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2009 Lamborghini Murcielago
Original MSRP: $354,000 - $382,400
MPG: 8 City / 13 Hwy
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2009 Lamborghini Murcielago Performance

This performance review was written when the 2009 Lamborghini Murcielago was new.

The Murcielago LP640's powerful V12 engine and impressive handling dynamics leave test drivers in awe. According to Forbes, "That LP640 designation has special meaning -- 'LP' stands for 'longitudinale posteriore,' which means the vehicle's massive V12 engine is oriented north-south and sits behind the cockpit." The 640 stands for the Murcielago's horsepower -- though it's really rated at 631.

  • "You don't start this 640-horsepower V-12. You ignite it. The result is an eruption of mechanical and exhaust noises that'll peg your car lust-o-meter like it may not have been pegged in a while." -- Motor Trend
  • Its "stampeding horses can slingshot the all-wheel-drive Lambo to 60 mph in fewer than 3.4 seconds, according to factory claims. Top speed is a claimed 211 mph. If that's not extreme enough, maybe you should look at the 1,001-hp Bugatti Veyron, but your accountant would likely remind you that you could have four Murcielagos for the price of one Bug." -- Edmunds
  • "Like the Countach and Diablo that preceded it, the Lamborghini Murcielago is a car built around its monstrous engine, a mid-mounted 6.2-liter 4-cam V-12 wrecking ball that gulps air and fuel and generates equal parts thrust, music and awe." -- Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

Auto writers are blown away by the '09 Murcielago LP640's 6.5-liter V12 engine. It produces 631-horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 487 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. While a six-speed manual transmission is standard, a robotized gear shifting system (e-gear) is optional. Lamborghini reports that the coupe and roadster have a top speed of 211 mph and 205 mph, respectively. Both accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in only 3.4 seconds.

According to the EPA, the manual Murcielago has a city/highway fuel economy of 8/13 mpg. The automatic is rated at 9/14 mpg. Though unimpressive, few reviewers seem to mind.

  • "Given the engine's size and cylinder count, it's no surprise there's torque all over the tach. It really wakes up at about 4500 rpm with a reedy intake howl and a Howitzer-style blast out of a single exhaust pipe that would make most 'Fast and Furious' types jealous beyond words. Gunning this barrel-chested V-12 to 8000 rpm and pulling the upshift paddle at full throttle is an automotive joy to be relished." -- Motor Trend
  • "Under normal conditions, 70 percent of the engine's power is sent to the rear wheels. During intense driving, up to 100 percent of the drive force can be sent to either the front or rear axles." -- Forbes
  • "Under full throttle, the engine bellows the big roar and the shifts crack like home-run bats." -- Car and Driver
  • "Fuel mileage with the manual transmission is 8 mpg city/13 mpg highway and 10 mpg combined -- not that you'd really care, but it's nice to know, should someone ask." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Though the four-wheel drive Murcielago shines in straight-line performance, it also handles quite impressively. Standard equipment includes a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, independent front and rear double wishbone suspension, an Anti-lock brake system, Brake Assist, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

  • "With a width only a Hummer H1 owner could love, the 2009 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 can be difficult to maneuver around town and in parking lots. But really, who actually cares about a Lambo's practicality? Thanks to the 632 hp and AWD, full-throttle acceleration is otherworldly, with a soundtrack to match." -- Edmunds
  • "The LP640 has new springs that are punishingly hard in broken city streets. The upside is that in twisting roads the car communicates gloriously widescreen stories of what it's up to. And your job is to follow the plot. For if you back off in the wrong place, or think you can drift it, you're wrong. You work within its limits. They're high--and that's the thrill. But don't cross the limit or it'll punish you. Because it's a Murcielago." -- Motor Trend
  • "Induction noise and physical acceleration are the instant ramifications of a punted throttle pedal. The nose rises slightly even from three-figure speeds, but the driver needn't worry, because above all other supercars, the LP640 is supremely stable at high speeds." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Its "permanent all-wheel-drive system with electronic traction control ... doesn't just improve performance; it's essential to tame this high-powered monster." -- Forbes
Review Last Updated: 2/10/10

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