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Lamborghini Unveils New Supercar

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 9:10am
GENEVA (AP) -- Record gas prices and a sluggish economy are driving many automakers to offer electric, hybrid and other less expensive cars to attract cautious customers. But that's not an issue for sportscar maker Lamborghini.

Lamborghini SpA is using the Geneva Motor Show to launch a gas-guzzling supercar, the Aventador LP700-4, and CEO Stephan Winkelmann is confident its sales won't be affected by rising prices at the pump.

"These cars are dream cars, they're never first user cars, so its always a car among others parked in the garage of our customers," Winkelmann said.

The Sant'Agata Bolognese-based carmaker, owned by Germany's Volkswagen AG, has already filled up more than 12 months worth of orders for the new Aventador, despite the tepid economic rebound in developed markets and the unrest in the Mideast that is driving oil prices to three-year highs.

Winkelmann said buyers of the Aventador and other supersports cars like it typically only drive them around 3,000 miles a year.

"So the fuel price is not affecting the sales of these cars," Winkelmann said.

The Aventador, which will sell for around $380,000 and gets 13 miles per gallon, will not be for penny pinchers.

Higher demand in strong economies in Asia and other developing markets are helping keep worldwide sales of supercars like the Aventador at around 30,000 to 35,000 cars a year, Winkelmann said.

"The Asia-Pacific market is the one that is pulling the sales the most," Winkelmann said. China has recently become Lamborghini's no. 2 market after the U.S., Winkelmann said.

Lamborghini says the Aventador will do zero to 60 mph in under 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 217 mph.
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