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

<< Back to Robb Report, February 2008

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

Legacy Classic Trucks is breathing new life into the Dodge Power Wagon and other old-school trucks…
Only seven of the themed Continental GT Speed models will be made, and owners get to ride in a jet...
Lufthansa allows first-class fliers to drive a Porsche 911 or Panamera while waiting for wheels up...
These hard chargers from the world’s premier automotive masters are fast, furious, and the future…
Photo by James Lipman
Bentley proves that luxurious amenities and raw speed make fine bedfellows…
Unconstrained by convention, today’s top builders produce motorcycles that set new benchmarks…
The Range Rover Sport SVR is the first in Land Rover’s new ultrapowerful lineup…
Robb Report Spain named the 2015 GTA Spano supercar to 2015's Best of the Best...
Though its power is electronically limited, the bike still puts its road-going competitors to shame…
Vintage formula 5000 cars will make their debut at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion...