Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A is an Italian brand for luxury and high-performance cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Founded in the 1960s, it has established itself as one of the most prominent and sought-after brands for supercars, competing tightly with Ferrari. Over the past six decades, the car manufacturer has produced some of the world's most iconic automobiles that car enthusiasts of all ages have drooled over.
Based in Sant'Agata Bolognese in Italy, the company changed hands several times but it currently belongs to the Volkswagen Group through the latter's subsidiary Audi. Today, Lamborghini has 1,777 employees based in their headquarters. It has recently doubled the size of its Sant'Agata site to 160,000 square meters from 80,000 square meters so that it could significantly increase its production starting 2019. A new building features cutting-edge technologies, including robots.
Lamborghini has quite an interesting backstory. It all started with Feruccio Lamborghini, an Italian who had served in the Air Force during the Second World War. After the war, Ferrucio, who hails from a family of grape farmers but was more interested in mechanics, built a business that reconfigured and repurposed old military machines as agricultural tractors and other supplies. He later ventured into manufacturing air-conditioning and heating systems. Finding success in his businesses, Ferrucio purchased several luxury vehicles, including a Ferrari, which was already a well-established brand for supercars back then.
The Italian manufacturing magnate then decided to introduce his own sports car brand, and this resulted in the establishment of Automobili Lamborghini in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy in 1963.
One version of the story claims that Ferrucio built his own supercar company after being told off by Enzo Ferrari for giving feedback on the flaws that he found in Ferrari cars. Ferrari purportedly said that he would not take advice from the tractor mechanic. Another version states that Lamborghini saw the potential in sports-car business. Regardless of his true intention for building Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the then newly minted car manufacturer debuted its first product -- the two-seater coupe 350 GTV, which was later renamed as 350 GT -- within just four months. The 350's bodywork was designed by talents at Milan-based Carrozzeria Touring, which was also behind the design of Aston Martin's DB5 and Ferrari's 166.
Lamborghini enlisted the services of Giotto Bizzarrini, former development chief at Ferrari, for their engine design and creation requirements. Bizzarrini is responsible for the 350 GTV's V12 engine, which served as a platform that Lamborghini engineers built upon in years to come. Bigger and more powerful iterations of the V12 served many of Lamborghini's famous car models in the succeeding decades.
Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Lamborghini produced several iconic models, including the 400GT, which became available in two-seater and four-seater options; the Miura, which was the brand's first mid-engine two-seater; and the Espada, which is Lamborghini's first car to offer an automatic transmission option; and the well-received Urraco, a 2+2 mid-engine coupe that was positioned as an affordable alternative to the Ferrari Dino and Maserati Merak.
The 1970s was a dark time for Automobili Lamborghini due to the 1973 oil crisis that adversely affected the sales performance of their car lineup. This, coupled with problems with his tractor business, led Ferrucio to sell his interest in the sports car company and retire to his vineyard in Perugia, Italy.
Despite the success of the Countach model, which Lamborghini launched in 1974, the organization still went bankrupt in 1978 and was placed under the control of food-entrepreneur brothers Jean-Cloud and Patrick Mimran during its receivership. It was later sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1987, and under the new leadership, the company launched the Diablo, which was one of the most powerful sports cars during this period. In 1994, Lamborghini was sold once again, this time to MegaTech, an Indonesian corporation.
It was not until 1998 that things turned around for the organization, when it was acquired by Volkswagen AG, along with Bentley and Bugatti. This presented Lamborghini the chance to restructure and revive its role of bringing innovation to the market. Soon after, Lamborghini came out with a string of cutting-edge sports cars, including the Murcielago, the Murcielago Roadster, LP 640, THE 670-4 SuperVeloce, Gallardo, Reventon, Aventador, and Huracan.
In 2011, Lamborghini appointed PGA Automobile, Inc. as its exclusive importer and distributor in the Philippines. PGA Automobile is a member of the PGA Group of Companies, which has businesses in diverse industries including insurance, automotive, power distribution, and oil exploration. The first models carried by PGA Automobile were the Gallardo and the Aventador LP700. PGA Automobile is also the Philippine distributor for Audi and Porsche.
