By on September 18, 2007

1-reventon-live.jpgAbout 20 years ago, my wife and I visited Japan on behalf of a travel magazine. We explored the area around rural Kyushu, Japan’s Polish joke. Back then, Japanese travel was still a little adventuresome. And it was hard to scope out Japanese customs in these hinterlands. After a couple of mornings at Japanese inns, we realized that we were the only guests who didn’t breakfast in our bathrobes (kimonos). The next day we came down naked as Britney under our bathrobes. For reasons I never discerned, everybody else was dressed in suits. Lamborghini must have felt the same way at the Frankfurt Auto Show. 

You may have noticed that Germany’s international exposition of automotive excellence is now greener than Kermit the Frog. Mercedes is showing a 1.8-liter four in a luxocar. There’s electricity in the air waiting for a new generation of plug-ins. The Japanese have every form of hybrid imaginable. Even Porsche, while girding itself for a fight against new, more stringent EU CO2 legislation, is hyping hybrid Cayennes. And Lamborghini shows up with a nine-mpg supercar.

The Reventón is a 12-cylinder, 650-hp supercar named after a bull famous for goring Felix Guzman to death. (I could have sworn I’ve seen Guzman in The Sopranos, but the “real” Reventón shanked Guzman in 1943.) Worse, Lamborghini has the stones to price the Reventón at a cool one million euros (that’s $1.4m to you and me). I mean, what was the marketing meeting like?

“So what should we charge for this pig?  After all, it may be the world’s last stupidcar…”

“How about billion euros?”

“Yeah, that’s the ticket, a billion.”

“Did you hear the one about the guy who told George Bush that 185 Brazilians died in a plane crash? Bush says, ‘Remind me again, how many is a brazilian?’”

“Okay, very funny, but a billion is a little high. How about we make it a million?"

“Done.”

Appealing straight to the collector market, Lamborghini announced that it will only make 20 Reventóns– which makes the German-owned Italian model the stupid-rich version of the Indy pace-car limited edition of a Malibu.  

An hour and a half ago, $450k was the price of admission to the ultra-exclusive 200mph+ supercar club (e.g. Porsche Carrera GT, Mercedes McLaren). The equally German-owned Bugatti Veyron changed that in a hurry. At least Audi’s other supercar has as many turbochargers as it has wheels, boasts the production car world’s only four-digit horsepower number and you have to change into your land-speed-record tires every time you want to show off (and clean underwear afterward). 

The Reventón has less horsepower than a Saleen and acceleration and top speed identical to a Murcielago LP640. Which reminds me: all you suckers who bought a Murcielago at full whack– who probably paid $600 for your iPhone– are now driving the car Lamborghini refers to as “the base model.” The good news (for someone) is that the new Reventón costs four times as much as Lambo’s base model (or 3500 times as much as an iPhone).

And you get a G-meter. “The G-Force-Meter is completely new,” trumpets Lamborghini’s press material, sounding a bit like the Soviets’ claim to have invented the telephone. “This display shows the dynamic drive forces, longitudinal acceleration during acceleration and braking as well as transversal acceleration around bends…. A similar instrument can be found in airplanes.”

Well, yes, but it didn’t costs me a million euros to install one in my aerobatic Falco; more like a couple hun.

Everything about the Reventón is, like the accelerometer, described in the greatest possible number of words, as though each one is worth 50,000 euros. “The instrument on the left of the speedometer associates the number of revolutions in the form of a luminous column with a display of the selected gear.” The designers’ “love for detail is beautifully illustrated by the fuel tank lid [Italian for gas cap]: a small mechanical work of art, achieved by milling a solid aluminum block.” Incredible! The miracle of milling!

“Another technical innovation is found in the rear light LEDs. Because of high temperature in the rear low part of the car, special heatproof LEDs are used for the indicator and hazard lights, stoplights and rear lights with a triple arrow optical effect.” Isn’t it amazing what a million euros will buy you? High-quality LEDs (there’s $150 right there) plus UPS-truck turn signals. I love this stuff.

What you’re really getting for your brazillion euros: an IP utilizing TFT-display tech “just like in modern airplanes (and some high-end laptops).” So here we [may] have 20 people dumb enough to pay $1.4m for a Lambo, driving around staring at their in-living-color instrument clusters. Or not. After all, who would actually drive one of these things? You could end up like Felix Guzman. 

