Designed by the gifted Luc Donckerwolke, the Murcilago roadster looks radically modern from the outside and luxurious from behind the wheel. Monochrome leather with contrasting stitching takes the place of modish finishes such as carbon fiber and wood, and there aren't features such as a starter button, a folding navigation screen, or a neatly integrated car phone. Instead, the Lambo welcomes you with six clearly legible circular dials, a row of five secondary push buttons, two column stalks, a CD radio, and a panel that offers two extra transmission settings and an ESP-off mode. Welcome convenience features include folding door mirrors, power cooling air scoops, and the ability to raise the nose by 1.8 inches to avoid costly curb contact.
In summer, Italy's roads are a zoo. Of the prehistoric kind. The raptors are roaming the roads. Although a yellow Lamborghini should leave a lasting impression in this animal kingdom, it's almost impossible to prevent close encounters with kamikaze scooter artists, no-risk, no-fun Valentino Rossi imitators, and breakneck delivery-van drivers. In the Murcilago, you can avert disaster by simply rocketing away from it-or by braking so hard it will miss you. Upgraded brakes are the key dynamic improvement over the coupe. With larger-diameter and fatter discs, stronger eight-piston front calipers, and a bigger brake booster to reduce the pedal pressure, the brakes are now easier to modulate, more prompt in their response, and a lot sharper. Optional ceramic brakes are in the pipeline for next year and should be even more convincing on the track, but they may well be less efficient when cold. After all, the roadster's setup will reel the car in from 125 mph to a standstill in just a little more than 500 feet.