Robb Report Car of the Year 2008: No. 9 Lamborghini LP640 Roadster

  • Photograph by Corderos Studios/www.corderostudios.com
    Photograph by Corderos Studios/www.corderostudios.com
  • Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
    Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
  • Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
    Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
  • Photograph by Corderos Studios/www.corderostudios.com
  • Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
  • Photograph by Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com
<< Back to Robb Report, February 2008
  • Gregory Anderson, Paul Dean and Marco R. della Cava

All Revved Up.
Lamborghini does not simply build high-powered exotic sports cars; it creates sensations, and after I climbed out of the LP640 Roadster, my first impulse was to bum a cigarette. This sexpot from Sant’Agata is an orgiastic combination of brute strength, deafening noise, and visual audaciousness. It may not possess the finesse of the Ferrari 599, and it may not maintain its composure as well as the Mercedes-Benz SLR does when nearing top speed, but not even a jack-o’-lantern orange exterior with mismatched reddish orange leather seat inserts could dull this car’s sex appeal. Forget logic and reason, Lamborghinis are bought on impulse. —Gregory Anderson

 

Anger Can Be Power
Lamborghinis often have been misunderstood, enduring criticism for concrete steering, excessive power, absence of traction controls, absolute lack of rear vision, impossible entry and exit, and edgy-angled star-cruiser styling that recalls a George Lucas prop. Crude the cars can be, with interiors as inviting as a barracks and three-piece, manually operated canvas tops that will blow off like cheap toupees when the cars reach 100 mph. But Lamborghinis do not bear a fighting bull emblem by accident; it symbolizes a personality devoid of passiveness, gentility, and couth. The LP640 snorts and paws the ground and is visibly irritable at idle. But when the Roadster is at speed, that anger becomes a manageable energy. Steering lightens, downforces come into play, and stability appears, because the beast is entering its element. And when the Lambo is at full and exhilarating thrash, no driver will really care if the top is 10 miles behind him, in the middle of the interstate. —Paul Dean

 

Flipping Fun
This Lambo is a creature from an earlier time, namely the Gordon Gekko ’80s, when greed was good and excess was great. The more (horsepower, looks, traffic tickets), the better. With the auto industry as a whole embracing homogenization, cars these days rarely stand out in a crowd. But the LP640 is a kick in the gut to sameness and to reason. It is a four-wheel fangul from Italy. —Marco R. della Cava

Lamborghini, www.lamborghini.com

LAYOUT
Mid-engine, all-wheel drive
ENGINE
6.5-liter V-12
TRANSMISSION
6-speed manual or sequential automatic
POWER
631 hp, 487 ft lbs
ZERO-TO-60
3.4 seconds
TOP SPEED
205 mph

BASE PRICE: $381,200
PRICE AS TESTED: $404,835
ROBB REPORT RATING: 68.4

From Around the Web...
The limited-edition rocket rolls out with 215 hp harnessed by top-tier electronics…
We take a spin in the new manual V-12 to find out if it is the answer to driving purists’ prayers…
The new brand’s first bike will roll out at the New York City Motorcycle Show on December 9…
All proceeds from the sale of the 949 hp one-off will go the country’s recovery efforts…
Fashioned after the Palace of Versailles, the classic car epitomizes custom coachbuilding…
The 4-cylinder boxer power plant provides the mid-engine roadster with plenty of muscle…
Photo by Petrolicious
Though not street legal in the U.S., this Porsche proved quite popular…
Photo by Petrolicious
The Ferrari 312PB won all of the World Sportscar Championship races it entered in 1972…
Photo by Petrolicious
Driver David Hobbs recalls why the racer set new standards despite a rough season in 1971…
Photo by Petrolicious
David Swig from RM Sotheby’s explains why the extremely rare example garnered top dollar at auction…