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41 Comments on “Lamborghini Reventón. No Really....”


  • avatar
    quasimondo

    The main difference between this car and the Bugatti Veyron is that while one may never get his Veyron to reach 253 mph, he is still getting his money’s worth (theoretically) with a vehicle that is clearly capable of getting him there.

    With no indication that this vehicle is even capable of challing Bugatti for the top speed record, it’s obvious that they are clearly asking too much for this car.

    But Lamborghini’s biggest mistake, aside from not showing up with an electric motor strapped to the engine so they could call it a hybrid is their failure to have Bluetooth intergration. On a $1.4 million dollar car, this is simply inexcusable, agreed?

  • avatar
    philbailey

    185 super car crashes in LA this year.

    With any luck, we’ll get rid of all the rascals that invented hedge funds and sub prime mortgages and then let sanity prevail.

  • avatar

    Philbailey,

    We don’t want them to crash the cars. We want them to be repossessed or liquidated for us to grab at a bargain at auction.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    I’d get a kick out of taking one to wal-mart for an oil change.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Potlatch!

  • avatar
    the_stig

    They would’ve been better off showing up with a production ready LM002 replacement. The amount of bad press they would get for a smoggy V12 SUV still would not equal this bomb that has literally blown up in their faces. Even 800bhp would’ve bombed, 650?!?!? what the hell were they thinking?

  • avatar
    AKM

    Funny how some rich people buy anything….
    Makes you wonder how they got so rich in the first place, because some of them would anything for something that’s shiny enough.
    That Lambo is nothing else than a big piece of bling for hip-hop stars and hedge fund wizs, both groups which tend to share (with some exceptions, of course) ONE lucrative talent, and an exceptional lack of taste.

  • avatar
    Scott

    This may be the most expensive, wasteful, impractical supercar on Earth. But there’s a reason it’s currently my desktop wallpaper. Then again, I may be alone in my aesthetic appreciation; any discussion by Stephan of the car’s looks is conspicuous in its absence.

  • avatar
    NickR

    the “real” Reventón shanked Guzman in 1943

    Good for the bull, I always root for them. Cruel sport.

    Anyway, I will meet the Lambo on a field of their choosing in an Ultima Can Am. Actually, that price me and 9 friends could meet them at a field of their choice.

    They need new advertising copy stat.

  • avatar

    How could the execs at Lamborghini pass this up?
    “Let’s take an L640, drop in some tech, and make $20 million Euros!” Gosh, I just wish I had done it. Also, I think Autoblog pointed out that Reventon is Spanish for blown tire or something, so that’ll go down in urban legend along with the Nova.

    I just need to figure out a way to take advantage of rich suckers, it’s the best gig in the world.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    I don’t ever discuss what a car looks like, because as far as I’m concerned that’s totally subjective and only your business (or mine). I think I might even have posted here that some people think Julia Roberts is beautiful, other people think she looks like a Pez dispenser.

    If you like the way the Reventon looks, that’s great. Seriously.

  • avatar
    brownie

    AKM: some people in this world are good at making money, not so good at keeping it.

    Whatever, couldn’t care less about this car. But I’m amused by the reception. When Malaise Era Part Deux begins in the next few years we’ll be looking back fondly on the time when a 650hp car was criticised for being underpowered.

  • avatar
    Matthew Danda

    Any MBA student will tell you–set the price on what people will pay. That price has nothing to do with the car–and everything to do with the customer.

    Bravo to the Lambo executive who actually learned something in Marketing 101!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Who cares what the price is or what it does. It’s a master stroke of exclusivity. I can’t wait for Jay Shoemaker to get one.

  • avatar
    the_stig

    Eddie Griffin can’t wait to get his hands on one

  • avatar
    carguy

    What we all need now is a ‘tuner’ version of the Reventón – because, lets face it, its neither expensive nor exclusive enough. I would say a garish body kit, a super sized wing and some 22″ wheels should do the trick. Up the price by around $400K and it becomes the ultimate accessory for the ultra rich with low self esteem.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Carguy, I’m with you. This car needs to be jacked up and have neon bulbs installed in its undercarriage.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I don’t understand the criticism, Lambo will make 20 of them and sell them all. It doesn’t matter if the car has a 99hp 3cyl engine, it they are going to sell all they make and profit from it, then it makes sense. I also doubt Lambo really cares about fostering a ‘green’ image, the kind of people that buy Lambos (myself included if I ever make that kind of money) place gas mileage somewhere between luggage space and off-roadability on their list of priorities

  • avatar

    For a cool 1.4, I’ll take 4 Gallardos in different colors so my friends and I can drive around in a gang.

