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  Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:2003
Numbers built:at least seven
Introduced at:2003 Frankfurt Motor Show
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 18, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionA lot has changed since the Audi take over of Lamborghini in 1998. One of the more surprising moves was the introduction of a racing car at the 2003 Frankfurt Motorshow. In its forty year history Lamborghini has only rarely been tempted to enter motorsport, often with little to no success. Although the cars were intended for privateers, support from the factory would be included in the package. To make sure it was not another failure development was joint operation of Audi Sport and Reiter Engineering.

Dubbed the Murciélago R-GT, the racing Lamborghini was quite different from its road car equivalent. To comply with the former GTS, now GT1 class rules the drive to the front wheels was completely removed, making it the first rear wheel drive Murciélago. This did leave the awkward position of the gearbox, which is in front of the engine. The engine displacement was decreased to just under six litres, and actually has similar bore and stroke as the Diablo engine. Further enhancements include the installation of a rather big wing, and other aerodynamic aids.

Since its introduction, at least seven examples have been constructed, which have seen action in Europe, North America and Asia. Unfortunately a DNF (Did Not Finish) was the usual result for the race prepped Lamborghini. It was not until the 2005 Monza 1000 km race that we realized the real potential of the car. Against a strong field consisting mainly of the Le Mans winning Prodrive Ferraris, the Peter Kox and Norman Simon driven Murciélago was in the lead with less than an hour to go. Sadly on its final run down the long straight an oil fire was clearly visible, prematurely ending the race for the 'Raging Bull.'

The Monza race showed that the car has a lot of potential, but also still needs more development. It does look like Lamborghini is not as committed as announced at the car's launch. The Italian manufacturer should either stick to building road cars, or get their act together; the many half baked attempts of the past have not done the manufacturer much good.

Pictured are the two examples entered by the Japanese Lamborghini Owners Club in the 2005 Monza 1000 km. Driven by Kox and Simon, the number 64 car was close to the class victory.

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  Article Image gallery (62) Specifications User Comments (5)