The delicious Murcilago roadster prototype followed quickly at the Detroit Show in 2003, coincident with the appointment of Audi's Dr. Werner Mischke as chairman of the company, and at Geneva, the long-gestating baby Lamborghini project finally came to fruition in the form and shape of the stunningly beautiful new Gallardo (ga-yard-oh). The production Gallardo will be lightweight, with a 5-liter, 500-bhp V10 with a six-speed manumatic transmission and paddle shifters and conventional opening doors.

This year will see the completion of the Lamborghini Registry, an attempt to gather data on every surviving car since the beginning in 1963, and of the new Lamborghini Design Center under the direction of Audi design boss Walter de'Silva and new Lamborghini design boss, 37-year-old Luc Donckerwolke, neither of whom has an Italian surname, both of whom know how to design dazzling automobiles.

Automobili Lamborghini S.P.A. has only built about 10,000 cars over a tumultuous 40-year span in business, with six different owners, but the cars, every single one of them, are testament to a particular kind of design genius and engineering boldness that comes only rarely to the automobile business. Ferruccio Lamborghini, Marcello Gandini and all of their collaborators down through the years have put the mark very, very high.

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