The factory in Sant’Agata resembles the inside of Andy Warhol’s head. On the major production lines, of which there are now three since the arrival of the Urus SUV, and in the trim departments and in the solar-panel-shaded bays where completed Lamborghinis await a 30-mile shakedown, colour is everywhere.
Rose, lime, fuchsia, turquoise, blazing orange, bronze, all in matt and gloss finishes: the place has never been so riotously, wondrously vivid. Turns out Lamborghini’s numerous new customers in China and Japan don’t really do subtlety, and why should they?
Neither has the place ever been so busy. Lamborghini will build 8000 cars this year, of which the Urus should account for more than half. It gets its own paint shop on-site and a new contemporary-feeling assembly hall the far side of the hot and oily Squadra Corse motorsport workshops. In here, the process is more robotised than it is for the hand-assembled supercars. The SUV’s Porsche-sourced, visually monstrous twin-turbo V8 powertrain glides from station to station (takt time 35 minutes, compared with 75 minutes for the Aventador) on autonomous rigs that rise up hydraulically when the moment comes to unite body and chassis.
To meet demand, production is running 12 unbroken hours each day, though the quiet, focused ambience in the building tells you more than the numbers: they’re still a little bit up against it in here. Another detail that stands out is the workforce demographic, which in the case of the Urus is youthful. I’m told Lamborghini recruits interns from colleges in the region, with almost all going on to earn a full-time job that presumably commands considerable kudos down the trattoria.
Of course, it’s not hard to imagine these young people might want to one day work on the historic lines that gave us the Miura. These fascinating, 200-metre catwalks are annexed to the main building. Here they slow-cook around 13 Huracáns and only four or five Aventadors daily, along with the occasional Huracán GT3 and Super Trofeo racer. Like the Urus hall, there’s plenty of natural light in here, but the ceilings are lower, the pace slower and the atmosphere quite a bit more intimate. After all, they’re creating among the most flamboyant toys imaginable, for some of the most demanding people imaginable.