How do you make the legendary bull stronger?

You bore it out, so that it runs faster toward any matador’s capa. You make it sleeker, so that it remains in admirers’ eyes, instilling admiration, even fear. You improve gearing, interior comfort, handling, and offer a ceramic braking system that allows this Italian bull, celebrating the great Spanish bull, to stop and turn on a lira.

The new Murciélago LP640 Coupé, unveiled at the 76th International Car Show in Geneva this spring by Italian Automobili Lamborghini, somehow toughens and beautifies the sports car icon — already a leader among alpha automobiles such as Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Aston Martin. A somehow improved Murciélago Roadster version is expected shortly.

(While unloosing the bull, by the way, Lamborghini also unveiled a “Miura Concept” at the Geneva show — a contemporary version of the legend, designed by Marcello Gandini and presented exactly 40 years ago at the same show.)

The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based company — “Casa del Toro” — is taking orders for the extraordinary Murciélago at its 86 Lamborghini dealerships worldwide. Since debuting at the 2001 International Car Show in Frankfurt, Germany, about 2,000 Murciélagos have sold worldwide — 529 last year.

The potent bull is named for the legendary “Murciélago,” involved in a famous 1879 bullfight. After a fierce match in Cordoba, Italy, the matador (Rafael Molina “Lagartijo”), spared the bull’s life. Such a rare honor is extended only to bulls that have shown tremendous courage and spirit during the fight.

Here in the Valley, exceptionally deep-pocketed aficionados can see and order this spirited taurine at Motorsports of Scottsdale/Lamborghini of Scottsdale, Raintree and Hayden roads in the Scottsdale Airpark. The boutique dealership, the only official Lamborghini Franchise in Arizona, also sells and services Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari, Porsche, and BMW. “If we don’t have a car, we can find it through our network,” says Ros de Giaxa, the company’s sales manager.

Of the new Murciélago LP640, Giaxa says, enthusiastically: “This car is unique by design, with 640 horse power, all wheel drive, a 6.5 liter V12, and scissor doors.” He further notes the new Muciélago Coupé will price at $311,000 and that one will show continuously at Scottsdale Motorsports. The “LP” refers to the new engine position: “longitudinale posteriore,” that is, rear mounted longitudinally.

Expect, though, to wait on a list for one year, he adds. (By the way, while you wait, you might want to try the also recently released Gallardo Spyder, a four-wheel-drive, 520-horsepower car with a maximum speed of 314 km/h and 0-to-100-km/h times of 4.3 seconds. That’s 0-62 mph in about 3.4 seconds. Not quite a Murciélago but a potent performer in any corrida.

Quite a Lot of Bull

Why wait for the Mucielago LP640?

First, power, power, power: 640 horses, up from the stomping 580 of the previous version.

The bullish engineers bored and stroked the block, upping displacement of the V-shaped-aluminum engine from 6.2 liters to 6.5 liters. The 12-cylinder, four overhead-camshaft engine achieves a maximum torque of 660 ft. lbs. at about 6,000 rpm — all while complying with European and North American environment laws.

All components were tested and refined: heads and intake, crankshaft, camshaft, and exhaust system. A continuous variable timing system (intake and exhaust side) and a multi-point, sequentially timed fuel injection system also improves performance. As before, the ignition system features individual coils — one for each spark plug.

A larger oil radiator keeps the horsepower cooler; as a result, the left-side air intake has been enlarged. The slick Lamborghini VACS cooling system (variable geometry air inlet system) remains the same. With this, air intakes open electronically, depending on the outdoor temperature.

For you, the fortunate rider, this means that the Murciélago LP640 now flies from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds (0.4 seconds faster than the previous model) and reaches a top speed of 340 km/h (up from 330 km/h). That’s about 0–62 mph — the road expression of a spirited bull somewhat annoyed with picadores and banderilleros.

Gearing is better, too, as is the differential and axle systems. A modified six-ratio gearbox is standard, but the adventurous may want to order the e-gear automatic with a new dedicated “Thrust” (acceleration program) mode. An optional sequential paddle shift is also available. If that isn’t sexy, you’re probably better fitted to a tepid Corolla.

The four-wheel drive system is based on Lamborghini VT (Viscous Traction) system —self-governing without electronic controls. Usually, the drive force splits between the front and rear axles in the ratio of 30 to 70. This adjusts depending on a variety of factors, and up to 100 percent of the drive force can be applied to a single axle, if necessary.

One Buff Body and Bad Brakes

With its characteristic scissor doors, the high-strength tubular body of the Murciélago unites sheet steel, honeycombed carbon fiber. New front and rear bumpers sharpen the appearance as do new rear lights. In addition, Lamborghini has incorporated the exhaust system terminal in the rear-bumper diffuser.

Want to show off your taut body and flex that sinew under the hood? Just request that your 12-cylinder engine hood be transparent glass, and watch as everyone gathers to gander.

New coaxial springs and stabilizers work with the “anti-dive” and “anti-squat” axle features, maximizing drivability and performance. Aluminum “Hermera” rims carry various sized Pirelli P Zero “Rosso” ZR 18 tires; professional racers can even order Pirelli P Zero “Corsa” (Race) tires.

The standard dual hydraulic circuit brake system, with steel brake lines, comprises self-ventilating front and rear brake disks, and the four-channel anti-blocking system (ABS) includes electronic brake control (DRP) and traction control (TCS). Want more? Ask Motorsports of Scottsdale/Lamborghini of Scottsdale to add 380 mm x 36 mm ceramic carbon brakes with six-piston brake calipers. That particularly lightweight system ensures that even in demanding conditions, you’ll experience almost no fading.

A Strong Interior Life

Inside, the Murciélago LP640 driver will enjoy redesigned head restraints as well as lozenge-shaped upholstery stitching on the seat and the door panels and elsewhere in the cockpit. What’s more, the new instrument panel features a new graphic design, with a Kenwood car radio, a widescreen monitor and DVD, MP3 and WMA player. You can also order a navigation system.

Customize: This is your toy. Murciélago Roadster asymmetric and driver-oriented fittings and upholstery are now available for the Coupé; these include a perforated leather driver’s seat and door panel. The cockpit can also be enhanced with an a carbon finish on the air conditioning control panel, the control lever console and the parking brake.

For safety, two front airbags, a single stage on the driver side and a two stage on the passenger side, ensure that the Murciélago protects you and your loved ones to the highest domestic and international standards.

“What can you say about the top-of-the-line car, the alpha male, in a line of cars so special, so powerful, as Lamborghini?” asks de Giaxa. “The only answer is to drive it — and, when it arrives from Italy, drive it away into the Arizona sunset.”

Lamborghini Scottsdale 480.483.9300