In 2012, Lamborghini Manila opened the car maker's first facility in the country – a showroom located in Bonifacio Global City. Apart from the cars, the showroom also offers a comprehensive range of accessories, spare parts, and apparel. It also provides a dedicated service facility that carries specialized tools for different Lamborghini models. At the opening event, Lamborghini showcased the Aventador LP700-4 and several models under the Gallardo nameplate, including the Gallardo Bicoloro, Gallardo Noctis, Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale, Gallardo LP 570-4, and Gallardo 560-2.
The models available in the market today introduces evolved aerodynamic features while remaining true to Lamborghini's DNA, taking cues from design elements of older models.
Lamborghini's latest bestselling model, the Urus, is a super SUV that offers excellent driving dynamics and elegant design. This car runs on V8 bi-turbo engine that generates up to 478 kW/650 horsepower, which is the best weight-to-power ratio on the SUV market today. It sports an eight-gear automatic transmission and a permanent four-wheel drive system with active torque vectoring, which allows it to deliver an excellent driving experience in various road situations.
The Huracan nameplate is available in five models, namely the Huracan EVO, Huracan EVO Spyder, Huracan RWD Spyder, Huracan RWD, Huracan Performante, and Huracan Performante Spyder. The Huracan uses a V10 Multi-point Injection (MPI) + Direct Stratified Injection engine that is mated to a dual-clutch Lamborghini Doppia Frizion gearbox with seven speeds. It sports an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system. This sports car has a top speed of more than 325 kilometers per hour (km/hr) and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/hr in 2.9 seconds.
The Aventador is a mid-engine sports car that is available in coupe and roadster body forms. Models in this lineup include the Aventador S, Aventador Roadster, Aventador SVJ, and Aventador SVJ Roadster. All models run on a naturally-aspirated V12 engine capable of 740 horsepower. It is paired with a seven-speed Independent Shifting Rods gearbox and sports electronically controlled all-wheel drive system with rear mechanical self-locking differential.
The latest cars come equipped with Adaptive Intelligent Management (ANIMA) Selector, which allows the driver to his or her preferred on-road and off-road setups. Such include STRADA for driving ease, comfort, and safety; SPORT for agility, fun and responsiveness and CORSA for precision and maximum performance; NEVE for ease and safety on slippery surfaces; TERRA for comfort and ease when driving off-road; SABBI for adventures on sandy surfaces; and EGO for redefined car dynamics according to preferences related to steering, traction, and suspension.
Lamborghini ended 2018 on a strong note, producing and delivering record number of vehicles. During the year, the car maker delivered 5,750 passenger cars to customers worldwide, reflecting a 50.7% growth over the previous year. Unit sales at Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. amounted to 6,333 vehicles, mainly due to high demand for the Urus, which significantly expanded the brand's customer base.
In terms of production volume, the Italian brand produced a total of 6,571 units, which reflects a 62.0% increase year-on-year. Much of the growth stemmed from Urus, whose production volume rose from only 121 unit in the preceding year to 2,565 in 2018, contributing 39% of the total number of Lamborghini passenger cars manufactured for the year. The Huracan Coupe, Huracan Sypder, Aventador Roadster, and Aventador Coupe made up 25%, 17%, 10%, and 9%, respectively.
For its identity, Lamborghini drew a lot of inspiration from bullfighting. The company's logo features a bull, which is a reference to the founder's zodiac sign -- Taurus the Bull. Ferrucio, was an avid bullfighting enthusiast, and many of the models that came out under his leadership bore names that had connection with bulls or bullfighting, a tradition that has been carried on long after he had sold his shares in the company.
The Miura was named after Don Eduardo Miura, a renowned breeder of Spanish fighting bulls. The Islaero borrowed the name of the Miura bull that defeated Manolete, a famed bullfighter in 1947. The famous Diablo, took after the Duke of Veragua's bull known for an epic Madrid battle against El Chicorro in 1869. The Jarama pays homage to the known bullfighting region in Spain. The Espada, which means sword in Spanish, is often used as another term for the bullfighter. The models Urraco and Jalpa were named after bull breeds. The Gallardo is a reference to the five ancestral castes of the Spanish fighting bull breed. Meanwhile, Reventon was a bull that defeated the young Mexican torero Felix Guzman in 1943. There are just examples of Lamborghini models that were named in connection with bullfighting.