After years of casting around for a third model, Lamborghini has settled on what Manfred Fitzgerald, head of brand and design, rather presumptively calls "the world's first supersedan." The dramatic Estoque, revealed in concept form at the Paris auto show, isn't called a four-door coupe by its makers, but it certainly would travel in the extrawide tire tracks of cars like the Porsche Panamera and the Aston Martin Rapide, both of which it would follow to market, in 2012.
Quest for the third leg
"The [exotic car] business is quite volatile," allows Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann. "So three legs are invariably better to stand on than two. That's why we have been thinking for several years about a third model to complement the Murciélago and the Gallardo."
Lamborghini bosses evaluated options ranging from a Miura successor (remember the 2006 design exercise?) to an LM002 reincarnation to a front-engine GT.
"The SUV fell through because that wave has passed. We also dismissed the front-engine sports car because the segment is, on a global basis, deceptively small," says Winkelmann.
"In the end, we decided on the four-door supersportwagen. Despite its unconventional architecture, it perfectly matches our key brand values, and research tells us that it will work in all markets - especially in Asia and Russia, which will soon account for one-third of our total sales volume. Perhaps most important, it addresses a very wide customer base, from sports car aficionados with families to style-conscious businessmen with full-time chauffeurs. To satisfy these clients, who are used to the space, comfort, and convenience of a full-size luxury sedan, we created a generously roomy car free of head- and legroom compromises."
"Entry and egress will be effortless," promises Mauricio Reggiani, who is in charge of the technical department. "The big doors open wide, the seats are cushy yet supportive, there is plenty of legroom, and once you've made yourself comfortable, the low roof is never an issue. Although visibility is excellent, the first thing you'll notice from inside is the high beltline, which provides a charming cocoon effect."