After a 6.30am departure, which had us at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show nice and early, I somehow managed to agree to no less than six interviews with either car company bosses or design directors, all before midday.
A piece of cake you say, well normally I would agree with you, but this is Frankfurt, the largest motor show in the world, and with eleven enormous halls stretching for a few kilometres, you can’t just run from hall 1 to hall 11, unless you’re an Olympic marathon runner from Ethiopia.
My last interview was at 4.30 pm, which meant that I had time to recover from the morning’s circus, before sitting down with Stephan Winkelmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Lamborghini has had many owners, and almost of all them driven by their passion for this Iconic Italian brand, but none so more perfectly suited to run the company founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, than the gentleman that I was about to sit down with.
You see, Stephan Winkelmann maybe German, but he grew up in Rome where his parents raised him, so he comes across as far more Italian than German.
While there is no shortage of passion, Winkelmann knows the numbers game too. That’s probably why Lamborghini has become truly profitable for the first time in its chequered history, under his reign.
But Audi has also played a huge role in Lamborghini’s recent success, with their cutting edge technology and engineering, as well as their substantial investment, which has literally saved the company from certain extinction.
Lamborghini is on a roll, they produce only two models, the Gallardo and the Murcielargo, and are selling more cars than ever before, despite the recession.
But this Italian car company is also about lifestyle, and judging by how many punters were buying the high priced T-shirts, books, and jackets, plenty of people want to be part of the Lamborghini myth, even if they can’t afford the cars.
The outrageously styled Reventon Roadster personifies that rock star image that the Lamborghini brand personifies these days.
It’s big, loud and brash, but menacingly good-looking up close and in the metal.
When Stephan Winkelmann says The Reventon is the most extreme car in the history of the brand, you know you’re in for a visual treat.
And if you’re minted enough to afford the $1.1 million Euro for the Reventon Roadster, then you will own one of the rarest supercars in the world.
Just fifteen examples of this low flying missile will ever be built, and I suspect that they’re most likely already sold.
Powered by a massive 6.5 litre twelve-cylinder engine, producing 493 kW and 660 Nm of torque, this open top Lamborghini will do 330km/h, while 0-100km/h will take just 3.4 seconds.
For what is visually a huge car both in length and width, it has a dry weight of only 1,690 kilograms or just 25 kilograms more than the Reventon Coup.
The body is made entirely from carbon fibre with only the outer door skins made from sheet steel.
The result is an incredibly stiff bodyshell, which requires minimal reinforcement, although behind the seats are hidden pop-up roll bars, which will deploy prior to an imminent rollover.
Inside the cockpit is more like that of a modern day jet fighter than a sports car, as gone are the normal instrument dials, and in are two transreflective and one transmissive LCD displays.
Driver’s can switch between two modes, one digital and one with traditional analogue dials, but with coloured graphics depending on what information you require.
If its anything like the acceleration we experienced in the standard Murcielago Coupe, which we tested previously, then the only instrument we would be concerned with is the G-force metre at the top of the display.
Plenty of grip too, with Lamborghini’s Viscous Traction permanent all wheel drive, but just to be extra certain, some massive 335/30 rear tyres on some beautiful carbon spoked 18-inch wheels.
There’s also a hidden rear spoiler too which looks after down force when you reach 130km/h and again at 220km/h albeit at a steeper angle.
Chances are, we’ll never get a steer of this awesome machine, but just to see the car on the stand is a treat in itself.
Apology: I tried in vain to get some photos of the car without the promotional girls, but the mob wasn’t going to have a bar of it.