Lamborghini is an Italian automaker which focuses on producing high-end exotic sports cars. The company is largely in competition with fellow Italians Ferrari as well as with certain vehicles produced by Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin and corporate parent Audi. Lamborghini has historically been known for ostentatious, over the top designs which are backed up by equally powerful engines. Vehicle quality and handling has varied over the years, but the past decade has seen a series of extremely successful products bearing their charging bull logo, suggesting that quality control has improved as a result of Audi’s influence.
The Used Lamborghini lineup is dominated by mid-engine sports cars like the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Gallardo Spyder convertible, and the Gallardo Superleggera. The company also produces the V12-powered Murciélago supercar, as well as the Murciélago LP640. The top of the line Aventador rounds out their high-dollar offerings.
Allegedly, the story goes that company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini started making sports cars after having complained to Enzo Ferrari about the perceived poor quality of Ferrari automobiles. When Ferrari’s response was to tell Lamborghini to go and see if he could do a better job himself, Ferruccio vowed to turn his considerable mechanical knowledge to the task and get the best of his Italian rival. Already the owner of a successful tractor and industrial equipment empire, Lamborghini produced his first automobile, the 350GT in 1963. It would encapsulate most of the themes that would serve the company well over the decades to come: a 12-cylinder engine stuffed into a small, eye-catching coupe. The vehicle that followed 3 years later, the Miura, would further cement the company’s reputation as a producer of desirable European sports cars.
The Lamborghini story became less rosy as the company moved out of the 60’s and into a new decade that would see the accumulation of debt and poor sales lead to a loss of equity for Ferruccio Lamborghini. Part of the tractor business was sold to giant Fiat, and eventually the majority of the company ended up in the hands of a Swiss investor, where it would founder and go bankrupt at the end of the decade. After a period of turmoil, Lamborghini emerged again as a solvent company in 1984, riding on the success of the radically-styled Countach sports car. The company eventually found its way into the Chrysler portfolio in 1987, where an uncomfortable co-existence saw the larger automaker impart a solid chunk of manufacturing knowledge and technical know-how to the still-tiny boutique company. After releasing the Diablo, Chrysler divested themselves of Lamborghini in 1994, selling it to a company called Megatech which was able to quadruple its miniscule sales in a short period of time. The much more viable company was still unable to find ownership stability, and it changed hands once again in 1997.
The Audi Years
New parent Audi was to prove a calming influence on Lamborghini, not only in terms of finance but also when it came to build quality, technological development and overall design. The attention-grabbing but impractical Countach and Diablo were relegated to the hall of fame, and the company began to produce a series of coupes which still had enormous street presence but accomplished it through cutting-edge styling instead of garish air scoops and wings. Audi’s vast reservoir of engine knowledge was tapped to produce a V10 that would fit snugly into a new, ‘entry-level’ Lamborghini, reserving the V12 for the range-topping dream machines. Lamborghini has flourished as a result of ten years of Audi involvement, and the future is once again bright for this producer of fine exotic used cars.