With the spate of exotic four-door, four-seat sportscars about to hit the market, Lamborghini used the recent Paris auto show to unveil its own interpretation of the genre. Called Estoque, it would go head-to-head with cars like the upcoming Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide. The new concept car has everything that defines a Lamborghini, yet brings a whole new versatility to the brand's DNA - with four seats and ample luggage space, this "everyday sportscar" would make an intriguing addition to the line-up.
Despite its extremely low profile - a mere 4.43 feet high - the Lamborghini Estoque is surprisingly spacious. The secret lies in its very long wheelbase which, in spite of the rearwards positioning of the front mid-engine, enables a relaxed, sporty seating position. Entering is also straightforward through the large, wide-opening doors.
The concept's low profile is possible because it's 16.89 feet long and 6.53 feet wide. The wheelbase is a stately 9.88 feet, which is equally important to the vehicle architecture. This adds up to an imposing vehicle that will struggle to pass through many of Italy's narrow streets. Yet on the autoroute, it will be able to stretch its long legs.
The front end of the Estoque is a clear statement of its sportscar credentials, with its swooping V-shape, its two large air intakes pulled forward and the small front spoiler in between. This front-end design gives the Estoque a low stance, while providing aerodynamic efficiency. The large intakes facilitate cooling air that is important for such a high-performance vehicle, while the spoiler was specifically designed to improve aerodynamic balance at high speeds.
Such a distinctive silhouette was only possible by positioning the engine well back under the very low hood.
The location of the engine is evident through the distinct division created by two large air outlets and the additional emphasis of a central power area in the hood. Further air outlets are positioned in the fenders, behind each of the front wheel arches. These are highlighted with an Italian flag motif that brings flair to the flanks.
The Lamborghini's permanent all-wheel drive will be transmitted to the huge 22" front wheels, with their double five-spoke design. And to emphasize the flow of power from the engine to the gigantic 23" rear wheels you'll find sharp lines at the shoulder line and sills. The flow is brought to its conclusion by the broad, even expanse of the rear end. The horizontal split created by the flat LED light clusters and the large, mesh-covered lower air outlets bring additional emphasis to this breadth.
Precise details, such as the hexagonal fuel caps on both sides of the vehicle, characterize the depth of the design language. The front headlamps, featuring bi-Xenon and LED technology, carry forward a theme evident in both the Reventn and the Gallardo LP 560-4 with the Y-shaped daytime running lights.
For all this fine detail, the one question everybody was asking was about the concept's engine. Yet it appeared Lamborghini hadn't quite made up its mind yet. They offered a tantalizing selection of drivelines, headed by the V10 from the Gallardo LP 560-4. However, there was also an alternative of a turbocharged V8 derived from this V10, as well as talk of a V8 with a hybrid module or even an extremely high-performance TDI. Each option is mouthwatering, and would give this sports sedan incredible cache, but we'll have to see whether Estoque becomes a reality first.Inside this grand tourer, the cockpit presents the driver with a large LCD screen displaying vehicle and route information. A range of images is available, including a classic layout with circular dials or an innovative digital display. A top-class audio installation and a sophisticated rear seat entertainment system round off the equipment. Oh, and of course, there's plenty room for the ubiquitous golf bags.