Lamborghini has been manufacturing luxury supercars for over half a century now. The company was founded in Italy in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was the son of a grape farmer. Lamborghini has its headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, which is a small town in Italy that's become famous because of car manufacturing. The company breakthrough in the automobile industry came in 1966 when they launched the Muira sports coupe, which set the standards for a high-end performance car in that era. The first 10 years were very successful for Lamborghini.
Trouble began with the 1973 world financial crisis, which affected big corporations and car manufacturers. During this turbulent period, Lamborghini's ownership changed 3 times, and the company was finally declared bankrupt in 1978. This was totally the opposite of what the founder Ferruccio Lamborghini had envisaged. The company was given a lifeline when American company Chrysler bought in 1987 but was again sold to a Malaysian corporation, Mycom Setdco. The Malaysian investment eventually sold the company to Volkswagen in 1998 and has been under the Audi division ever since. The car brand was also affected by the global financial meltdown in 2008, which saw a 50% drop in sales. The company has managed to stay afloat even after the challenging times it's been through. Here are some 17 interesting facts that will make you fall with the brand again.
17 The First Lamborghinis Were Tractors
Many people associate Lamborghini with the luxury supercar brand, but that hasn't always been the case. The first automobiles from Lamborghinis were tractors, and they're still being manufactured to this date.
Ferruccio Lamborghini came from a farming background even though he was mechanically inclined. It was only natural for him to come up with farming tractors as the first project.
He accumulated a lot of wealth before deciding to venture into supercars. He bought Ferraris to examine them despite the majority of them having a problem with the clutch. Popular folklore has it that Lamborghini offered Enzo clutch spares but that Enzo brushed him off as a ''silly tractor manufacturer." It didn't take even 4 months after that for the Lamborghini 350 GTV to be born. The rest, as they say, is history.
16 Tony Stark Is a Reincarnation of Ferruccio Lamborghini
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a brilliant engineer who could make machines from junk. As a farm boy, Ferruccio was more interested in the farm machinery more than the farming itself. During World War II, Lamborghini was enrolled in the Italian Royal Airforce, where he served as a mechanic.
He was captured by the British and isolated for almost a year at Rhodes Island. It was during this time that he started playing around with mechanics and even coming up with weaponry designs and concepts. Tony Stark is a fictional character who built nuclear reactors in a cave, but Ferruccio Lamborghini was able to build weapons while in detention. After the war, Lamborghini opened a garage where he started modifying cars for fun.
15 'Countach' Is a Swear Word
The Lamborghini Countach was in production from 1974 to 1990, and a total of 2,049 units were produced. The 'Countach' name sounded good for a Lamborghini, but not a lot of people knew it was a swear word. The word could infer "holy sh!t," especially when it's used in the context of a beautiful woman. The car was a beautiful piece of work with one of the best design languages at that time.
It was named the ''Third Best Sports Car of the '70s'' by American automotive magazine Sports Car International in a 2004 publication.
'Countach' would probably be your first reaction when you see this Lamborghini even up to today. The magic hasn't disappeared.
14 Italy and Dubai Police Use Lamborghinis
Lamborghini is a luxury sports car brand, and acquiring the badge doesn't come cheap. The use of Lamborghinis for police cars in Italy is understandable.
The company donated two Lamborghini Gallardos to the Italian police to be used for delivery of organ transplants.
It's not unusual to see the Lamborghinis patrolling the streets in Italy. Dubai, on the other hand, use the Lamborghini Aventador as police cars not to chase criminals but more as a tourist attraction. The oil-rich nation has spent billions on infrastructure and is currently the number one tourist hub in the Middle East. It's probably the only place on Earth where people are eager to take selfies with the police car in the background.
13 Aventador Insect Design
I've always had my suspicion with the Lamborghini Aventador design. The Aventador inspiration came from an insect and was confirmed by its Italian designer Filippo Perini. The car has been on the assembly line since 2011 and is one of Lamborghini's best-selling models.
