Ego. If your mom and dad were like this humble writer’s, they probably taught you that ego is generally a negative thing. As you get older, you start to realize the value of having a healthy one—but you also learn the value of keeping it in check. Suppress it too far, you wind up a pushover. Let it grow too large, though, and you wind up naming buildings after yourself. Or building one-off supercars with gonzo styling and room for only one person—oh, and that nobody else will ever get to drive. Behold the Lamborghini Egoista.
Whipped up by VW Group design head Walter De Silva and his hand-picked team of designers in honor of Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary (yes, this is yet another 50th birthday present Lamborghini bought themselves), the Lamborghini Egoista takes Lamborghini’s recent design trend of styling their cars to look like fighter jets and pushes it to full afterburner. The cabin is a cockpit, a single-seat compartment with a yoke in lieu of a steering wheel, a retractable canopy instead of a windshield, and what appears to be some sort of targeting computer head-up display in the event you need to nail a passing Ferrari with an AIM-9X Sidewinder (not included).
The styling’s aeronautical inspiration extends beyond the stealthy carbon-fiber bodywork; even the lighting is air raft-inspired, with white, red and green lights placed strategically around the car in order to provide reference for its location in three dimensions, not just the usual two for a car. Granted, this would only be practical for those rare times the Egoista has leapt off a Dukes of Hazzard-eqsue jump, but hey, it’s pretty obvious the Egoista left practicality on the side of the road about a mile back. Lamborghini claims the car’s bodywork and wheels are made from a “special antiradar material,” a claim which—considering most nations of the world would kill to get their hands on radar-absorbent material for their aircraft—we’re taking with a few grains of salt.
Not that many cops will be firing their radar guns at the Lamborghini Egoista, anyway. The one you see here is the only one they’re building, and they’re hanging onto it. “It is a car for itself, a gift from Lamborghini to Lamborghini, resplendent in its solitude,” the press release says. “The Egoista is pure emotion, Never Never Land, which no one can ever possess, and which will always remain a dream, for everyone.” That said, we’re betting the 600 horsepower 5.2 liter V10 mounted behind the driver is a preview of the output of the Gallardo replacement’s engine—and the Egoista’s styling might be a slight hint at said car’s looks. A very slight hint. [via Lamborghini]
LAMBORGHINI EGOISTA – WALTER DE SILVA’S HOMAGE FOR LAMBORGHINI’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
An emotional moment in Sant’Agata Bolognese yesterday at the culmination of the gala celebrating Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary: Walter De Silva’s incredible vehicle made its entry in front of a thousand invitees, the Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group’s homage to celebrating the House of the Raging Bull’s half century. “I am very attached to this Italian brand, being an Italian myself. I wanted to pay homage to and think up a vehicle to underline the fact that Lamborghinis have always been made with passion, and with the heart more than the head,” said an emotional De Silva.
Indeed the Egoista, as the vehicle has been christened, is a car forged from a passion for innovation and alternative solutions, the same passion which has always set the Lamborghini brand apart. “This is a car made for one person only, to allow them to have fun and express their personality to the maximum. It is designed purely for hyper-sophisticated people who want only the most extreme and special things in the world. It represents hedonism taken to the extreme, it is a car without compromises, in a word: egoista (selfish),” De Silva further explained.
The supercar’s debut was equally spectacular, with a cinematic entry announced by a trailer projected onto the nine big screens in the room. The stage was transformed into a landing strip, with a top model in a flight suit guiding the Egoista’s arrival with ground crew light paddles, and the roar of the V10 engine shaking the 20-meter-tall tensioned event structure: this is the spectacle the VIP guests were treated to when Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann entered at the wheel of the Egoista, before inviting its creator, Walter De Silva, to join him on stage.
