Automobili Lamborghini SpA is preparing to unveil the limited edition Centenario LP770-4 at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show, a special model to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the late Ferruccio Lamborghini who was born in 1916, back in 2013 the car company celebrated their 50th anniversary with an amazing road trip through Italy ... but did you know 2016 also marks 50 years of Lamborghini model names being derived from bullfighting?
The tradition was started back in 1966 with the first Lamborghini to receive a name that tied in very closely with the Raging Bull logo mounted up front ... the 1966 Lamborghini Miura, the logo was derived from the fact Ferruccio Lamborghini was a Taurus by birth, a visit in 1962 to the ranch of Don Eduardo Miura Fernández gave Ferruccio the idea to have his cars named after famous bulls, or at least items that tied in closely with bullfighting ... his Bull logo was reminiscent of a charging bull anyway.
The Miura was a breed of very large and fierce bulls, the first of the Miura breed was entered into the arena in Madrid back in 1849, in fact the Miura bull breed was created from another famous Spanish bull breed ... the Gallardo ... doesn't that one sound familiar too?
When it was time to replace the 350/400GT with a new model Ferruccio decided to no longer only use an indication of the engine displacement to name his luxurious GT car, but called her the Islero 400GT, where the name Islero was taken from a famous bull that killed matador Manuel Rodriquez back in 1947, the Islero bull was in fact from the fierce Miura breed.
One of the most successful classic Lamborghini models surely was the Espada, in total over 1,200 units of this 'Italian Rolls Royce' would leave the factory in Sant'Agata, powered by a 4 liter V12 up front the Espada could seat 4 people in a luxurious cabin. The name Espada came from bullfighting too, this time it wasn't the name of an actual bull but Espada is the Spanish word for the matador's sword, a very important item in the world of bullfighting.
In 1970 the Islero was replaced by the Jarama, another 2+2 seater with the V12 in the front, the Jarama would be using a shortened Espada chassis, which made this car a very wide and low riding luxury GT, especially the special treatment of the headlights would make this a really interesting car ... to reveal the twin headlights the covers tilt down. While Jarama is a famous Grand Prix track near Madrid in Spain, in case of this Lamborghini the name refers to the breed of some of the fiercest bulls in Spain, bred by Don Manuel de Gavaria in La Mancha, they pastured near the Jarama river in Titulcia.
The Lamborghini Urraco was Ferruccio's attempt to attract more customers and have his factory producing more cars to secure a larger cash flow, the Urraco from 1972 was a V8 instead of the regal V12 flagship, Urraco actually means 'Little Bull', a name give to a breed of smaller, but very fierce bulls that showed a black and white hide.
When sales of the Urraco didn't really help to raise production of an affordable V8 model at Sant'Agata, Ferruccio first tried the targa style with the Silhouette, which was a very good looking car with her wide wheel arches and stunning wheels, but the lack of certification to sell the Silhouette in the United States meant only 52 units would be built ... however the evolution into the Jalpa P350 in 1981 did become a reasonable success with about 410 units to be produced, the name was taken from Jalpa Kandachia, another famous breed of fighting bulls.
The Diablo name was taken from a particularly ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, it fought an epic battle with 'El Chicorro' in Madrid on July 11. 1869, this animal became legendary and it's well-known history and name were aggressive enough to be used for a Lamborghini, as you might imagine, Diablo also means Devil in Spanish.
It took Automobili Lamborghini SpA little over 10 years to come up with a successor to the Diablo, the brand new Murciélago was introduced in September 2001 with a name taken from bullfighting: during a fight in 1879, this legendary bull was still standing after 24 stabs from the 'espada', the matador's sword. Pressured by the audience, this fierce bull was kept alive, later it was acquired by Don Antonio Miura, yes, the same guy that bred the famous Miura bulls that named the very first mid-engine road car, the magnificent Lamborghini Miura and started the bull naming tradition for Lamborghini.
When the production of the Jalpa ended there was no entry level Lamborghini anymore, it would take many years before a new, V10 powered model would be introduced in 2003, the Lamborghini Gallardo, a name yet again taken from a breed of fighting bulls, bred by Francisco Gallardo in the 18th century at Santa Maria in Cadiz ... a breeding stock of Gallardo bulls would later be acquired by Juan Miura ... which would lead to the Miura breed of bulls.
The Lamborghini Reventón was a limited edition version of the Murciélago LP640, built only 20 times in 2007 priced at €1,000,000 ... by the time this special, matte metallic Bull was unveiled a the IAA in Frankfurt all 20 units were already sold out. Reventón was a fighting bull, owned by the Don Rodriguez family. It is included in the list of the most famous bulls ever and is known for killing the famed bullfighter Felix Guzman in 1943.
While not a production car per se, the Lamborghini Estoque drew a lot of attention at the 2008 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris as the first four door model from Lamborghini since the LM002, but the Estoque was more of a successor to the famous Espada ... also in name as Estoque is the name for a special type of sword used by bullfighting matadors.
The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show to replace the aging Murciélago, the Aventador was a totally new Raging Bull, designed around a new engine it would become an instant success for Automobili Lamborghini SpA, and just as tradition dictates the Aventador name was taken from bullfighting. Aventador was a bull that fought in October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena in the end it would earn the "Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera" for its outstanding courage.
The Lamborghini Urus might be a concept prototype, but a Super Sports SUV based on the Urus will go into production by 2018, and while not specifically taken from bullfighting per se, the name Urus or Aurochs is taken from a now extinct species of very large, wild bulls that lived in Europe, Asia and North Africa. The last surviving Urus died in 1627 in Poland, some of the larger Urus bulls could be as tall as 180cm and weigh an impressive 1,500kg while boasting horns that could be 80cm long.
Like the 2007 Reventón being a restyle of the Murciélago, the Lamborghini Veneno was a total redesign of the Aventador. Veneno is the name of one of the strongest and most aggressive fighting bulls ever famous for being one of the fastest bulls in the history of bullfighting. Veneno became popular in 1914, when he fatally wounded the famous torero José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda’s, Andalusia, Spain.
The Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 took her name from a real: Asterion is the name for a mythical Minotaur, a hybrid figure and symbolic crossbreed telling a story of the powerful fusion between intellect and instinct, part man and part bull ... which suited the hybrid Asterion perfectly.
The first thing you think about with the name Huracán is that it's Spanish for hurricane, but back in 1879 a bull called Huracán fought in Alicante where it got known for an impressive sense of attack and courage. When we think about the fact the name Cabrera was tought to be used for the new V10 we would also be in the world of bullfighting as Cabrera is also a name of a famous bull.
So with the Lamborghini Miura celebrating her 50th anniversary in 2016, this first mid-engine V12 model from Sant'Agata started the tradition of using names derived from the world of bullfighting to complement the Raging Bull crest taken from the Taurus sign under which Ferruccio Lamborghini was born ... the Miura was the first of the breed ...