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    Ugh. I’m embarrassed for Lamborghini. A G-force meter? Don’t most Corvettes and the last CTS-V have one of those G-force displays?

    Triumph of marketing and price over substance. With the Veyron, at least you are getting performance that is measurably more insane than your run-of-the-mill SLR or Murcielago to make you feel lik the extra $500-750k was worth it.

  • avatar
    omnivore

    I think the new Sentra SE-R has a g-force meter, too.

  • avatar
    picard234

    The Toyota FJ has a G-force meter. I could get one Lambo or 35 FJs!

  • avatar
    Cicero

    One of the best features is the three-girl ensemble standing behind the Lambo. They’re the back-up sensor.

  • avatar
    discoholic

    One of the best features is the three-girl ensemble standing behind the Lambo. They’re the back-up sensor.

    Thank you Cicero for the funniest line I’ve read on the internet for months!

    I have to congratulate the Lambo marketing department, though. I suppose the meeting went something like this:
    Marketing Geek 1: “You know, we really need something more upmarket so the proles who bought our, er, base model have something to upgrade to.”
    Marketing Geek 2: “Yeah, but you know, we don’t actually have enough cash for developing a new car.”
    MG 1: “So how about we just iron a few creases into a bog-standard Murcielago, give it an even more demented name, and throw some stuff in that most people wouldn’t be seen dead with, and then up the price by about 200 per cent.”
    MG 2: “That has GOT to work.”
    MG 1: “And then we get some would-be Robert Frost to waffle about the rear lights and the g-force metre – surely that’ll get Paris Hilton to buy one.”

    I honestly cannot think of a more stupid gadget in a car than a g-force metre: when the g-force gets anywhere near the interesting end of the range, the driver is usually waaay too busy driving to look at nonsensical gauges. How ’bout some more of these on the dashboard? I humbly suggest the license plate temperature metre or the cupholder refill indicator. If they put these in, I’ll buy one.

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    This new Lambo epitomizes why I would never buy an exotic car even if I had the money. These companies are just around to fleece rich customers. In a previous podcast, it was suggested that high performance cars can’t be reliable. The real reason, in my opinion, is that these companies just don’t care and no one will hold their feet to the fire. The Acura NSX was arguable in whether or not it was an exotic, but you could count on not having to take it to the dealer every 2000 miles, and it outperformed the Ferrari 348.

  • avatar
    NickR

    One of the best features is the three-girl ensemble standing behind the Lambo. They’re the back-up sensor.

    So, maybe it is worth the money. Hmmmmm.

  • avatar

    I am reminded of an early review of the Diablo back in ’91 that pointed out that the optional clock (a wind-up clock, mind you, not digital) cost $12,000. Really. Clearly, the same pricing mentality applies.

    La plus ça change, la plus c’est la même chose, albeit adjusted for inflation.

  • avatar
    audirs4man

    What I am going to do is get a Lambo LP-460, get a Reventon body kit, and slap a Reventon badge on the rear. No one will ever know.

  • avatar
    audirs4man

    A Corvette has a g meter, isn’t that convenient .

  • avatar
    jurisb

    well, it is just a good lookin` version of murcielago, so it should be called murcielago reventon. so it wouldn`t fake diversity. because model and modification are too different things. The potential of lamborghini engineering and investment is already exposed by usage of audi a/c radio controls.too dumb to make gapless radios yourself? imagine paying a 1lemon for a car that has audi a3 -identical a/c radio buttons. not bad for the image ugh……
    otherwise a good try( hey guys your daewoo has the same steering wheel as the top -notch caddy escalade, yeah, good agh?)

  • avatar
    Spaniard

    Ouch!. I can not believe they gave that name to the thing.

    “Reventón” in Spain means “blow up”. “Tuve un reventón” means “I had a tyre blow up”.

