If Ferruccio Lamborghini were alive today, he’d be 100 years old. A fiery-tempered perfectionist, he allegedly had a falling-out with Enzo Ferrari in the early 1960s and resolved to build his own Italian supercar marque. With a 53-year history that includes Miura, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago and Gallardo, it’s clear he succeeded.
To celebrate the centenary of its founder’s birth, Lamborghini has created a limited edition of 20 coupés and 20 roadsters, called Centenario. It’s an established trend at Sant’Agata, exploring the limits of design and technology through one-off cars and limited editions; past examples have included the Reventón, Sesto Elemento, Aventador J and Veneno.
In style the Centenario is clearly a Lamborghini, with an unbroken sweeping line from front to back creating a smooth, low, aerodynamic profile. Yet the bespoke numbers have given its designers the freedom to develop the design language further, with finned aerodynamic inlets, large bonnet mounted scoops, elaborate air management fins along the side and a massive rear diffuser highlighting the function-driven form. It’s outrageous, it’s bespoke and it caused a sensation at its launch.
Both the coupé and roadster will be powered by a 770hp V12, the most powerful engine produced by Lamborghini to date. Alone among supercar makers Lamborghini has (so far) resisted the trend to turbocharging and claims this V12 provides the unmistakable resonance and characteristics that only natural aspiration can provide. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes a finger-snap 2.8 seconds and you’ll reach 300 km/h inn just 23.5 seconds. The V12 is redlined at 8,600rpm, at which point that ‘unmistakable resonance’ will sound like the backing track to the apocalypse.
The Centenario’s body is entirely made of carbon-fibre, giving exceptional torsional stiffness and a dry weight of just 1,520kg. Power to weight ratio is an impressive 1.97 kg/hp. The 770hp V12 powers all four wheels and the chassis specification includes magneto-rheological dampers and rear-wheel steering, which Lamborghini is confident will provide optimal response, stability and feedback.
Inside, functionality and connectivity are the watchwords; the exact specification will be down to the individual owners but the infotainment system has a sophisticated telemetry function, allowing users to record and compare speeds, lap times, lateral and G forces. The front luggage space even has room for two helmets. For more leisurely journeys there’s Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation and internet connectivity.
All forty Centenarios are already spoken for but if you’re not one of the fortunate few there is an upside. From past form, the technology and design pioneered on Lamborghini’s limited editions find their way into future production models. We can’t wait.