Lamborghini museo and factory tour
I've made a return to manual gears and a drop top in this hire car so it's back to heel toe downshifts and roof down driving. Its early morning, not many peope about as I pass the sign "Sant Agata Bolognese, Citta di Lamborghini". I approach a roundabout so brake, clutch in, ping the gas, shift, clutch out and to my right I see the brand new purple and paper wrapped Aventador S out on its test drive. The puny engine in the hire car is soon drowned out by the v12 as we drive past by a nun who is walking by the Lamborghini site, bienvenuti, let the madness begin.
I was early for the museum so I spent ten minutes watching the security guard tell everyone who drove in to the site that the parking was out left and first right. It's not clear and this guy had to keep coming out of the main building to tell the bewildered tourists. This is Italy beautiful unorganised chaos. Much to my disappointment the museum doors opened horizontally in a traditional fashion. I have thirty minutes until the tour starts (That's an Italian thirty minutes) so I peruse the models that are on display.
Lamborghini has a reputation (one of many) to being the wilder of the two larger Italian sports car manufacturers this is based upon them always going bigger but on an apparently smaller budget. People love them for their madness and lucky for us Audi tamed them enough into producing, im about to say it, "sensible" Lamborghini. Back to the museum and we have examples of the beautiful classics in particular the Miura, this is a dream car of mine and this one was perfect. You remember the Miura concept they teased us with in '06, well that's in here too. Granted the original is better but this concept was surely a miss. That said the crazy continues with a beautiful green Countach and a Diablo Se in one of the most involving and flawless paint jobs known to man " oro elios " (pictures in the gallery), it is stunning. Lamborghini keep their unbound craziness in limited or one off builds, I guess Audi have given them permission to let off steam and as a result we have the Veneo, the Seisto Elemento and Reventon, all three are bananas. More serious production models are the hybrid super car the Asterion and the SUV the Ursus. While there are noplans to manufacture the Asterion the Ursus will go into production in 2018.
Onto the factory tour. Phones locked away we are given headphones and a radio so we can hear the guide whilst in the factory. Entering the factory we have assembley lines on the left and engines and the 'supermarket' on the right. Immediately I am blown away at the access we have here. We are standng in the middle of the factory and can see it all. First line is the Huracan, we see on the screens above that they have 23 stations in the line and the car spends 37 minutes at each. At the end of the day the line would have assembled twelve Huracan. Note here that all cars are made to order. In between the two lines is the dyno and queued up is the purple Aventador from earlier and two Huracan Perfomante. To our right we see the team assembling an Aventador engine, with the apprentices watching closely. Opposite is the final check station of the Aventador line and we are lucky to hear it fire up along with the horn test and washers etc, the horn sounds great ! The insight is incredible. Out of the line comes the only robot in the factory, it carries body shells to the start of the line and engines to the mounting station. We see it drop off an engine and then go back to the body shop and pick up a new Aventador body.
We are then taken through the interior section. We are welcomed to sample the various leathers in the sample display then its back between the yello viewing lines on the floor and onto the team marking out the leather imperfections. Once marked its over to the cut crew to programme the machine to cut around the marked imperfections. Once cut they wash the pieces and throw the off cuts in a bin. It's at this point I ask (as must everyone) , "What happens to the offcuts", (hoping for a momento), "We geev them to Ferrari" gleams our guide. Classic. I am now live in my own episode of How it's Made with the tour continuing on through the remainder of the interior lines then onto the assembly line. The line has 12 stations and moves every 90 minutes so every one needs to get the job done in that time. We time it perfectly to see a move take place and to see an engine go in and be hooked up. Every member on the line does the same job for 6 to 9 months and is then trained on another station. Eventually one person could assemble a whole car. We stand right next to the line, this is certainly not Ferrari, no bull (so to speak), these guys love their cars and are keen to show us. We see the dashboard being put together on the left then inserted into the car on the right. Brakes next and the huge carbon ceramics. Arriving at the final station we are treated to an engine start and a horn beep, the car rolls off the line and is set to be tested on the road.
I have gone on a bit here and for good reason. This tour is a car geeks dream. Lamborghini want you to see their cars up close, no secrets here. The whole thing started when Ferrucio Lamborghini was disappointed with his Ferrari and reengineered it himself, you can really appreciate this love of engineering here with this up close tour, I'd guess Ferrucio would want this. The rivalry between Ferrari and Lamborghini is obvious, and with this tour I find myself siding towards Ferrucios gang. They are crazy, give no F's and want you to see it, guts and all. The other guys are a little stiff and whilst they make good cars they miss a certain ounce of bonkers that sets Lamborghini apart and therefore ahead in my books.
- Cost = 75 EUR.
- Duration :~45 mins.
- Frequency : Not everyday
- Method: Email and arrange a time direct with Museo Lamborghini.
- Notes: Ask questions, these guys love their company. Free earphones. Rubbish gift shop (expensive umbrellas!)
- Value for money: 10/10 (Tour not gift shop)
- Exposure : 10/10