    Just imagine a Ford concept SUV christened the Ford Rollover and you´ll get the point.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    The G-meter in the Vette shows peak g for up to 5-7 seconds after you’ve reached it, so you have the opportunity to look at it after your high-g maneuver is complete. It’s not the most practical thing in the world, but it’s pretty cool (also one of the most dangerous options on a car because every Vette owner with a g meter has tried at least once to see how high he can get that thing to go)

    About the Reventon, you can’t think of this car in practical ‘bang for the buck’ terms. In economics there is something called a “Giffen Good,” which is something that’s more valuable to consumers if it’s priced higher than it would be if it were priced lower. Old Rolls Royces were one example, they did almost nothing better than an S Class, but since they were priced so highly, they allowed their owners to show off their wealth. If they were cheaper, they probably would have sold fewer cars. I’m sure this car is going to be the same way. Just think of the look of awe and envy on the poor Diablo, Murcielago and Gallardo owners’ faces when you pull up in a car that costs more than all 3 of the aforementioned models combined

  • avatar
    csolstad

    This article was hilarious, I hope you do more Stephen.

    I’ve gotta give props to lamborghini for pricing it at 1m, I mean does everything have to be about horsepower these days?

  • avatar
    dean

    I’m not sure that any of the 20 copies are going to be driven anywhere. This is obviously intended to be a collector vehicle. Maybe Leno will buy one.

    For a million Euro, they should throw in a Mucielago, so you actually have a Lambo to drive as well.

    How is this any different than a Dolce & Gabana t-shirt that sells for $120 when you can buy the same shirt, less the D&G logo, for $10? If Lamborghini can find 20 willing suckers buyers, then more power to them.

  • avatar
    Virtual Insanity

    It most likely gets horrible milage, is crap for a daily driver, no trunk space, uncomfortable, and poluttes enough in ten seconds to counter act an entire year of driving a Pious.

    I’ll take five of ‘em.

  • avatar
    riotnrrd

    But Lamborghini’s biggest mistake, aside from not showing up with an electric motor strapped to the engine so they could call it a hybrid is their failure to have Bluetooth intergration. On a $1.4 million dollar car, this is simply inexcusable, agreed?

    What is it with Bluetooth connectivity? Seriously, nobody cares. It usually works with three phone models, two of which are no longer available and the third of which is not yet available. Once users have paired their phones with the car, they have the pleasure of sharing *both sides* of their conversations with all their passengers, not to mention letting the person at the other end of the line hear the engine noise, road noise, traffic noise, and every other kind of noise in the car.

    How about instead the manufacturers just let people buy their own Bluetooth headsets (for a quarter of the price) and be done with it? Plus, a headset can be used outside the car! Bonus!

  • avatar
    wsn

    No, it’s not the Lambo getting too expensive. It’s the USD falling like a rock.

    When supercars were still cheap (i.e. Carrera GT, Mercedes McLaren), the USD wasn’t as bad as today. Gold was $400 and oil was $40 then. Now with the Fed cutting the interest rate by a 0.5% in the middle of a super inflation era, no wonder gold reached $700 and oil hit $82 and supercars reaching $1M.

  • avatar
    Spaniard

    No, it’s not the Lambo getting too expensive. It’s the USD falling like a rock.

    You nailed it, wsn.

    The USD is no longer the USD since 1968. In 1968 the USD gold standard was abandoned, due to the rampant inflation created by the Vietnam war and the “welfare” programs.

    Since 1968 the USD is fiat money -like the Euro- and therefore crap money, open to manipulation by dishonest governments.

    As an Eurozone inmate I am enjoying the party now purchasing goods with my Euros in the Dollarzone. Though the party will not last much more, I know.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    cretinx :
    September 18th, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    For a cool 1.4, I’ll take 4 Gallardos in different colors so my friends and I can drive around in a gang.

    I’ll take 20 Corvette Z06′s (okay, 18, to be exact). $1.4 million for a Murcielago that’s been beat with an ugly stick, why?

  • avatar
    mrcknievel

    They’ll probably sell them all before the first one is delivered.

    Marketing in exclusivity allows one to throw common sense to the wind.

  • avatar
    rashakor

    The nme problem is another urban legend in the making.

    Although the word Reventon does mean “Blow out” it also mean “Blow out” in the “Monster Bash” sense of the expression. So if you go to a Reventon, prepare yourself for the best party of your life little gringo! As a native Spanish speaker that is how I interpreted the name…


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