$300,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Destroyed

This marks the 2nd time the next-generation supercar has been totalled on public roads - and it's not even available on the market yet!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lamborghini officially unveiled the next generation Murcielago, known as the LP640, at the Geneva Motor Show this past March. Originally projected to hit the streets in spring, the date had been pushed back to September, which means this exotic is not yet available for consumers.

Lamborghini is on schedule to produce a total of 300 units this year, all of which have already been sold out. Although the LP640 is not yet available to the public, there are a handful currently being driven on public roads usually with automotive journalists or Lamborghini drivers behind the wheel.

That's why it comes as a shock that not only one, but two of these pre-production models has already been wrecked on public roads. The most recent being in St. Andrae, Austria on June 15, 2006.
According to witnesses, the Lamborghini lost control and crashed into a tree after attempting to pass another vehicle. The car burst into flames - the driver had to be flown to a nearby hospital after suffering severe burns. The Lamborghini was on its way to a press event at the time of the accident.
Although it's not unusual for exotic cars to be wrecked on test tracks prior to full production, it is rare to see wrecks piling up on public roads when there are only a handful of the cars available. The question begs, is the LP640 more difficult to handle than its predecessor or is this simply a case of bad luck? Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
The LP640 certainly has more power, adding 6 mph to the Murcielago's top speed and slashing the 0-60 mph acceleration from 3.8 seconds down to 3.4 seconds. But more power doesn't necessarily make a car harder to handle. The LP640 is still very similar to the older Murcielago which is not without controversy. There is at least one case of an owner who claims the car simply veered off the road by itself, causing a terrible rollover accident. The owner even created a web site documenting the accident and his concern over the safety of the Murcielago.

On the site, he writes:

"The car suddenly turns right on the Autobahn which is straight, dry and in quite good condition with hardly any traffic, and after a very fast 90 degree turn goes through the guard rail and then lands with the top down in a forest about 150 meters from the place where the guard rail was broken through. The possibility of a tire failure is being eliminated by experts, also the road was in good condition and no hindrances."

First LP640 Wreck

The first accident involving the LP640 occurred a few months ago. Details on the crash are sketchy, but the car was apparently being tested on public roads when it lost control, hit a guardrail on the highway and rolled over.

Obviously, it's always a concern when a high-performance vehicle is wrecked during pre-production. On the brighter side, engineers do get an opportunity to fine-tune and correct any issues that might be responsible for the accidents.

Safety has become a big issue for exotic car manufacturers lately, especially after a recent lawsuit was filed against Porsche for "selling an unsafe car". The suit claims the Porsche Carrera GT has design defects that make it a poor-handling car, mainly that the rear end can lose traction easily. The suit also claims that the car is too difficult to handle at high speeds for the average driver without instruction. The suit was filed by the wife of Cory Rudl, an internet marketing superstar who was killed when the Carrera GT he was riding in crashed at a track.

Many people feel drivers of exotic cars should realize that getting into a high performance vehicle has inherent risks that you won't find with your average car. Whether or not the manufacturers should be held liable for inexperienced drivers is a matter of debate we'll see played out with the Porsche lawsuit. As for the LP640, only time will tell whether or not the car has any handling issues. Out of the 300 that will be produced this year, keep an eye out on how many end up on WreckedExotics.

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