China-Made Lamborghini Estoque To Cost 4 million yuan ($589,000)
While not everyone is convinced that China’s car-buying binge — which saw the country surpass the United States last year to become the world’s largest auto market — will continue, supercar makers are betting that the appetite of ultra-rich Chinese for the latest and greatest will remain insatiable for years to come.
Last month, Lamborghini announced it would introduce eight models to the China market in the remainder of the year in an effort to better compete with rivals Ferrari and Porsche, and today there are rumors swirling that the Italian supercar maker may plan to go a step further in 2012 and actually produce its four-door Estoque in China. As Gasgoo reports, if — or when — it goes on sale in China, the Estoque (which was originally unveiled in 2008 at the Paris Auto Show) will sell for 4 million yuan ($589,000).
The Estoque will be powered by a 5.2L V10 engine with a maximum output power up to 560hp, and is likely to feature a V12 TDI engine and a full V8 hybrid powertrain.
The four-door Estoque may just be the car to do the trick. Stephan Winkelmann, the German-born CEO of Lamborghini, said recently, “A four- door car would be a very feasible approach.”
Stephan Winkelmann also said recently, “A third model would fit Lamborghini very well,” but suggested the new car would have to provide “a real leap” in overall sales for it to pay off.
China is now Lamborghini’s second largest market after selling 86 models in the first half of the year, compared to the “little 26 models” sold in the same period last year.
While the fact that Lamborghini has so much faith in the demand for a four-door, more than half-million-dollar car in China is notable, what we really find interesting about Lamborghini’s China strategy is its plan to produce the Estoque locally. This brings up an issue that’s been faced (and is currently being faced) by automakers like Porsche and Volvo — will well-heeled Chinese want to drive a made-in-China supercar? We’ve looked at this question before, so we’ll leave it to the links, but the only reason we can currently imagine why Lamborghini would want to produce the Estoque in China is because it expects consumer perceptions to change by 2012. That, or Lamborghini’s willingly walking into a tougher situation than it expects.