The exotic car world was very different back in 2001. If you wanted an exotic car you had very limited options. The Ferrari 360 had revolutionized the exotic car marketplace in 1999 by offering a car that you could actually drive with great performance and usability. In 2001 Porsche brought out the 996 Turbo. It went 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and on to 189 miles per hour – world beating performance for the time. Lamborghini was just closing out the Diablo range and no one knew what was around the corner.
Named for a bull that was considered too brave to die, the Murcielago was released in 01 as a 2002 model. It was a re-definition of the word Supercar. It was gorgeous with some of the most aggressive lines the world had ever seen on a car. In Spanish the name means “Bat,” and it lived up to this translation with menacing opening rear air vents. The car was other-worldly but it was great to drive. Over the course of the next 9 years, Lamborghini produced 4,099 of the cars. Here is how the car evolved.
The Murcielago was released with a 6.2 liter V12 producing 580 hp. The car went 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and had a top speed of 205 mph.
In 2002 your options were very limited. You could pick your exterior color and interior color, opt for contrast stitching, order the centers of the seats done in alcantera, and that was pretty much it. The supply was extremely low with just 424 units being built for the world.
In 2003 the ordering was pretty much the same with the exception of a limited run of 40th Anniversary Edition cars. They were 50 of them built with the special paint scheme, a unique leather interior, and some extra carbon fiber elements, titanium colored wheels, and a different exhaust.
In 2004 alongside the release of the Gallardo, E-Gear was added as an option to the Murcielago. The rest of the car remained generally the same.
In 2005 there were a few enhancements and the range increased to include a Roadster. The seats were redesigned to give the driver more room, the brakes were improved drastically, and the wheels were changed to accommodate the larger disks and calipers. This wheel was called the Hercules design. Options such as a clear engine bonnet, carbon fiber interior, and navigation were added.
There were very few changes for 2006. The coupe and roadster were still offered. Carbon Ceramic Brakes became an option and the exhaust tips on the roadsters changed. If you opted for the carbon fiber bracing on the roadster, you also got bare carbon fiber on the underside of the decklid.
For 2007 the Murcielago was completely re-done and named the Murcielago LP640. This was the first official use of the LP nomenclature. L stands for Longitudinal and P stands for posteriore. The 640 stood for power in PS. The engine increased in size to 6.5 liters and produced 631 SAE hp. The cars could now go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and one customer got his car up to 219 mph. The LP640 was immediately available as a coupe or roadster. There was a limited run of 20 Versace Edition cars that came with custom door graphics, a custom leather interior, and a full luggage set.
In 2008 there were a few minor changes. The Kenwood Navigation system was updated and if you ordered the carbon fiber interior package with E-Gear, the paddles would be done in carbon fiber as well. In 2008 the warranties were increased from 2 years to 3 years, still with unlimited mileage.
In 2009 the options remained generally the same. Late in the model year a clear engine bonnet for the roadster and a factory backup camera were offered but these are both very rare options. Matte paint also became available in black, brown, blue, or white. The buttons for the windows changed and carbon ceramic brakes became standard equipment as well.
2010 was the last model year for the Murcielago. The run included 350 very special cars known as the LP670-4 Superveloce. It was a lightweight version of the car with extra power, more carbon, the option of a large rear wing. E-Gear was standard as were carbon fiber sport seats and a full alcantera interior. There were a few LP640 coupes and roadsters with 2010 VIN numbers but they were quite rare. Another special edition, limited to 50 cars, was released called the LP650-4 Roadster. They were all Grigio Telesto with orange accents.