Lamborghini's Classic Miura is Reborn
Amongst Lamborghini enthusiasts, the Miura is considered one of
|For many, the Miura is the ultimate in car design for its beauty and power. (Photo: Lamborghini Canada)|
the most beautiful Lambos ever made, let alone, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was Lamborghini's first mid-engined car, the world's first mid-engine production car and, conceivably, was the birth of what's now known as the supercar.
The original Miura came to being in the 1960s just prior to the outrageous wedges, bulging flares, outlandish wings and vertical scissor doors of cars like the Countach and slightly more understated Diablo. Though it's difficult to believe, 2006 marks the 40th anniversary of the timeless Miura, which was launched at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show by its creators, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Nuccio Bertone, and in celebration Lamborghini built a one-off concept called the P400 Miura.
|Classic Miura doesn't look a thing like this, the new Gallardo SE. (Photo: Lamborghini Canada)|
it surprise you that the man in charge of styling Lambo's most recent cars, the Murciélago and the Gallardo, owns a Miura? No? Well, that's irrelevant, as the man behind the look and shape of the Miura Concept is Walter de'Silva, not Luc Donckerwolke who de-Silva replaced as head of Centro Stile Lamborghini, Lamborghini's in-house design department. If the name de-Silva sounds familiar to you, that's because de'Silva has also led design projects within other Volkswagen Auto Group brands, including Seat (Volkswagen's Spanish division) and most recently, Audi. In fact, de'Silva was responsible for such dramatic changes in design as the 'single-frame' trapezoidal grille on all new Audis. However, where de'Silva looked to forge new designs and create distinction on Audis and Seats, he's paid homage to the Lamborghini's storied past in modernizing the Miura.
Because de'Silva viewed the Miura as a piece of art from the start,
|Modernizing the Miura was a difficult, yet passionate task for Walter de'Silva, Lambo's new head of design. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
his objectives in creating the concept weren't to mold an all-new shape from scratch, but rather to bring it up to date by softening sharp edges and cleaning up details that would have been impossible to craft when the initial car was launched due to the materials available, or more accurately the lack thereof, all while carefully working off of the original design. Some purists might think such a task would be akin to improving on da Vinci's Mona Lisa, but in order for the Miura to function as a proper, modern-day car by today's standards, new technologies, new materials and new approaches to design must be used. Of course, to maintain the original's shape and details while meeting the latest safety regulations made the whole process much more daunting.
|Famous "eyelashes" are still there, though they're behind glass. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
case your eyes couldn't tell (or you just don't know what a Miura looks like), the P400 Miura Concept remains about ninety percent faithful to the original, in its shape and profile; the pistachio-coloured end result being unmistakable in its muse. It captures the details particularly well; the headlights with their mascara'd eyelashes are still present, albeit under glass, and the doors still wrap around the side windows, so that when they're opened, they look like the horns of a bull. Along the side profile, it's nice to see that things have been kept streamlined, with no unexpected extra vents or scoops. OK, so it's got a pair of side-view mirrors which weren't there before, and the intake on the hood isn't identical to the '60s car, but it has louvers over the engine cover, and that's worth a whole lot.