Concept and technology
Powered by a 5.2-liter V10 engine supplying it with 600 horsepower, the Lamborghini Egoista is an intentionally extreme and unusual vehicle with absolutely unique characteristics, created by the Volkswagen Group design team – Alessandro Dambrosio responsible for the exterior and Stefan Sielaff for the interior, in particular. De Silva’s team chose to create a single-seater, pushing all the characteristics in Lamborghini’s make-up meaning pure driving pleasure, performance and style beyond their limits. The cockpit, designed like a tailor-made suit for the driver, is a removable section which, once combined with the rest of the vehicle, creates a perfect technical, mechanical and aerodynamic unit. Inspiration, as per Lamborghini tradition, once again comes from the world of aviation, and in particular the Apache helicopter, where the cockpit can be ejected in an emergency.
“The cockpit, made completely of carbon fiber and aluminum, represents a sort of survival cell, allowing the driver to isolate and protect themselves from external elements,” De Silva explained.”We kept an eye on the future when designing the Egoista, with the idea that its cockpit could have been taken from a jet aircraft and integrated into a road vehicle, to provide a different travel option.”
The exterior is characterized by two fundamental aspects: its architecture, and the materials used. The design is determined by a highly muscular structure, in which empty and solid areas fit together with strength and vigor. The bodywork is dominated, on its sides, by the stylized profile of a bull preparing to charge, its horns lowered. The bull is driving towards the front wheels, conferring a futuristic dynamism and lines which are already, in themselves, highly aggressive. Naturally, this is a homage, a bold stylistic citation which can only be a reworking of the Lamborghini brand icon, the well-known raging bull. The challenge of efficiently inserting the Lamborghini symbol as an integral part of the bodywork was met courageously and artistically. The plan view reveals a trimaran profile, where the central hull forms a unique section with the cockpit, underlined by the carbon-fiber cover on the front hood.
The upper part of the vehicle does not have aerodynamic appendages, but rather flaps integrated in the bodywork profile which act automatically depending on the driving conditions. Two rear flaps activate automatically at high speeds to increase stability, while a series of air intakes on the back of the engine hood provides the cooling air flow to the powerful V10 power plant. While the front of the vehicle has a profile intended to increase downforce, the rear is fully open with the mechanics in view, reducing weight but also with the result of creating a more aggressive look. The Lamborghini Egoista’s lights are more like an aircraft’s than a road vehicle’s. It does not have traditional headlights, rather LED clearance lights which determine its position not just on a single plane such as the road, but rather in three dimensions, as is required in airspace. Two white front lights, two red rear lights, a red flashing light in the upper part of the tail, two orange bull’s eyes as side markers, and a further two lights on the roof, red on the left and green on the right, make this four-wheeled UFO unique even in the dark. Finally, hidden behind the front air intakes at the base of the join between the central body and the two side sections, are two powerful xenon headlamps, two eagle’s eyes able to scan the darkness for great distances. As it is made from lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon-fiber, the vehicle has no-walk zones, duly marked like on airliners. The parallels with the world of aeronautics do not end here, however, as the body is made from a special antiradar material, and the glass is anti-glare with an orange gradation. The rims are also made from antiradar material, flat and rough, embellished with carbon-fiber plates to improve their aerodynamics.
The cockpit’s interior is extremely rational, its functionality taken to the extreme. There is a racing seat with a four-point seatbelt, each strip a different color, the airbags, and the bare minimum of instruments. The focal point of these is a head-up display, typical of jet fighters. To get out of the vehicle, the driver must remove the steering wheel and rest it on the dashboard, open the dome with an electronic command, stand up in their seat, sit down on a precise point of the left-hand bodywork, then swivel their legs 180 degrees from the inside of the cockpit to the outside of the vehicle. At this point they can set their feet down and stand up. Even in getting out of the vehicle, the Lamborghini Egoista requires a pilot more than a driver, a real top gun.
The Egoista contains, in Walter De Silva’s opinion, all the product criteria which are part of Lamborghini’s make-up. “It’s as if Ferruccio Lamborghini were saying: I’m going to put the engine in the back, I don’t want a passenger. I want it for myself, and I want it as I imagine it to be. It is a fanatical vehicle, Egoista fits it well.”
If Lamborghinis are cars for the few, this one goes further. It is a car for itself, a gift from Lamborghini to Lamborghini, resplendent in its solitude. The Egoista is pure emotion, Never Never Land, which no one can ever possess, and which will always remain a dream, for everyone.