From the paddock at the scorching Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Automobili Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann watches as journalists flog his company's latest effort, the Gallardo LP560-4. The snarl of the Gallardo's V-10 engine provides a fitting soundtrack to Winkelmann's interview with Staff Reporter Mark Rechtin.
Lamborghini boss wants to keep the big engines
No. In looking to the future, we have to see about the social acceptance of super sports cars like ours. But it's not just about how a car accelerates and reaches its top speed but also how it sounds. We will never reach the emissions that are asked for. We are selling very few cars, and our customers drive less than 5,000 miles a year, so it's a very small impact. Still, it's an emotional discussion.
Our situation is better, but that does not change our attitude. Lamborghini is credible in all types of cars because we did a two-plus-two and an SUV in the past. But that is not in our plans. We have to stay focused. It's not just about factory capacity but that we only have 150 engineers in our r&d department who are already going full-speed.
It's just a number. Bentley sold 10,000 cars last year, and they are still exclusive. We prefer to have constant, controlled growth and not run for peaks. You need to have a base to give you sustainability. Otherwise, sooner or later you have cars waiting around at dealerships.
So far, there has been no contact with the Porsche guys. Porsche sells 100,000 cars a year. We sell 2,500. I don't see any overlapping in terms of products. I don't foresee any risks or problems.
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