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Future products: Lamborghini sees the light

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Future products: Lamborghini sees the light

By MARK RECHTIN, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

The Estoque is likely to debut in the United States in 2013.

Has engine performance gone as far as it can?

With horsepower per liter having long since broken the 100-1 mark, Lamborghini seems to think so. So do many European regulators who want to strangle carbon dioxide emissions.

As a result, the Italian supercar maker sees its future dictated not by raw horsepower but by power-to-weight ratio. That means lots of carbon fiber--so much so that Lamborghini has developed a carbon fiber research center.

Already the Gallardo and Murcielago have had midcycle improvements that replaced aluminum and high-strength steel with carbon fiber panels. Expect that to increase as vehicles are redesigned.

Gallardo: Continued performance updates should occur, but don't expect major changes until a redesign in 2014.

Murcielago: The two-passenger coupe is scheduled for a redesign in 2011, with a U.S. launch in early 2012. Reports say the new model is tentatively called Jota. Lamborghini has said it will install a 700-hp V12 engine despite Europe's tightening of CO2 regulations. Expect a massive amount of carbon fiber in the tub, chassis and body panels. The debut of the new model should occur at the Geneva show in March.

Reventon: The $1.6 million convertible debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt show. The all-wheel-drive car is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine with more than 650 hp. Lamborghini promises 0-to-60 mph acceleration in just over three seconds.

Estoque: CEO Stephan Winkelmann continues to tease Lambo fans by saying a four-door, four-seat supercar "makes sense" and "would fit" in the lineup. The Estoque, previewed in concept form at the 2008 Paris show, is powered by a V10 engine from the Gallardo. But with the Murcielago replacement coming fast, expect the Estoque to come later--likely debuting in Europe in 2012 and reaching U.S. shores in 2013.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100922/CARNEWS/100929979#ixzz10JjrhI1d

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