Lamborghini is not the first to enter the murky waters of the ‘greener' supercar. Ferrari got there first, in conception, with the Millechille. But proving one-up-manship is alive and well in northern Italy, Lamborghini is the first to put their money where their mouth is and produce an actual car, concept though it may be.
From a materials perspective, there's a great deal of innovation to be found, all of it purposed with reducing weight to a scarcely believable 999kg. A forged carbon fibre composite is used to form the tub into which the seat backs are integrated, braided carbon is used to build strength into the sills while the epic exhaust channels are formed from a glass-ceramic mix. Everywhere else you look, there's traditional pre-preg carbon fiber; even the wheels are formed from it.
The interior is radically minimal, building on (or is it stripping back?) themes first seen in the 2007 Toyota FT-HS. We were taken with the stunningly raw steering column mount and pedal box. From the perspective of color and trim, the abundance of satin-finished grey — inside and out — could lead to a rather muted overall impression, but the magenta/red used as a counterpoint is so beautifully judged that, in this aspect, the car is hard to fault.
What's not so difficult to take issue with is the overall surface treatment of the exterior, which came across as Reventon v1.2. There's no doubt this car exhibits some dramatic graphical elements, particularly around the rear where surface is removed to reveal the underlying structure. Yet while it lacks the relative subtlety of the earlier car, it's also left sorely wanting for unbridled drama — either proportion or surface — which would make for a truly groundbreaking new car.
Lamborghini design suggested to more than one member of the CDN team that we had been particularly unimaginative in our reading of this car, both conceptually and thematically. We're prepared to stand by our assertions, feeling that the opportunity to not only own new territory in the supercar market but to also push the brand back into owning extreme and extremely sensual design has been lost.
Judging by the reactions of the design community at large, we're not alone in thinking it's not us who are lacking in imagination.