There have been over 5,000 units of this 'insect' sold, and a lot of its success has to do with the exterior design of the vehicle.
A car enthusiast can find it hard to differentiate one model of Lamborghini from another, but the Aventador truly stands out because of its unique external design cues. Filippo Perini should come out and tell us the exact insect he drew inspiration from because the Aventador doesn't look like a beetle.
12 Winter Academy Driving School
Lamborghini has the best driving school ever. There's nothing as blissful as learning how to drive on the ice with a Lamborghini. I know a few people who would sell their kidneys just to enroll in the driving school. As a student, you get to enjoy and learn how to handle all of Lamborghini's latest fleets on ice. The academy isn't for everyone, though, because only a few spots are available at any given time of the year. The cars that are used for the lessons include 4 Lamborghini Huracans, 4 Aventadors, and 4 Huracan Performante. You also get to experience first-class meals and accommodation. This sounds like something that would excite the rich kids of Instagram.
11 Its Logo Came About Because of Ferruccio Lamborghini's Obsession With Astrology
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a nut when it came to astrology. He believed in the psyche of the galaxy. He was particularly obsessed with the Taurus star, which is represented by the bull.
The bull is the emblem of the Lamborghini brand. Lamborghini was also obsessed with bullfighting, and you find that most models are named after famous bulls.
The name 'Murcielago' means 'bat' and was a Navarra fighting bull. Every Lamborghini name has a meaning and, in most cases, will be tied to the name of a fighting bull. The astrological sign and bullfighting are the perfect combination for a supercar brand. It sounds like something you'd have thought of if you were starting your own car brand.
10 The Most Expensive Car Is a Lamborghini
The most expensive car in the world is the Lamborghini Veneno roadster, which was priced at $4.5 million when it was launched. Only nine copies were produced, and you're likely to pay more, as it's a collectible. What makes the Veneno roadster have such a hefty price tag?
The supercar has a 6.5-liter V12 engine that can produce up to 740 hp. It has a 7-speed ISR transmission, which is the same technology used in formula vehicles.
The car has a top speed of 221 mph and can manage 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds. There are faster Lamborghinis out there, but the fact that only nine Veneno roadsters were produced makes it a very rare vehicle, and people are willing to pay more than the original selling price to get them.
9 Floating Lamborghini Aventador
The Lamborghini Aventador can authoritatively be termed as the current face of the brand. If you own one, then Lamborghini gives you a chance to get the boat version, which will cost you in excess of $1.3 million. The racing element is still evident in the Aventador boat, as it has a top speed of 180 mph and produces 1,550 hp when it's using race fuel. The boat is actually faster than most cars on the road. You get a $25,000 infotainment system, which is more expensive than the base trim of the 2017 Golf GTI. Lamborghini developed the Aventador boat to compete with the Aston Martin. The yellow pairing with its road counterpart can cost you up to $2 million.
8 30k Race
Lamborghini designed the Super Trofeo, which was meant for people who could afford $30k per race. The company has perfected the craft of diversifying its income stream with the different programs they offer. The Super Trofeo is in its 10th season, which shows how successful the program has been. The race takes place in Asia, Europe, and North America and targets rich individuals who have 30k to burn for a race in the Lamborghini Huracan, which was a replacement for the Gallardo. Lamborghini could be seen as using the Super Trofeo as a marketing gimmick to attract rich people who aren't driving a Lamborghini to try it out on the track with the hope that they would buy one after paying the $30k racing fee.
7 V8 Engine Standard
There's no Lamborghini supercar that's been assembled with less than a V8 engine. Lamborghini wanted to make a statement in the supercar niche and made sure that even his first supercar adorned a V12 engine. The Lamborghini 350 GTV had to go through a lot of iterations because Ferruccio wasn't satisfied with the original work.
The company worked on the car as a prototype only for almost a decade, and it never went to mass production. The V12 engine could produce up to 342 hp at 8,000 rpm. Most of Lamborghini's supercars come with the V12 engine, with the exception of the Gallardo, which has a V10. This is the main reason why all Lamborghinis have very high speeds.
