Detroit 2009: Lamborghini loses the shine

Lamborghini gives you another opportunity to outshine–pardon the pun–your Lamborghini-owning neighbor.

Lamborghini’s press conference had the usual reports on sales (741 sold in the USA in 2008, versus 930 in 2007; Italy is now the second-biggest market in the world, after the USA, with 230 Lambos sold; 72 cars found buyers in China), but as you might imagine, the attention was on the three stunning cars on display. They were all finished in matte paint, to remind Lamborghini customers of the company’s Ad Personam customization program. A matte white (Lamborghini calls it Bianco Canopus) Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder was flanked by Murcielago and Gallardo coupes done up in a lustrous sky blue.

“The matte colors better fit our cars’ edgier exterior designs,” Manfred Fitzgerald, Lamborghini’s head of brand and design, explained to me on the show stand. “More rounded shapes don’t show well in matte colors.” He pointed out that the three matte-finished cars on display showed no reflections from the hot auto-show lights. How much? “About twenty-thousand,” he replied. “An increasing number of customers want another way to set themselves apart from other Lamborghini buyers.” Lamborghini doesn’t seem to have concocted a fanciful name yet for the matte blue paint, which joins Bianco Canopus; Nero Nemesis (black); and Marrone Apus (a brown shade that debuted a year ago here in Detroit) as being permanently available from the factory.

Of course, if you have enough money to spend, the paint mixers in Sant’Agata Bolognese will be happy to finish your Murcie or Gallardo in any other matte paint you desire. Just open your wallet. Wide.
Joe DeMatio
Automobile Magazine