Lamborghini is giving a huge hint towards an up-market 200mph four-wheel drive performance saloon with its bold Paris motor show star, the Estoque. And it could even be powered by a diesel.
Wrapped in a dramatically styled aluminium composite body, the Estoque is an Aston Martin Rapide-rivalling front-engined four-door that has been conceived to extend Lamborghini’s current two model line-up. The Italian car maker’s charismatic boss, Stephan Winkelmann, suggested the Estoque could double existing sales to almost 5000 per year and provide a huge boost in profits.
The Paris show car is powered by the Gallardo LP560/4’s highly--strung 5.2-litre V10, delivering 560bhp and 398lb ft of torque, mated to a six-speed robotised manual gearbox. Other engines are planned for the car, including a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that is under development at Lamborghini, which could form part of a petrol electric hybrid powertrain for the car.
But it’s the possibility of a diesel that’s most intriguing. Lamborghini sources hinted that an oil burner is under consideration for the Estoque, most likely to be a uniquely tuned version of Audi’s 4.2-litre V8 common-rail turbodiesel.
Described as “an extremely high performance TDI,” the use of this engine in this class of car would make the Estoque unique.
Although the Estoque is officially described as a styling concept, the high level of engineering that has gone into creating the car left few in Paris in any doubt about how serious Lamborghini is taking its latest project.
“It is fully feasible and fully functional,” said Maurizio Reggiani, director of R&D at Sant’Agata, adding “We could sell this car, or something very much like it, in each of our existing markets with very few changes.”
>> Watch our video on Lamborghini Estoque>> Read more on the Lamborghini Estoque Drawing on parent company Audi’s experience in building cars from aluminium, the Estoque is based around an extruded alloy spaceframe, which receives additional composite carbon fibre strengthening. Reggiani said the decision to base the car around an aluminium space frame stems from a desire to deliver the lightest car in class. “We wanted a car well under 2000kg.” He also said it is “incredibly rigid given its large dimensions” with numbers approaching those of the Gallardo.
It’s a big car: 5150mm long, 1990mm wide but it’s low, too, at just 1350mm high. Riding on a lengthy 3010mm wheelbase – almost the same as the long wheelbase Audi A8 - it follows in the spirit of the 1968 Lamborghini Espada by offering accommodation for four adults, the rear seats offering an unprecedented, by Lamborghini standards, level of leg room.
Unlike the low slung two-door Espada, however, the new Lamborghini has four door body that not only captures the edgy look and taut surfacing of the Gallardo and Murcielago, but also provides easy access to the plush interior and the sort of luggage space current Lamborghini owners can only dream about.