Lamborghini has released pictures of a new concept car revisiting the Espada (1968-78): a front-engined 2+2 GT which could compete against the likes of the Aston DB9 and Maserati 5000GT. It could be fitted with either the Gallardo's 5.0-litre V10 or the Murcielago's 6.2 V12, and could go into production late 2007: it is said to be entirely production-feasible, and not too far off getting the go-ahead as Audi seeks to widen the Lamborghini product range and achieve Ferrari-rivalling sales volumes.
Built on a version of the next-generation VW Group 'D4' platform - to be used for the next-generation Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton and related models, Bentley Arnage and even a rumoured 'entry-level' Bugatti (less powerful than the Veyron) - the new Espada will have a practical hatchback-type boot and could also have RX-8-style 'suicide' doors for easier access to the rear seats. However, although it is referred to internally as the 'Espada', it is likely to take a new name if - when - it goes into production. Sources suggest 'Lagartijo", after a famous matador.
This concept car could make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, though Lamborghini may not wish it to detract attention from the launch of the Gallardo Spyder and Roadster (the latter the production version of the no-compromises Concept S seen in Geneva) and special edition Gallardo Piton coupe models. The facelifted Murcielago will probably not, however, be seen until next year, when four-wheel drive versions with the uprated 6.5 V12 will be revealed, and perhaps even the long-rumoured diesel models with the VW TDI V10. Lamborghini is also said to be working on a modern-day LM 002 off-roader, and prototypes have been built of 'LM 00X' high-spec Reef Runner, Road Runner and Race Runner derivatives featuring a pair of scissor-opening doors. There are also reports that the so-called 'baby Lambo' project is well underway, with a coupe using an Audi V8 scheduled for launch in 2008.