At this year's Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini showed us a brilliant ultra-exclusive car Lamborghini Veneno. As you may have read, only three will be made and all three are sold at a whopping 3 million Euros a piece!
We caught up with Mr. Filippo Perini, Head of Design, Lamborghini to talk about the Veneno, the Gallardo replacement and the Urus SUV concept.
IAB - Starting with Lamborghini’s show stopper for Geneva this year, the Lamborghini Veneno. What was it inspired by?
Perini - In this case we were thinking about something very functional and yet something race oriented. We had inspiration from the LeMan car. The main inspiration for the Veneno came from Race. It is race oriented.
IAB - When we saw the images of the Veneno in our office (IAB had received the exclusive images of the Veneno from Lamborghini before its Geneva debut. However, an embargo for March 4 2100 CET had to be followed) all we could think about was the aerodynamic nature of the car...
Perini - We had a strong job done in controlling the aerodynamics of the car. It was very important. We were working since the beginning to ensure that the car has a lot of downforce and we reduced the drag. For us, two important things had to be done: Reduce weight and have good downforce.
IAB - The Veneno has been built using the Aventador platform though, isn’t that right?
Perini - Yes, we turned to the Aventador as it was a very good car to work on. However, the Veneno is completely different from the Aventador. They share the underpinnings and the 6.5-liter V12 engine. Apart from that, everything is different. Even the way we have tuned the engine is different for the Veneno as it develops higher power.
IAB - What challenges did you face as designers?
Perini - The huge challenge was that we’re not allowed to build concepts. We must only make prototypes. The Veneno was actually born, and sold almost immediately. As you know, all three pieces are sold. The car we have on display is Car #0. We’ll be using it for homologation and test purposes. It will form a laboratory for us. We will maybe test new and innovative stuff in it. The interior for example, the materials used, are really futuristic and advanced. The forged components, the carbon skin, we’re treating this car as a showcase, it is very important for us. We’re doing this type of car to test our designs and our design interpretations.
Unlike the Sesto Elemento, the Veneno is road and track legal isn’t it?
Perini - Yes, it is. We’ve the track and road legal certification for USA and Europe.
IAB - Moving on to your other offering. The Gallardo. You had introduced the 2013 edition of the car at the Paris Motor Show last year and we had recently seen some updates even in the Indian market. However, it is nearing it’s 10th birthday. How big a design leap can we expect to see on the car?
Perini - I think the funny thing is that we’re needing to change or update our models because of the changing market. But, the car does not need to be changed! It is one of the much modern cars in its class. If we meet again in the next 20 years, we’ll speak of the Gallardo as a classic icon, as a design icon! It will go down in history of great designs. I don’t think this is the case for a lot of cars, cars that I see here today. Our designs will always be modern.
IAB - I know what you’re saying. I remember the first Lamborghini I ever saw was a Countach. An interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the basic profile, the side view if you may, has not seen a significant change. Be it the Gallardo, the Aventador or even the Murciélago, the side profile remains consistent..
Perini - Exactly. The silhouette comes from the Countach. Thanks to that design, we’re always able to evolve. My feeling is that we’ve to continue this way. We can try different design interpretations like the Veneno, but our main design will continue the same way. And as I said before, our designs are the best. The Gallardo is an everyday car!
IAB - So when can we expect to see the Gallardo facelift?
Perini - Obviously it will arrive. But I don’t know when... Actually I do know when it will arrive, but I cannot say *laughs*. I will say this, all Lamborghinis, if not immediately, become an icon in their own way. We’ve produced so few models in the past, that every car has become a history for us. If I say to you, Diablo, or Countach, or Miura, they are names that you will remember. They’re names that will open a door in your brain immediately. This is because they’re immediately recognizable as a Lamborghini.
IAB - On the one hand we have that, iconic Lamborghini supercars. But, at last year's Beijing Motor Show, we saw the Lamborghini Urus SUV concept. Something that deviates a bit maybe?
Perini - Yes, we’re working on it as we speak. Our main aim is, don’t destroy the design, or to improve it. We were thinking about the future and we think the SUV market is one of the best opportunity for us in the future. Something that we need to be present in for the future. My opinion on this is that as designers we need to continue to propose new designs for Lamborghini with our design language. Then, the company has a lot of professional guys to decide which is the important design for us.
IAB - While I was doing my research for this interview, I read that you designed the one-off Lamborghini Aventador J in just a weekend! Is that true?
Perini - Yes, I did that for the Geneva last year. It is more or less true. We were deciding what to do for Geneva and there were some options that I personally was not interested in. So I decided within a weekend to do something more. It was a Saturday morning and I had to have the presentation on the Monday. I was driving that time to my home city and I was talking with Mr. Winkelmann over the phone. All of a sudden, I said OK and I turned my car back to the office! The J turned out to be one of the most beautiful presentations I’ve done in Lamborghini.