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The successor to the Diablo, and the first new model released under the control of the Volkswagen Group, was the Murciélago, and it heralded a triumphant return to good times for the fabled company. Following years of declining sales, the new ownership helped breathe life into the struggling manufacturer, and the Murciélago was an instant success. It combined all the panache and excitement one would expect from a Lamborghini with the refinement and reliability one would expect from a modern vehicle.
This specific example, one of the earliest Murciélagos built by Lamborghini, was internally designated “Pre Series 6” and was retained by Lamborghini and used by them for testing and early promotion of the model. Most notably, it was taken to the Nardò Ring in February 2002 to gauge the car’s overall performance on the 12.5-kilometre banked circuit. There, Lamborghini set production car world speed records for one hour, 100 kilometres, and 100 miles, all from a standing start!
For the one-hour record, the Murciélago covered an incredible 305.041 kilometres, which included one pit-stop to refuel. One hundred kilometres was covered in just 18 minutes and 44.9 seconds, with an average speed of 320.023 km/h. Finally, the Murciélago covered 100 miles in 30 minutes and 9 seconds, with an average speed of 320.254 km/h. Adding to the car’s incredible achievement is that these records were set in far from ideal conditions, as high winds blew across the track throughout the testing period.
Following its record runs at Nardò, the car returned to Sant’Agata Bolognese and continued to be used as a prototype, where it was always serviced and maintained by the factory. The car was then sold to an Italian-based collector in 2002. During his ownership, the car was driven frequently, and as such, its odometer now shows over 117,500 kilometres from new. Additionally, it is important to note that the car retains its books, including the service manual which confirms its early service history by the Lamborghini factory.
The Murciélago’s success at Nardò clearly helped establish the car’s reputation in the automotive world as not only an excellent replacement for the Diablo but also a truly capable car in its own right. As this very car set three individual speed records, it holds an important place in the model’s history, and as such, it demands serious consideration by Lamborghini collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.
Pre-production car used for testing and development
Set three world speed records at the Nardò Ring in February 2002
Perhaps the most significant first-generation Murciélago