is a crease running upward away from the rear wheel to the front, this hasn't been seen on any Lamborghini yet.
Also the rear overhang is a lot bigger than on the Gallardo, this could be evidence of a big V12 engine mounted longitudinally like on the Murciélago, also note two flat but very wide exhaust outlets in the middle ... these actually look like the ones seen on the Estoque concept four door. A close look at the taillights could reveal Reventòn Y-style LEDs again being used, but that's easy, they've been used on all recent models so it's no surprise they will be featured on an all new flagship in 2012 too.
My best guess would be this is the front of a Gallardo body mounted on a modified Murciélago chassis with the rear of a Reventòn stuck to it because the V12 engine is too large to fit completely inside a Gallardo bodywork and the rear track would be too wide to get tucked underneath a regular Gallardo body shell ... so I really doubt this car could even resemble the styling we'll see on the Murciélago successor when it is shown to the public in 2012 ... all we can do is wait, but I'm sure it will be a stunning exotic that will put it's competitors in the shadow once again ... but the car in these shots is merely a hybrid Gallardo/Reventòn bodywork probably over a new style chassis/drive train/engine combination to allow testing and further development of the upcoming Murciélago successor in moderate secrecy.