Diesel power for all-new Lambo

6 Oct, 2008 6:24pm Sam Hardy

French debut for Estoque super saloon paves way for the firm’s first-ever oil-burner.

A new bull is charging in – and here are the pictures to prove it. This spectacular machine is Lamborghini’s ‘family’ supercar, the four-seater Estoque. It opens a new door for the Italian company – not least because it will be the first Lambo in history with a diesel engine!

Revealed at the Paris Motor Show, the four-door saloon will join the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide to form a trio of brand new super saloons. The Estoque takes its name from a type of sword used by bullfighters – although, far from killing the bull, this car will more than double Lambo’s sales by entering the brand into a new niche. And in addition to a V10 engine, the company is planning oil-burning and hybrid powerplants, too.

A modern interpretation of the firm’s original four-seater, the Espada, the Estoque draws on the Gallardo and Murciélago supercars. Its aluminium composite body is full of sharp angles and menacing geometric shapes. Inside, inspiration comes from the Reventón – Lamborghini’s special-edition Murciélago – with a fighter jet-style dashboard. In the back are two seats offering plenty of legroom and a 450-litre boot.

Underneath the skin lies an all-new aluminium and composite chassis, while up front is a 5.2-litre V10 from the Gallardo LP 560-4, which is mounted as far behind the front wheels and as low as possible. A rear differential gives 55:45 weight distribution.

The engine drives all four wheels through a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, but the motor hasn’t simply been transplanted unchanged from the Gallardo. Engineers have lengthened the intake manifold, and while peak power is down at around 500bhp, torque goes up to 560Nm.

Lamborghini hasn’t quoted any performance figures, yet a top speed of 200mph and a 0-60mph time of around five seconds is likely. In addition to the 5.2-litre V10, the firm is considering a wide variety of engines based on those within the VW Group, including a V8 petrol, a V8 TDI and a petrol-electric hybrid. “This car gives us the chance to explore new avenues,” Maurizio Reggiani, director of research and development, told Auto Express. “A diesel engine would not be right for the Gallardo or Murciélago, but the Estoque is the perfect platform.” The oil-burner is most likely to be a high-performance version of the 4.2-litre TDI used in the Audi A8. It would make the Estoque a unique proposition in its class, offering a combination of performance and economy unlike any previous Lambo. Likely to go on sale in 2012, the Estoque will carry a price tag in excess of £150,000.

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