2008 Lamborghini Ferruccio Concept
The monster Lambo that never wasby Michael Fira, on
Lamborghini’s history is filled with strange concepts and prototypes that never made it into production. The Ferruccio, named in honor of the company’s founder, is one such example, a car that should’ve made the Murcielago look pedestrian but, instead, never moved past the drawing board due to a lack of interest from customers.
Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini is renowned the world over for its flamboyantly-designed cars that are among the world’s fastest and, equally, most desirable cars. Since Lamborghini was bought by the Volkswagen-Audi Group in 1998, the boutique automaker breathes a new life with successful products such as the Murcielago, Gallardo and, more recently, the Aventador and Huracan selling in good numbers. However, not all projects turned out to be hits and one such flop is the Ferruccio.
2008 Lamborghini Ferruccio Concept
- Features a very tall nose and rear section, similar to older Lamborghinis
- The taillight design is similar to that of the Diablo and Countach
- Scissor doors are present, as was the case with the company’s flagship model at the time, the Murcielago
- Not an official project of Automobili Lamborghini, although the company gauged the interest in this project closely
- The car was actually a product of the Italian coachbuilder Magvisio
- It was based on the Murcielago LP640 but shared essentially none of its design cues
Ever since Bertone was hired to design the Lamborghini Miura, a job that landed on Marcello Gandini’s desk, every Lamborghini has to look exciting and dramatic. Gandini was also the man that basically introduced the wedge design in the late ’60s with concepts such as the Alfa Romeo Carabo, the Italian using similar cues on the first Countach that all but defined Lamborghini’s design language for decades to come. In fact, the Countach stayed in production until 1989 when it was superseded by the Diablo. Yes, it was no longer the work of Gandini - who took his ideas and turned them into the Cizeta V16T - but it was still unmistakably Lamborghini, at least by the standards imposed by the Countach.
Even the company’s newer models built under Audi’s tutelage bare a strong resemblance to the wedge shape concept. Also, the scissor doors have become a signature element of flagship Lamborghini’s that’s still seen today, albeit a bit altered, on the Aventador.
There is, then, little to surprise you about how the Ferruccio concept should’ve looked like. This car, designed by Italian coachbuilder Magvisio, was supposed to arrive on the market as a limited-run special edition in the Autumn of 2008 but it never did. Named after the company’s founder, successful Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini, who would’ve turned 92 in 2008, it was a car that harkened back to the company’s past while also looking towards the future.
Designer Pule Magau who’s behind this project turned to the Countach and Miura for inspiration while also considering the way the Murcielago looked like. After all, the Ferruccio, a car that was supposed to be built by Magvisio themselves and not Lamborghini, was based on the Murcielago LP640.
Up front, the car sports a pair of elongated, narrow headlights that are similar to those seen on the Gallardo but feature some narrow eyebrows at the top end like on the early Miuras. The headlights are placed towards the outer edges of the protruding nose that has two visible creases in the middle as well as some curved areas towards the windshield. The car’s nose protrudes in front of the lower lip of the bumper, the whole front grille sitting in a recessed position, encapsulated by the edges of the front fascia. The grille, with its honeycomb mesh, is separated by two vertical struts positioned at an angle.
Two massive air vents that face towards the rear fill up the front overhangs. The wheels are unique to this concept and have a very intricate look to them. For starters, you can spot the rounded holes that have been a trademark element in Lamborghini wheels ever since the ’70s. These holes perch through the rectangular rims.
A thick design line climbs up on the profile of the doors and ends in close proximity to the rear wheel wells. These feature a tall air vent with a triangular opening that extends as far up as the wheel arches go. The line of the vent is continued by the bodywork itself as the rear section sits higher than the line made up by the doors.
That’s why the rear of the car looks to be sky-high with the taillights hanging from the top corners of those muscular shoulders. The design is vaguely similar to that of the Diablo although the Ferruccio has curved L-shaped taillights with a rectangular grille in between. Below, there’s an angled center panel with the Lamborghini raging bull placed in the middle and then you see the exposed exhaust pipes springing up in an opening that splits the lower grille into two. The car’s rear window doesn’t come with louvers as you see on the Murcielago.
