The true mark of superiority among the world’s uber-elite is owning something that someone else with the same wealth can’t have. Hence, why the craze for custom one-off car builds is reaching fever pitch. All sorts of supercar companies have dipped toes in these free-for-all waters, with positive results — such as the one-of-one Ferrari P80/C, designed for an unnamed Hong Kong customer.
Lamborghini’s ready to throw its hat into this ring, and it’s already working with its first customer to create something that’ll remind of you very much of one of the brand’s most iconic bulls. At Monterey Car Week in Monterey, California, we caught up with Lamborghini’s chief commercial officer, Frederico Foschini, for a download on how one-offs will work for Lambo.
Q: How do you decide to do limited editions of existing variants?
A: This is a long process. Every five or six years, we go through a calendar and all the divisions look together — commercial, design, research and development — to create a good idea and timing. Then we make a design proposal, one that includes technological innovation with design.
Once we find the right proposal, we start. We plan when we want to reveal the car, and right up to that point, we’re working on the design and the technological contents to create the best product possible.
Q: Will you do one-off customer cars?
A: Yes. We’re in the process now with the first customer. We’re hosting the customer to our facility in Bologna, Italy, and we give him a platform — the Aventador — from which he can freely design the exterior, the interior, and we can alter the engine slightly to increase power.
That platform is the most iconic but also the most versatile that offers the most opportunity. We give him the V12, the monocoque, and the chassis and frame, and he takes over from there.
Q: Since it’s built on an existing platform, you don’t have to re-validate that custom car for crash testing, correct?
A: Yes, for one car we cannot repeat all the tests every time. So long as there are no modifications to the chassis or the monocoque, the customer [can] change anything else. He’s currently been sitting with our designers and been giving a briefing, and we’re going to submit him some proposals. After, we’ll use the proposal to begin the build process and hopefully come as close to possible to his wishes.
Q: This is going on now?
A: Correct. We’re doing this as we speak. It’s something we are ready to do and what we want to do.
Q: What’s off-limits? Would you add forced induction if he wanted to put twin-turbos on that V12?
A: No, no, no. We can work on power selection in order to have greater power, but we’re not changing the base of the engine. We can tune it, but we’re not going to add turbos. This is more aesthetic. He could make a speedster, by chopping the roof off — which may need revalidating, but it’s possible. We’re open to each and every possibility.
Q: Do you have an inclination what the customer wants? Speedster? Roadster? Coupe?
A: More and more people want something that’s inspired by the old models of Lamborghini, and especially the Countach. Now, it’s the 45th anniversary of the Countach. A couple of customers asking to have something that reminds them of that very special car. They’re looking for a more extreme design in these homages, maybe something different from the one we’re normally submitting to the customers, but it must be Countach-themed.
Q: What are we talking for cost, assuming you don’t have to revalidate the car?
A: Somewhere around the €4 million ($4.4 million), but that’s just an estimation, because it can be very expensive depending on the materials selected and the requirements of the exterior build.
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