OK guys you better go get that deposit down now, get in at the front of the line.

http://www.autoblog.com/category/sports/ has a pic


January 6, 2006

 Lamborghini Unveils Sports Car It Vows Not to Make


*Filed at 10:36 p.m. ET*

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Italian sports car maker Lamborghini this week invited potential buyers in Los Angeles to see two new models: the one starting at $190,000 with a long waiting list and the one no one can buy for love or money -- not even if they are on Hollywood's A list.

Lamborghini, which is owned by Volkswagen <http://www.nytimes.com/redirect/marketwatch/redirect.ctx?MW=http://custom.marketwatch.com/custom/nyt-com/html-companyprofile.asp&symb=VLKAF> (VOWG.DE) and managed through the company's premium auto brand, Audi (NSUG.DE), unveiled a concept car in Los Angeles that revives the Italian automaker's Miura design from the mid-1960s.

That hand-made Miura became a favorite of sports car enthusiasts and attracted celebrity owners including Frank Sinatra, Tonight Show host Jay Leno and actor Nicolas Cage.

But Lamborghini Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann said the Italian car maker, which seeks first to protect the mystique around its brand, has no plans to produce a revived Miura.

``Never say never, but we will not go into production,'' Winkelmann told Reuters. ``We have a little company. We have a model line which is going to a fourth model, and we have to put our priorities in a row.''

Lamborghini, which sells 40 percent of its supercharged sports cars in the United States, also used the Los Angeles Auto Show to show off its Gallardo Spyder, which it bills as one of the fastest convertibles ever made. The car, which reaches a top speed of 193 miles per hour (314 kph) starts near $190,000 and runs up to near $330,000 for the V12 model.


California, famous for its open roads, sunny weather and rich celebrities, is a crucial market for Lamborghini, accounting for over a third of the company's U.S. sales.

``If you don't make it in Southern California, then there is no need to go anywhere else,'' Winkelmann said. ``It's our most important market.''

Lamborghini plans to ship 350 Spyders to the United States this year, and most of those have already been sold.

Winkelmann said he did not see a softening in demand for high-end sports cars this year, despite some forecasts for an overall decline in U.S. auto sales. ``You buy this car because you love it, not because you need it,'' he said.

Lamborghini expects to sell between 800 to 850 cars in the United States this year, up as much as third from last year because of the roll-out of the Spyder.

``It's a big increase, but we have a new product. We are not pushing to sell more. Because the brand is the most important thing we have.'' he said, adding that the company's motto was, ''always build less than demanded.''

One priority. Winkelmann said, is increasing Lamborghini's dealer network, now at 85 outlets, key because the company's research suggests its owners are driving their cars more and demanding more service as a result.

Lamborghini has also made its cars available to Hollywood producers and its sports cars have appeared recently in movies such as ``Transporter 2'' and ``Batman Begins.''

But unlike other companies, Winkelmann said Lamborghini would never pay for that increasingly common form of advertising. ``We never pay for this. This is a must,'' he said.

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