Ingolstadt/Sant’Agata Bolognese, 2013-03-11
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., known for their dynamic, highly passionate automobiles, will turn 50 this year. The Italian brand, which has been part of the Audi Group since 1998, is celebrating its anniversary with new models and growing sales.
The “Terra di motori,” the land of engines in the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, is a region of high technology culture; no other part of the world is so strongly influenced by a passion for fascinating high-powered engines. Sant’Agata Bolognese, around 25 km (15.53 miles) north of Bologna, has been the home of Lamborghini ever since the company was founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963.
The twelve-cylinder engine, a crowning achievement of engine design, is inseparably associated with the brand. Even the first Lamborghini models like the 350 GT drove off the assembly line with a V12 that was highly innovative for its time. In the company’s first years, this engine with its 3.5 liters of displacement and 320 hp would be the foundation for continual increases in power and more advanced development.
Looking back on the past 50 years, one model stands out as the ultimate classic Lamborghini – the Miura. Built from 1966 to 1972, it was the first radical sports car from Sant’Agata Bolognese and the first Lamborghini to bear a name from the world of bullfighting. The two-seater was one of the most powerful cars of its time with up to 283 kW (385 hp) of power, and it set legendary records for top speed. Its ultra-flat body concealed innovative technology – a transverse mounted V12 made the Miura the first mid-engine sports car for street use.
At 4.39 meters (14.40 ft) long, 1.78 meters (5.84 ft) wide, but only 1.05 meters (3.44 ft) tall, the two-seater appears to crouch over the asphalt, while the flowing lines of its aluminum body express concentrated power. Low-profile folding headlights characterized the front end; the driver would activate one switch to open them upwards, then a second switch to turn them on. Originally designed to be a low-volume product to showcase technology and styling, the Miura unexpectedly became a sales success. Instead of the targeted total production of 50 units, over one hundred of the cars were produced at the quickly expanded plant – every year.
The successor to the Miura was also a success – the Countach was in the product line-up from 1974 to 1990. Its styling based on the strict use of wedge-shaped lines – and the now longitudinally mounted V12 mid-engine – proved to be timeless. In the Diablo, which followed the Countach, large sections of the body were made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) for the first time – a high-end material in which the brand has continually built up its competence right up to today. The Diablo VT of 1992 was the first Lamborghini to offer all-wheel drive, which is now a standard feature.
The Italian super sports car manufacturer has been a fully-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG since July 1998; the acquisition has developed into a big success story. The Gallardo product line, established in 2003, has developed into the most successful Lamborghini model series ever with over 13,000 delivered cars to date. Identifying features include its V10 engine and aluminum body, in which Lamborghini exploits significant synergies with Audi. Systematic implementation of lightweight design is one of the core competencies of the two brands.
In the V12 series, the Diablo was followed at first by the Murciélago and the Reventón; the latter in an exclusive limited series. Then the Aventador made its debut in 2011, and at the beginning of 2013 the brand introduced an open-top version. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.0 seconds and can reach a top speed of 350 km/h (217.48 mph). A key component of its technology package is the CFRP monocoque with upward-opening doors. Its drive unit is an extremely high-revving and torque-strong naturally aspirated V12 engine with 6.5 liters of displacement and 515 kW (700 hp) of power. The CDS cylinder deactivation system and the innovative stop & start system with high-performance capacitors, known as supercaps, enhance its efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
Lamborghini looks towards the future with confidence. At the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, a new idea made its debut – the Urus Impulse might become a new entry in the segment of large SUVs. The concept car combines fascinating design and excellent driving performance with a versatile character and everyday practicality. Its body introduces a new type of CFRP material known as forged composite. The exclusive new model from the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show also utilizes this high-end material. With its 552 kW (750 hp) of power and excellent aerodynamic efficiency, this Lamborghini Veneno – which is based on the Aventador – is a race car for the streets.
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. finds itself on a steep ascent. In 2012, the super sports car manufacturer increased its customer deliveries from 1,602 to 2,083 units – a 30 percent increase over the previous year. The engines for this growth were the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and the Gallardo model series.
“Despite the sustained uncertainty of global markets, in 2012 Lamborghini achieved very satisfactory sales results in those markets, which validates the strength of our product and sales strategy,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President and Chairman of the Board of Management of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. “We will continue to work on developing our model line-up, to assure additional growth in the future.” Customer interest is giving us reason for great confidence: current orders for the Aventador Coupé and Roadster have already filled production capacities for the next 15 months.
In 2013 the brand will also make investments in car racing – the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo will now be held on three continents. After four seasons in Europe and a successful debut in Asia, the world’s fastest one-make cup series will also be launched in the USA. In addition, Lamborghini is involved in Gallardo racing in the globally established GT3 race series.
In Sant’Agata Bolognese, around 950 employees work at the 200.000 m2 (49.42 acre) plant site where the Gallardo and Aventador are produced on two lines. The “Centro Stile” built in 2004, with an integrated museum, is a highly advanced design center. A photovoltaic system on the roofs of the plant buildings, the largest in the Emilia-Romagna industrial region, generates electricity. This is an important step towards attaining CO2-neutral production, which has been defined as a goal for 2015. Automobili Lamborghini was the first company in the Italian automotive industry to earn EMAS certification and ISO 50001 certification; they are a testimony to the brand’s achievements in environmental management and energy efficiency.
Lamborghini Automobili S.p.A. is planning a number of international activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary. They will culminate with the “Grande Giro Lamborghini 50° Anniversario” in May, the largest gathering of Lamborghini drivers from all parts of the world. The anniversary tour takes participants, who will be driving current and classic Lamborghini models, through some of the most beautiful cities and stretches of land in Italy. A festival will be held in Sant’Agata Bolognese at the end of the tour, on May 11, 2013.
Facts and Figures
Chairman of the Board of Management: Prof. Rupert Stadler
Chairman oft he Supervisory Board: Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn
Employees (AUDI AG): 50,150 (December 31, 2012)
Employees (Audi Group): 68,804 (Dezember 31, 2012)
Deliveries to Customers (2012): 1,455,123 Audi brand automobiles
Production (2012): 1,469,205 automobiles (incl. Lamborghini and CKD)
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Sant’Agata Bolognese
President and CEO: Stephan Winkelmann
Models: Lamborghini Gallardo Coupé, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
Employees: 945 (December 31, 2012)
Production (2012): 2,197 automobiles