2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster - Short Take Road Tests

2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster

Options are a mere $52,710.
Nabbing a Lamborghini for testing involves trying to chisel into a press-car calendar thick with celebrity-studded red-carpet parties hosted by the likes of Donatella Versace. It isn’t easy getting on the schedule. Lamborghini’s silk-suited brand managers are hyping a fantasy lifestyle, and we in the grubby Fourth Estate have nothing to offer against a Donatella photo op except burned-up clutches and chunked tires.
So when our single day finally arrived to snap into the Fritos-shaped buckets of a 632-hp Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 roadster—a car with $52,710 in options—it was tempting to dismiss it as just a cartoon commentary on the excesses of the filthy famous. Tempting, that is, until we arrived at the test track.
Introduced last year as a face-lifted Murciélago, the LP640 smoked 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and went wild whooping through the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds at 126 mph. It brought its 4100-pound girth to a halt from 70 mph in just 150 feet and pulled more than 1.00 g on the skidpad. Ferrari Enzos move only slightly quicker and sell for more than a million. The base $351,700 LP640 roadster has some engineering cred that true car people can appreciate, even if Donatella hasn't a clue.
As with the previous Murciélago, the LP640 roadster looks like an LP640 coupe that lost its roof panel to a passing tornado. Jagged edges and some unfinished lines are the result. The roadster's roof-toupee is a better description-is a flimsy canvas sheet with a few snap-in poles and fold-out ribs to hold its shape. Practiced hands take about five minutes to insert tabs A into slots B. A plaque warns against exceeding 100 mph with the roof on, something the roadster can accomplish in second gear. When not threatening to shear off, the roof stows-just barely-in the front cargo bin.
2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster
2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster - Engine
At 81.0 inches wide, this Italian muscle car feels like a chopped and channeled Hummer in traffic. The visibility from this carbon-fiber foxhole is limited, especially to the rear, and you'll want to keep the windows up to hold back the Katrina-like wind lash at speed. An alarm sounds if the rear-hinged engine hatch is not latched securely, lest it rip off on the freeway. Underneath the engine cover and a latticework of carbon-fiber braces that reinforce the roadster's structure lives the DOHC 48-valve 6.5-liter dry-sump V-12, the product of an extensive freshening of the previous 6.2-liter unit.
The 487 pound-feet of torque arrive more evenly, the revs are more linear, and the big Lambo is more everyday streetable than before, especially with the optional $10,000 e-gear paddle-shift six-speed transmission that blurs its shifts under light throttle. Under full throttle, the engine bellows the big roar and the shifts crack like home-run bats. The Lambo is happiest blasting in straight lines, the result of all those pounds and a wheel beset with understeer.
Only those happy to suck up the constant attention and public palaver that inevitably accrue to a Lamborghini driver should even consider one. You know who you are. You’ve got Donatella on speed dial.
2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster - Specs
VEHICLE TYPE: mid-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door roadster PRICE AS TESTED: $404,410 (base price: $351,700) ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injectionDisplacement: 396 cu in, 6496ccPower (SAE net): 632 bhp @ 8000 rpmTorque (SAE net): 487 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 104.9 inLength: 181.5 inWidth: 81.0 inHeight: 44.7 inCurb weight: 4100 lb C/D TEST RESULTS:Zero to 60 mph: 3.5 secZero to 100 mph: 8.1 secZero to 150 mph: 16.1 secStreet start, 5–60 mph: 4.1 secStanding ¼-mile: 11.8 sec @ 126 mphTop speed (drag ltd, mfr’s claim): 205 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 150 ftRoadholding, 200-ft-dia skidpad: 1.01 g FUEL ECONOMY:EPA city driving: 10 mpgC/D-observed: 14 mpg



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