6 First Viper Engine
The Viper engine is synonymous with the Dodge, but it's actually Lamborghini that came up with the concept. This happened in the late '80s, when the company had been acquired by Chrysler. The first viper engine was tested on a Lamborghini, but it never went to production. The Viper engine history is one filled with intrigue, and not a lot of people know of Lamborghini's involvement in its existence.
The final design and prototype were still borrowed from Lamborghini's 8.0-liter V10 engine, which was produced for the RAM pickup. Lamborghini's involvement with the Dodge Viper engine has everything to do with the purchase of the company by Chrysler in 1987. Dodge Viper fans should pay homage to Lamborghini for taking part in one the greatest engines ever built.
5 Lamborghini Virtual Museum Tour
Not everyone can afford to visit the Museo Lamborghini in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, and that's why the company decided to create a virtual tour of the museum. You get unprecedented access to see some of the best works of automotive engineering. You get to see every vehicle ever built by the manufacturer without flying across the world.
The project was made possible by Google Street View, and not a lot of people are aware of it. The museum covers 1,500 square meters with 2 floors of Lamborghini's history.
There are rare editions as well as prototypes that you wouldn't see on the internet unless you know the exact name. The museum is open to everyone, and all you need is access to the internet.
4 Lamborghini-built SUVs
There was a time Lamborghini used to make sports utility vehicles. They were manufactured between 1986 to 1993, and the decision was deemed unusual for a brand that was used to producing luxury supercars. Lamborghini had built a prototype in 1977 named "Cheetah" but had to wait more than 10 years before mass production could begin.
The SUV was named "Rambo-Lambo" and came loaded with a full leather trim. There were a total of 328 units ever produced. The V12 engine was the same as the one that was used in the Lamborghini Countach.
In 1988, Lamborghini commissioned a team of engineers to work on the LMOO2 so as to participate in the Paris Dakar Rally. The suspensions were upgraded, and the power was spruced up to 600 hp.
3 The First Lamborghini Didn't Have an Engine
The first Lamborghini sports car to be built, as we've already mentioned, was the 350 GT, which was launched at the Turin Auto Show in 1963. Lamborghini was in a hurry to show the world the supercar prototype they were working on even before it was finished. The body looked good, but they had to place bricks under the hood in place of the engine. The hood was kept shut the entire period of the motor show. The Turin motor show might've discouraged the engineers from continuing with the project, and the prototype was kept in storage immediately without any further work going on. It wasn't until the '80s that one of the famous car dealers, Bernardoni Romano, convinced Lamborghini to sell him the 350GT.
2 Murcielago and Carbon Fiber
I bet you didn't know that the Lamborghini Murcielago was entirely made from carbon fiber, with the exception of the roof and the doors. The Murcielago was on the assembly line from 2001 to 2010, during which 4,099 units were built. Lamborghini wanted to keep the weight to a minimum low, and that's why they opted to use carbon fiber for the body.
The car came with a V12 engine that produced 572 hp and had a top speed of 210 mph.
It could go from 0 to 60 in 3. 8 seconds. There have been limited editions of the Murcielago, the most notable being the 40th edition, which was produced to celebrate the company's birthday. There's also the Versace edition, which came in a white body, and only 20 units were produced.
2017 was Lamborghini's best year ever in terms of sales ever since the company was founded. The company managed to sell 3,825 units worldwide, which is a big achievement for a company that only produces luxury cars. The company has had some tough times over the years, and such numbers show a glimpse into a promising future. The company has a total of 150 showrooms in 50 countries, and the United States is its biggest market, followed by Japan and the UK.
The CEO, Stefano Domenicali, has attributed the good sales as a result of diversity in the product offering. He also attributed the brand's digital presence as a contributor to its success in 2017. The introduction of the Aventador S and the Hurricane Performante also helped with the numbers.
Sources: thrilllist.com; wikipedia.org; streetdirectory.com