The most dramatic Lamborghini since the Espada four-seater from the late 1960s and the first four-door from Sant’ Agata since the outrageous LP002 Hummer-inspirer debuted at the Paris Motor Show and quite clearly walked away as THE show stopper.
Let’s get some sanity into this crazy (for Lamborghini) yet exciting saloon which Lamborghini officially says is only a concept (yet!) but nobody is quite believing that given the high level of engineering already built into the machine displayed in Paris. But then that is Lamborghini and in a world where the movers and shakers want to travel in style with grandeur and luxury at their beck and call, Lamborghini is adding pace to these attributes as well. All Lamborghinis to date have been named after prized fighter bulls from Spain and Italy but this time Lamborghini pulled something else out of the bull ring lexicon to name this gorgeous four-door – the Estoque.
In a world where conspicuous consumption in these troubled days is being pretty well watered down for something more sober and not in your face, Lamborghini wants to take a route which is directly contrarian to that. However being part of the massive VW Group and directly controlled by Audi, there is enough in there to make it mighty relevant for those fat cats wanting to be teleported at seriously high speeds. Lamborghini does things in style but then that has always been its mantra to shock and awe and it was no different at Paris as well. And one style attribute which Lamborghini has made into a near habit in recent times has been its boss man Stephan Winkelmann always being escorted by some of the most gorgeous models to pull the wraps off any new Lambo.
The Estoque is built around an extruded aluminium spaceframe chassis and this is something which its parent Audi has tremendous experience of. Throw in light but super strong carbon fibre bits at critical areas and Lamborghini claims a structure that is stiffer than any other supercar out there.
The Estoque in Paris came equipped with the 560bhp 5.2-litre V10 taken straight out of the Gallardo and planted up front. The engine is mated to a new seven-speed DSG gearbox and this transmits power to all four wheels. The car’s slinky lines denote it to be a 320km/h stunner but Lamborghini officials informed that the Estoque could hit a 275km/h top speed – just the right speed for a four-seater with the raging bull on its nose. Relevance to the situation is what many wondered aloud on first look at the Estoque but Lamborghini has suggested that a diverse range of powerplants are being considered including hybrids and an oil burner!
The Estoque has tremendous presence, from its razor-sharp killer looks to the massive overall length and that mighty 3010mm wheelbase. The low height would have given the designers plenty to think about but the large superstructure has been brilliantly sculpted and while it appears low (and it is low at just 1350mm tall), those large 22 inch wheels on the front coupled to those ultra-wide 23-inch diameter wheels on the rear keep this car firmly planted yet agile enough to spring should the call be given to strike, er take off! Many did ask why Lamborghini didn’t go in for the large coupe look but reinterpreting the classic Espada with its sharp lines did mean that the Estoque had to be faithful to Sant’ Agata traditions.
Getting back to the four-door, four-seater detail though and here is where the real sense begins to emerge, behind its concept and existence. The transmission tunnel quite exquisitely breaks up the interior into four separate zones for as many persons with leg, elbow and shoulder room which Latino supercars have always cried out long for. Factor in a large boot to stack in two golf bags and luggage for the weekend and one can make out why there are car makers wanting to go with top end four-door four-seaters. Porsche has been teasing us all with its four-door four-seater Panamera while Aston Martin has released sketches of its four-door Rapide saloon but here was Lamborghini trumping them all with a car which not only looks razor sharp but is there and waiting to hit the roads. Expect it sometime by 2011.