- The interior of the Ferruccio is similar to that of the Murcielago that was used as a starting point
- Carbon fiber is used in the construction of the seats, as well as covering the center transmission tunnel
- Inside the 3D-rendered cabin, one can spot the presence of the shifter for a gated manual gearbox
- Alcantara leather would’ve probably wrapped most of the interior, aside from the areas covered by carbon fiber or polished metals - such as the center console
- The interior of the coupe model was probably going to be the same with that of the proposed spyder version, minus the obligatory roll hoops behind the seats
The Ferruccio was supposed to come with a bespoke interior, although based on that of the Murcielago. Carbon fiber was said to be used extensively for the dashboard, the seats, and the door panels as well as the center console. If we are to look at the render, the center console is actually the one that’s most visible thanks to its polished metal appearance. You can see a few knobs and buttons on it including the radio and a red button on the top that could be the engine start/stop button. The steering wheel, the gauge cluster behind it as well as the air vents seem to be identical to those on the Murcielago but the finished product would’ve, most likely, featured unique elements.
The driver and the passenger seat cocooned in bucket seats and you can see that, on the center console, there’s the shifter for a manual transmission. Was the Ferruccio planned to forgo the flappy-paddle system in favor of a traditional 6-speed manual? Maybe. All that we know is that the extensive use of exotic materials such as carbon fiber made the car ludicrously expensive and, effectively, rendered it uninteresting even to the multi-millionaires in the years of the global financial crysis that hit around that time.
- The Ferruccio shares its drivetrain with the Murcielago LP640 and, as such, would’ve come with the same 6.5-liter V-12
- The AWD system of the LP640 would’ve also been transplanted to the Ferruccio
- 631 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque were the figures promised by Magvisio, essentially the same as those of the Murcielago
- The car was supposed to reach a top speed of 230 mph while the 0 to 62 mph time barely crept over the 3-second mark
- The body and chassis were to be made out of carbon fiber to keep the weight down
- A standard Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 weighed 3,980 pounds while the exquisite Reventon tipped the scales at just 3,670 pounds. The Ferruccio should’ve been lighter than both
The Ferruccio was slated to use the underpinnings of the Murcielago LP640 that was launched in 2006. That translates to 631 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 490 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm from the amazing 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12. With the weight severely down from the Murcielago’s 3,980 pounds, the Ferruccio should’ve reached 62 mph in little over 3 seconds 100 mph in 6 seconds. Top speed was a staggering 230 mph - just 24 mph below the top speed of the Veyron and way faster than an Enzo or a Zonda F.
The strict weight reduction was to be achieved through the extensive use of carbon fiber for both chassis and body. That’s because the car would’ve kept the all-wheel-drive system of the Murcielago that adds weight compared to an RWD architecture. Meanwhile, stopping power was offered by 12.9-inch ceramic discs with 6-pot calipers.
The price tag stopped the Ferruccio from becoming a reality. With acres of carbon fiber, Magvisio envisioned an MSRP of $1,500,000 for each of the 10 units that were meant to be built - five coupes and five convertibles. That was way too much for a world that was on its knees thanks to the economic crisis. The car’s designer said back in April of 2008 to CAR Magazine that "we have only had three orders, and no one has put down a deposit yet. Let’s just say it’s on ice.’
The designer then added that "the price has been a deterrent for customers." However, the coachbuilding company tried to find a way out. "We are in talks with prototyping firm Protoscar, which might bring the cost down substantially," said Magau. We can only conclude that nothing came out of those talks as the Ferruccio never emerged as a real car, or even a full-size clay model, despite Magvisio’s desire to create the care a decade ago.
Now, you may ask yourself who’s this ’Magvisio’ company and what’s in their resume? Why did they try to climb such a steep mountain for their first ever car? Well, a quick search on Google reveals almost nothing - other than this car. Vaporwave, then, was their main product...
The Lamborghini Ferruccio is one of the many stillborn concept supercars of the noughties. While you can’t say looks helped it, the fact of the matter is that nobody was interested in paying $1,500,000 in 2008 for a Lamborghini that wasn’t even going to be built by Lamborghini, but by some anonymous Italian company with an, as far as I could find, unknown record.
Does a car that pays tribute to Ferruccio Lamborghini make sense? Yes, it does. But nor this 2008 concept, nor the even uglier 2012 one, deserved to be that car. Instead, in my view, if you’re going to build a car that bows before Ferruccio’s legacy, you should at least build something that he would’ve liked and he was never a fan of out-and-out supercars. So, for anyone that wants to create the next Ferruccio, make it a 2+2 grand tourer, please!