Saturday, November 8, 2008
Lamborghini Estoque Concept
Lamborghini's all-new 4-door Estoque concept refers to the Spanish term for the final stroke a matador makes when he rams his sword between the shoulder blades of an exhausted bull. Could Lamborghini be hinting what this car will do to Porsche's upcoming Panamera?
The cutting-edge graphics of the Estoque were developed in-house by Lamborghini Centro Stile. The Estoque exhibits Lamborghini's new DNA, following the path set by the Reventón, the Murciélago LP640 and the Gallardo. Produced out of aluminum and carbon fiber, the Estoque's bodywork is captivating. The roofline, long wheelbase and an overall length of 203 in. promise a princely cabin, while the tall rear deck offers a huge trunk — the obligatory golf bags will fit with ease.
Other Estoque features include artistically arranged LEDs, several air vents and angular side mirrors, while the spokes of the 22-in. front and 23-in. rear wheels somehow give the car a certain lightness. The dual fuel-filler caps, on the other hand, are gimmicky.
The interior does not disappoint, clearly devoted to long-distance touring, and fitted with acres of Nappa leather, four separate seats and all the expected comfort and infotainment features. The driver can choose between classic or futuristic instrument layouts on an LCD display.
Lamborghini says the Estoque is more than just a roomy Maserati Quattroporte. The Estoque's front/mid-engine layout, all-wheel drive and low center of gravity virtually guarantee superb handling and ideal traction — they would be needed, given the car's 560-bhp Gallardo-based V-10, which makes for a top speed of 190 mph. There could be a turbocharged V-8 option, as well as a turbodiesel. Lamborghini chief engineer Maurizio Reggiani points out: "Diesel and downsizing are very interesting topics. A mild hybrid could be possible, as well."
Will there be series production? Lamborghini calls the Estoque "a realistic idea, with exciting alternatives in both styling and powertrain." A decision will need to be made by Lamborghini's Audi/VW owners. Of note, Porsche is a major VW shareholder — would the Estoque be too much competition for the upcoming Panamera? Is the world's economy strong enough to support the sale of a car with an estimated price of $400,000 - $450,000? Good questions, but for sure the Estoque looks to be a more dynamic choice than the Panamera, Quattroporte and Aston Martin's Rapide.