The Lamborghini Murciélago was styled by Belgian Luc Donckerwolke. He was head of design at Audi - who had been taken over by Lamborghini, in '98. Traditionally, Italian styling houses had been recruited by Lamborghini. And indeed, Bertone had been briefed to draft the new car. Their mock-up was ready to go into production. But at the last, that project was canned ... and the design reins passed to Donckerwolke.
The Murciélago was launched with no lack of fanfare. Mount Etna - in Sicily - provided a fittingly explosive backdrop for the new supercar. The accompanying son et lumière show was equally spectacular ... including, as it did, a volcanic eruption. A virtual eruption, that is!
Donckerwolke decked the car out in razor-sharp lines. Bodywork was carbon-fibre and steel. Beneath, the chassis was fashioned from high-tensile tubing. A low drag coefficient was a gimme - given the car's shape. Top speed was 205mph. 0-60 arrived in just 3.85s. Steady torque delivery - and electronic engine management - rendered the car relatively tractable. Suspension and brakes were, of course, state of the art. Lamborghini's decision to give the design gig to Donckerwolke had paid off. The Belgian had delivered in spades. The Murciélago overflowed with Italianate exuberance and panache ... and then some!