Lamborghini releases mysterious teaser image

Lamborghini releases mysterious teaser image

A concept Lamborghini is coming to the Paris Motor Show in October, but the Italian company has only revealed a single enigmatic close-cropped image and no details except the tag line, "It's not just a new Lamborghini. It's a new world." Could the car be the long-rumored Murcielago SV? Or will it be a concept for the Murcielago's replacement? Or is another, unknown, concept in the works? All of these, and more, are possible.

The image released depicts twin-hexagonal exhaust outlets, honeycomb ventilation for the engine compartment - which can already be found in a different layout on the current Murcielago - plus a carbon-fiber diffuser, the lower lip of the engine compartment cover and the hint of two broadly-spaced rear wheels. The current Murcielago features a single exhaust outlet on the rear fascia, as does the Reventon variant, but its familiar central location indicates an evolutionary styling change more than a revolutionary development internally.

The Murcielago has been around since 2001 in essentially unchanged form. Some updates have come along over the last 7 years, as have some special editions, but the car is due for replacement soon. At last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the sister event to the Paris show, Lamborghini revealed the Reventon - an aggressively styled, up-rated version of the Murcielago LP640. The released image seems to share much in terms of the Reventon's angular design, but the heavy use of carbon fiber and new twin-exhaust outlets hints at something different - not just another special edition.

Nevertheless, the potential exists that it could be the Murcielago SV (Sport Veloce) - a rumored design project that focuses on lightness and raw performance. Like the Gallardo Superleggera or any of a number of similar track-specials from competitors, the SV is expected to gut the interior of the car and replace everything with carbon fiber. Aluminum components in the suspension and chassis will be replaced with lighter magnesium. The automatic self-raising spoiler of the standard Murcie will be ditched in favor of a fixed GT-style wing, and finally - and most unlikely - the car will drop its front differential and driveshafts to save weight, making the car RWD.

Lamborghini has previously stated it would not be making a RWD car, however, so the SV will either end up AWD or will remain only a rumor. A full-on replacement to the Murcielago, however, may be more reasonable. Already talk of the next V12 supercar from the Raging Bull has begun, and sources within Sant'Agata indicate it will be a lightness-obsessed AWD monster with Reventon-like styling. Those elements all fit quite well with the image released.

Cutting weight and adding even more power may end up with a next-generation Murcielago that fits many of the design principles of the Murcielago SV but with a different, more liveable end result. On the other hand, Lamborghini may have something else entirely up its sleeve. We'll just have to wait until October 1 to find out.