Lamborghini is drawing up plans to extend its range with an upmarket four-seater GT car in the style of the classic Espada.
Lamborghini chief designer Luc Donkewolke is keen to see the company’s range extended from its two current supercar models, the Gallardo and Murciélago. Luckily, Lambo’s back catalogue includes two cars ideally suited to re-invention: the four-seat Espada GT and the upmarket LM002 off-roader. And with the Murciélago and Gallardo well-established, and a new V12 engine on the way, it seems to be the ideal time for the German-owned car maker to finally expand into new niches.
The experience of Bentley - also part of the extended VW Group family - shows that a prestige brand coupled with high-quality and reliable engineering can deliver a healthy profit.
There have been hints from Lambo’s HQ that it was considering new models (including the unexpected display of quarter-scale styling models), but these exclusive design studies seem to show that work is well underway on a re-born Espada.
Autocar understands that the drawings - by student designer Emily Sawamuru - were generated as part of a confidential Lamborghini-sponsored project carried out at the Art Centre in Pasadena, California, one of the world’s leading car-design colleges. It’s quite common for car makers to set student projects at an early stage in a proposed new-car programme. Indeed, Ferrari has publicly announced a ‘blue-sky’ project at three different car design colleges.
Described as a ‘luxury Gran Turismo four-seater’, the proposal revealed here is called the Lagartijo, after a famous Spanish bull fighter. In production form, the car is likely to be based around an Audi-supplied aluminium spaceframe chassis. The engineering package requires a long body, with the V12 engine mounted well back in the nose. The specification calls for a 6192cc V12 engine that generates 620bhp and 511lb ft.
According to further information gleaned from these leaked design studies, the launch date is as far away as 2009. We don’t expect the green light to be given until next year, but here’s hoping.