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

Photo by Gerald Farber Photography
The pebble beach Concours d’Elegance and the surrounding four days of automotive auctions (...
Photo by Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby’s has assembled a special sale of approximately 30 postwar sports cars dubbed the...
Ferrari 488 Spider front quarter panel view
The $275,000 open-air roadster can lower its top in 14 seconds and hit 62 mph in 3 seconds…
Photo by Basem Wasef
The new edition features a striking monochromatic color scheme and carbon fiber accents…
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…
Classic Ferraris and Porsches will be on display in all of their glory…
In addition to the Ferraris, rare cars from DuPont and Carrozzeria Touring will also be spotlighted…
The Porsche Cayman GTS is a serious sports car with a long, low profile...