In early 2001 statements were published claiming the new Lamborghini model would be presented during June 2001, more specifically on June 24th during a special event organized by Automobili Lamborghini SpA in Sant’Agata, which would only be accepting club members holding an official invitation.
But in March a new timetable was published, the car would not be shown in June, but rather during September, either during the opening of the new, expanded headquarters or during the first day of the Turin Auto Show, a day reserved for members of the press only, after that visitors of the Auto Show would be the first to get a look at this long awaited new Lamborghini model.
Main reasons for this delay were the strict quality controls of the materials used in the new Lamborghini model, apparently some suppliers didn’t deliver their components at the required quality level, new parts needed to be ordered and delivered, which naturally delays the final introduction.
Several drawings and rumors have been circulating for some time already, but some of the facts for the new Lamborghini are finally available.
The design of the ‘Canto’, a name which has been rejected lately, was first offered to Zagato, later their Canto design was rejected by Audi AG and a new agreement was signed with Stile Bertone, unfortunately the complex relationship between Audi AG, Automobili Lamborghini SpA and Bertone caused some major problems and delays during the design process, therefore Bertone was also rejected by Audi AG and the design was done in-house, by a designer located in Ingolstadt under the direction of Audi AG themselves. This Belgian designer, Luc Donckerwolcke will be responsible for the latest Lamborghini model, his original design was very well accepted by both the Audi AG top and the people in Sant’Agata.
His innovative idea for the new Lamborghini model was so well accepted in Italy that Automobili Lamborghini SpA even offered him a new job at the Lamborghini Design Studio’s, but Audi AG didn’t allow their star designer to move to Italy at this moment, maybe later …
The new L147 model would actually still use the trusted V12 6-Liter engine, but now with a six speed gearbox, also the structure of the latest Diablo model will be used for this new model, although many improvements both in performance and quality will be introduced, a preview of what Audi AG has already done in Sant’Agata could be seen in the latest Diablo SE model.
Also note that the factory in Sant’Agata is being expanded at this time, therefore no visitors will be allowed on the factory grounds until the presentation of the new model.
A total of 1,400 square meters of surface will be added, not only a museum will be built on the ground floor but also the research and development departments will be enlarged while a totally new section that will accommodate a restoration facility for classic Lamborghini models and an extensive after sales department.
Another major news is the fact that during the 40th Anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini SpA in 2003, an all-new L140 Lamborghini entry-model will be presented, this totally new car will be a smaller car only in size. The performance will be at the high Lamborghini level with a newly designed V10 engine which is being developed by both Lamborghini and Audi, the latter having a close relationship with Cosworth, a well respected and known engine builder.
This specific Lamborghini model will deliver over 400 Bhp, which will place it in direct competition with the current Ferrari 360 Modena and it’s possible replacement, the new L140 will be built in much higher numbers than the L147, production plans are in the 1500 to 2000 units region, while the L147 will only reach about 500 cars each year, at a higher price naturally.
At this moment no other models are being considered or developed according to Giuseppe Greco, managing director of Automobili Lamborghini SpA, a possible successor for the Espada or LM002 are not in the pipeline right now, but these, and some new concepts will be considered, but from now until 2004 only the L140 and 147 will reach production.