UK deliveries of the Lamborghini Murciélago e-gear will commence in May 2004, following the model’s launch at Frankfurt motor show in October 2003.
Lamborghini’s e-gear utilises an electronically controlled sequential shifting system, replacing the manual gear-shift system with electro-hydraulic units controlled by a dedicated ECU.
This ECU is operated by sophisticated software specially developed for the Murciélago, based on inputs received from sensors on the clutch and the gearbox, together with the data exchanged with the engine management system and the traction control system. The e-gear system removes the requirement for a clutch pedal.
The driver changes gear, either up or down, using the paddles mounted on the steering column. The ECU will provide optimised shifting, dependent on driving conditions and style, assuring constantly precise, fast gear shifts that are, in general, better than normally achieved by a good driver with a traditional shifting system. For instance, during downshifting an optimal ‘double clutching’ is performed dependent on the gearbox axles’ speed difference.
The electronic control also allows the system to prevent a driver’s inappropriate requests: for example, it avoids down-shifting when engine overspeed would be generated and, to aid the driver, a controlled automatic down-shift is performed when the engine’s rpm falls below acceptable thresholds.
In addition, three operational modes can be selected via buttons on the central console: ‘normal’, as a default setting; ‘sport’ mode for more dynamic driving and faster gear shifts; or a ‘low adherence’ mode for safer driving in adverse conditions.
"The Murciélago e-gear will appeal to both existing and new Lamborghini drivers, wanting the ultimate performance car but now with the option of a sequential paddle-shift gearbox," says Dominic Lancaster, general manager of official sole UK dealer Lamborghini London. "This is the same technology offered on the Lamborghini Gallardo for which we commenced deliveries last December, and the Gallardo e-gear has proven to be an extremely driveable but exhilarating specification. We estimate up to 50% of future Murciélago orders will include the new e-gear system."
The Lamborghini Murciélago was launched in September 2001as the V12 super car successor to the Lamborghini Diablo. The 6.2 litre, 12-cylinder 580bhp engine, permanent four-wheel drive car with manual gear-box costs from £168,000. A price for the e-gear specification is yet to be confirmed.Published 18 February 2004