Lamborghini is presenting the new version of the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster benefits from the same extensive modifications to the bodywork and mechanics as the LP640 Coupé, as well as delivering its own distinct character.
Even more aggressive design
In their re-interpretation of the Roadster, the designers of the Lamborghini Centro Stile have remained true to the original style principles of purism, sportiness and functionality. As with the Coupé it has now assumed a more aggressive appearance, a substantial influence being the new front and rear bumpers.
On the latter there is a new rear diffuser, in which the exhaust system is integrated within a tailpipe. The rear lights are also new, increasing the distinguishing features and making the Murciélago Roadster as unmistakable at night as in daylight.
The asymmetrical design of the sides is particularly striking. Whilst the area behind the air inlet on the right is almost closed, on the left there is a large opening for the ventilation of the oil cooler. This, in addition to the aerodynamic form of the front and rear, is an illustration of how functionality dictates the shape of a Lamborghini.
Changes to the rear-view mirror make the Murciélago Roadster more aerodynamic, with other features including new windscreen wipers and the option of new Hermera alloy wheels.
From its forerunner, the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster LP640 has inherited the characteristic asymmetrical interior arrangement. The whole interior is tailored to the driver and arranged in such a way that a true driver-focused experience is offered; a car which challenges yet at the same time is entirely geared to the driver. This is illustrated in the use of perforated leather for the chair cushions, the dashboard tunnel console and the door lining on the driver’s side.
The instrument panel has also been redesigned with different display graphics. This includes a new Kenwood car radio with a 6.5 inch widescreen monitor and reader for DVD, MP3 and WMA. The navigation system (standard equipment in Japan) is also available as an option.
Like its predecessor, the Murciélago LP640 Roadster can be customised through special equipment packages. The ‘ad personam’ individualisation program offers even more scope to create a personal, unmistakeably individual sports car.
More powerful engine
As with the Coupé the new 6.5 litre (6.496 cm3) 60-degree V-engine and 640 PS (471 kW) at 8,000 RPM is now used also in the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster. At 6,000 RPM the 12-cylinder engine reaches the maximum torque of 660 Nm. Naturally the Lamborghini Murciélago meets all the current valid European and North American emission standards.
The increased power naturally leads to increased road performance. The maximum speed now lies at 330 km/h compared to 320 km/h. The standard sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is now reached by the Murciélago LP640 Roadster in an excellent 3.4 seconds making it 0.4 seconds faster than its forerunner.
The engineers also focused their attention on optimising the torque band. The driveability of the engine thus benefits from the use of a continually variable timing system (intake and exhaust side) and engine management with Drive-by-Wire-System.
In order to meet the increased thermal requirements of the engine, the engineers built a larger oil cooler. On the exterior this is illustrated by a larger air inlet on the left wing of the vehicle. The liquid cooler on the other hand remains unchanged with the Lamborghini VASC System (variable geometry air inlet system). Additional electronically controlled air scoops open according to the outside temperature and cool air requirement. This guarantees maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
Gears and drive – more efficient and more resistant
Higher performance and torque naturally mean increased demand on the drive components. A six-gear transmission adapted to these requirements, plus a stronger rear differential and new half-axles, have therefore been deployed in the new Murciélago Roadster. An e-gear transmission with a newly tuned thrust mode (acceleration program) is also available as an option.
Like its forerunner, the new Murciélago Roadster LP640 has permanent four-wheel drive. This is based on Lamborghini’s proven VT-system (Viscous Traction), which is self-regulating without the aid of electronic controls. In standard cases the drive force is distributed between the front and rear axles at a ratio of 30 to 70. An independent control loop adjusts the distribution of the drive force depending on dynamic oscillation, weight distribution and the relative friction values in synchronisation with the Visco clutch. In extreme cases, up to 100 percent of the drive force can thus be applied to one axle.
Electronics – closed loop for total control
Innovations have also been made to the electronics. With a closed loop control system the revised electronic control units improve the road performance and the response characteristics of the engine. All engine and vehicle parameters are controlled and monitored through a combination of three ‘master’ and one ‘slave’ control units. These are two electronic control units of the Lamborghini LIE type: a Lamborghini GFA (Gestione Funzioni Ausiliarie, i.e. Auxiliary Function Control) control unit and a Lamborghini PMC (Power Motor Control, i.e. slave unit). These control units are interconnected by means of a CAN bus.
Although the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster LP640 is principally based on the Murciélago Coupé, it has further distinguishing features beyond its distinctive appearance. First and foremost, newly designed frame structure parts made of steel and carbon fibre guarantee an unswerving torsion resistance even without a roof. A special reinforcement structure in the engine area makes a major contribution to this aspect. This optically distinctive reinforcement can also be delivered in carbon fibre on request. Without impairing the extreme character of a typical roadster, a canvas roof (R.top) can be fitted which, true to the design tradition of this type of vehicle, is principally conceived for temporary use (for example in a sudden shower of rain) and for speeds of up to 160 km/h.
With its characteristic wing doors, the bodywork of the Murciélago LP640 Roadster is still made from an extremely high quality combined structure of sheet steel and carbon honeycomb. The combination of these materials is achieved by bonding and riveting.
The road performance, handling and stability at high speeds benefit from the use of new springs and stabilisers as well as the revising of the electronically controlled silencers. The anti-dive and anti-squat properties of the axles which effectively prevent brake diving and squatting, remain unchanged. The springs (two for each rear wheel and one for each front wheel) and silencers are coaxially aligned.
The new aluminium Hermera rims measure 8.5 x 18 inch at the front and 13 x 18 inch at the rear. The vehicle is equipped with mixed tyres of the type PIRELLI P Zero ‘ROSSO’: the Murciélago LP640 Roadster is driven at the front on tyres with the dimensions 245/35 ZR 18 and 335/30 ZR 18 at the rear. Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are available as an option: particularly appropriate for use on race tracks.
Brakes and safety
It goes without saying that a super sports car such as the new Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster goes hand-in-hand with a high level of safety.
Its hydraulic dual circuit braking system with LP-brake servo (unit) ensures impressive delay values under even the hardest strain. The internally ventilated brake disks measure 380 mm x 34 mm at the front and 355 mm x 32 mm at the rear. The closed loop of the four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) is enhanced, with electronic braking management (DRP) and traction control (TCS). The system consists of an electro-hydraulic control unit and four sensors for the wheel speeds.
When extremely high performance braking is required it is possible to equip the vehicle with carbon ceramic brakes measuring 380 mm x 36 mm with six-piston-brake callipers, which reduce pressure on the brake pedal and shorten the braking distance. Even under the toughest strain, there is almost no brake fading. Substantially reduced weight and greater durability are further advantages in addition to the carbon ceramic brakes’ attractive appearance.
The new Murciélago LP640 Roadster meets rigorous standards in terms of passive safety. With two front-seat air bags, a 60-litre airbag on the driver’s side and a 130-litre airbag on the passenger side, it meets all existing world-wide standards in the event of head-on and side crashes, impact against poles, occupant safety in the case of accident, fuel supply integrity and fuel combustibility. The luggage compartment also complies with childproof safety regulations. The Murciélago LP640 Roadster has automatically lowered roll bars; if the electronic control of this device detects a critical situation, the roll bars shoot out behind the seats within just a few milliseconds.