The Roadster sits 70mm lower than the Murcielago coupe, most of the height having been shaved from the tops of its windows. The glass area arcs sleekly around the interior, much like the visor of a crash helmet. To this a soft-top of sorts can be attached. This is intended to work like an Elise's, with a pair of separate side spars providing bracing front to rear, joined by a canvas centre section. In practice, it's about as effective as a travel rug draped loosely overhead - Lamborghini advises a maximum roof-on speed of a piffling 160km/h, for fear of it taking off. I've left the hood neatly, compactly tucked away in the boot, set at the far front of the car. There's plenty else to focus on.
The freshly introduced (yours for ten-grand extra) 'E-gear' semi-automatic 'box is fitted to the car I'm in. Its steering-column-mounted paddles flick between each of the six ratios, on down-shifts the Minigun bursts of sound generated by the robotized blips of the throttle threatening to shake all the olives from the surrounding trees.
The Murcielago's extraordinary proportions alone are enough to keep my concentration fully fixed. At least other road users are given a selection of warning signals to stay well out of the way. They'll have heard this car several hairpins before they see it. They may well also have witnessed the cooling pods sliding menacingly out from its flanks, a clear indication that I haven't been travelling slowly. Then there's the matter of this particular example's hazard-yellow paintwork, the colour of choice, apparently, for 40 per cent of Murcielago owners. I would take mine in acid green.
Alongside the pressing matter of attempting to thread a car the size of an HGV along roads with the dimensions and layout of a kart track, here there's a frequent need to haul its 1,665kg bulk to a near halt. Thankfully, like the E-gear transmission, uprated brakes have also recently been introduced for the Murcielago. With huge eight-piston calipers at the front and four-pistons at the rear, they work aggressively, repeatedly effectively.
In truth, the Murcielago Roadster isn't quite so terrorising to drive as its evil looks suggest it should be. The all-encompassing seats are incredibly comfortable, the pedals are light in their action and the small, fat steering wheel is set well within easy reach. I find myself finally learning to trust its extreme reserves of grip and stability.
Time to relax a tad then. Also, to put the intimidating thought of this car's
$781, 506 asking price to the back of my mind. Instead, I bask in the knowledge that I'm now one of a select few to have driven the most ostentatious, exhibitionistic Lambo ever. While he's succeeded in acquiring three superyachts and a Premiership football team, even Roman Abramovich can't claim to have done that yet.
The bespoke Lamborghini
The fact that a mere 200 Murcielago Roadsters will be built each year still doesn't provide exclusivity enough for some. Take a stroll around Lamborghini's Sant'Agata factory and some truly bespoke trim combinations are being lined up. Like alligator or ostrich skin, in place of regular leather. Also for an extra consideration (p.o.a.), customers can provide a sample of any material and the paint shop will attempt to spray the car the same colour.