Saturday, July 25, 2009

LAMBORGHINI Murcielago LP640 Roadster 2007

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First Drive:
2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster
Goods to match the glam
March 01, 2007. (By Matt Stone)

You don't start this 640-horsepower V-12. You ignite it. The result is an eruption of mechanical and exhaust noises that'll peg your car lust-o-meter like it may not have been pegged in a while. And now, your ears will enjoy the aural assault that much more, as the LP640 (the updated, upgraded, and uprated version of the flagship Murcilago) is at last available in roadster form. Pity the poor Kenwood audio system. It won't get much use, because the tunes you'll want to hear come from just over your right shoulder.

The LP640 Roadster combines the LP640 coupe's technical and design updates with the al fresco style of the previous Murcilago Roadster. The angular body basics are the same, but the front and rear ends get a nip/tuck; that front spoiler could be dangerous to one's shins. The rockers also are bladelike, and the side scoops are asymmetrical. The driver-side intake houses an oil cooler, while the opposite one is shaped differently and is vestigial. Wheel and taillight designs are new, as are the slats over the engine and a host of other details. Lambo's design studio has freshened up the cabin, interior materials, and electronics.

Although architecturally the same as the previous Murcilago's V-12, this engine's displacement gets punched from 6.2 to 6.5 liters. Horsepower is now 631 and torque increases to 487 pound-feet. Take your choice between a conventional six-speed manual and Lamborghini's eGear autoclutch transmission. All-wheel drive remains standard.

Given the engine's size and cylinder count, it's no surprise there's torque all over the tach. It really wakes up at about 4500 rpm with a reedy intake howl and a Howitzer-style blast out of a single exhaust pipe that would make most "Fast and Furious" types jealous beyond words. Gunning this barrel-chested V-12 to 8000 rpm and pulling the upshift paddle at full throttle is an automotive joy to be relished. The eGear trans is better mannered than most, shifting gently with no bucking at part throttle; banging out hard, race-car-style shifts in sport mode and orchestrating symphonic, rev-matched downshifts. This mechanical soundtrack will have you finding excuses to drive the LP640 through long tunnels.