Let’s assume that your latest CD just went platinum, or you’ve just signed a big NBA contract or that dear Uncle Albert passed away and left his favorite nephew 5 million bucks. And let’s assume that you love exotic cars — road-bound high-speed sculptures that are nearly as exciting to swoon over as they are to pilot.
For the latter indulgence, you can’t beat the Italians. And it would be hard to top the 2009 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640, the quintessential Italian exotic supercar. In production for nearly a decade, the Murciélago hasn’t changed much in terms of looks, but it received a longer name in ’07 when “LP640” was added. The added moniker indicated not only that the engine position was “longitudinale posteriore” (longitudinal and rear) which it had always been, but that its output was increased to 640 horsepower. Actually, it’s 632 hp, if you want to be a stickler for such things.
Those stampeding horses can slingshot the all-wheel-drive Lambo to 60 mph in fewer than 3.4 seconds, according to factory claims. Top speed is a claimed 211 mph. If that’s not extreme enough, maybe you should look at the 1,001-hp Bugatti Veyron, but your accountant would likely remind you that you could have four Murciélagos for the price of one Bug.
There are two versions of the 2009 Lamborghini Murciélago (pronounced “moor-see-EH-lah-go”) available: the standard coupe and the convertible roadster. The roadster is actually more of a targa, as it has a cloth-covered roof panel that sits atop the cockpit like a giant toupee and takes several minutes and a degree in mechanical engineering to erect. The company recommends its use only at speeds under 100 mph for fear that it could fly off the car (much like an errant toupee) at faster velocities.
Going topless will cost you an extra $33,000, which likely won’t faze buyers much, given that the base coupe starts north of $300K. And then there are the options, should a “base” Murciélago not be enough. Get crazy with the order form and it’s possible to spend upwards of 60 grand on extras alone.
Of course, cost is not going to be an object for those considering this Lambo. For some, it’s a da Vinci painting, for others, a Stradivarius violin. Those who like their Italian art to “move” them even more should find the Murciélago LP640 simply “fantastico.”
The 2009 Murciélago LP640 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 that produces 632 hp and 660 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, as are front, center and rear limited-slip differentials. A six-speed manual transmission with a gated metal shifter is standard, while the paddle-shifted “e-gear” automated-clutch manual is optional.
According to the company, the Murciélago accelerates up to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a spine-bending 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 211 mph. Fuel mileage with the manual transmission is 8 mpg city/13 mpg highway and 10 mpg combined — not that you’d really care, but it’s nice to know, should someone ask.
The 2009 Lamborghini Murciélago comes with AWD, traction control and massive ventilated antilock brakes with six-piston brake calipers. The roadster also comes with automatically deploying rollover bars. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional on both body styles, but neither side airbags nor stability control is available.
With a width only a Hummer H1 owner could love, the 2009 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 can be difficult to maneuver around town and in parking lots. But really, who actually cares about a Lambo’s practicality? Thanks to the 632 hp and AWD, full-throttle acceleration is otherworldly, with a soundtrack to match.
Around corners, the Murciélago hardly feels like a precision instrument because of its girth, but it’s capable nonetheless, with a flat cornering attitude. It should be noted, however, that the limits for this car are fairly high and not for the inexperienced to explore. Push it hard in the corners, and the Murciélago will grip and grip and grip some more — but once you finally reach the limits of adhesion and the car slides, it’s nearly impossible to recover.
With its trademark scissor doors, it’s hard to confuse the exterior of the 2009 Murciélago with anything other than perhaps another Lamborghini, the Gallardo. However, parent company Audi’s influence is obvious inside the LP640, with plenty of properly fitting leather and soft-touch materials. Unlike with the Gallardo, however, the stereo and climate controls are not borrowed from Audi, and look a little strange and out of place as a result.
The roomy cockpit features comfortable seating that, unlike that of past Lambos, won’t leave you looking for painkillers after a day’s drive. Though not as flamboyant as the exterior, the interior styling is still befitting a vehicle that commands such a high price of admission. The roadster’s convertible roof is more aptly described as a toupee perched atop the cockpit. The top is also difficult to put on, and due to its tenuous nature, Lamborghini warns that it not be used above 100 mph — which can be achieved in 2nd gear.
The 2009 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 is an exotic supercar that comes in two-seat coupe and convertible roadster body styles. The roadster comes with a soft-cloth targa-style roof. Standard features include 18-inch wheels with 245/35ZR18 performance tires in front and 335/30ZR18s in back, an adjustable suspension that can raise the front to prevent curb or parking-block scraping, xenon headlights, a tilt/telescoping steering column, leather upholstery and interior trim, automatic climate control and a CD/DVD/MP3 stereo.
Optional upgrades are extensive and expensive. They include carbon ceramic brakes, a Kenwood touchscreen navigation system, carbon-fiber or titanium trim packages and a glass engine cover. Should you want to give the car your own look, Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program allows innumerable ways to customize the interior and exterior via unique colors and accent materials.