18 February 2005

No sooner than Ferrari has officially unveiled its F430 Spider comes its greatest Italian rival’s riposte – the Lamborghini Concept S. This is yet another sharp-edged surprise for next month’s Geneva show, and it also comes as confirmation that Sant’Agata has a Gallardo Roadster pencilled in to take on the new £120k Ferrari convertible this year.

Using the Gallardo as a basis, designer Luc Donckerwolke has gone to great lengths to distinguish the Concept S and to draw parallels with the marque’s classic single-seater racers. It has no conventional windscreen; instead two ‘saute-vent’ transparent scoops protect driver and passenger from the wind. A central spar, faired in at the nose, fed by an additional intake in the bumper, and bisecting the cabin, runs backwards to the engine bay, acting as an extra cooling duct for the V10 powerplant.

An electronically controlled, retractable central rear view mirror motors up from between the two screens. Bespoke front and rear spoilers and a larger rear diffuser also distinguish the Concept S.

Donckerwolke admits that his interpretation is an ‘extreme’ one, and the Gallardo Roadster can be expected to be slightly toned down. However, like the 350 GTS and Miura Roadster before it, the road-going open-top Gallardo should have its own unique styling, and a character distinguishing it from the increasingly familiar coupé.

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