Art is one of the most diverse words in all of the English language, and it’s certainly one of my favorites. If you ask a dozen people what they consider art, you’ll likely get a dozen different answers. That’s the beautiful thing about art, it’s completely subjective. Many have said that cars cannot be art, but when I stand confronted by the face of the Liberty Walk LB-R “Limited Works 20″ Murcielago, I beg to differ.
I’ll go ahead and presume many of you have already seen this car, if not from Mike Garrett’s spotlight on this very site, likely in some form of social media. It was easily one of the hottest and most talked about cars at SEMA and I lost count of how many times someone came up to me asking if I had seen “the crazy wide body brushed aluminum Lambo!?”
I knew the instant that I first laid eyes on it that I was looking at a work of art. The commentary I received from others after the fact merely cemented my initial opinion. It seemed that everyone spoke very passionately about the car, whether it was in awe or disgust. Thoughts ranged from “OMG it’s the sickest car here!” to “I don’t see what the big deal is, it’s just a Lambo with a kit.” As an artist, these types of reactions signify a job well done.
Whether you loved it or hated it, this was one car nobody at SEMA missed; yet the halls were filled with hundreds upon hundreds of high quality builds that somehow slipped back into mediocrity. Founded were the complaints about the car having very little done in terms of performance adders, yet this simple build managed to become the show’s protagonist, despite the naysayers.
In fact, I think this car might be the least-modified vehicle I’ve ever shot for a car feature, for this or any other special-interest publication. But the magic of this car isn’t how many bells and whistles and computers it’s had fitted or swapped out, but how it makes you feel when you look at it. The vision behind the concept is what makes it special.
An untrained onlooker could quite easily be fooled into thinking this is a custom interior, but those familiar with Lamborghini will quickly spot that the cockpit remains in a state that is very nearly stock. Of course the cabin was an afterthought for this particular build, after all you wouldn’t expect Picasso to put much thought into the backside of his canvas would you?
Clearly Kato-San, owner of Liberty Walk / LB Performance (and this particular Murcielago), couldn’t leave the interior completely standard. A set of custom painted three-dimensional door sill plates have been added, which perfectly match the sparkly camouflage wrapped steering wheel.
Just as the interior, the engine remains largely similar to how it was when it rolled off the assembly line in Bologna. To my astonishment, this car has actually logged a staggering amount of miles and the fact that it keeps on running is a tribute, to both Audi’s involvement with Lamborghini, and the famous multiple-sword-gash-surviving bull for which the car is named.
Amusingly enough, in another stroke of form-over-function, the single engine modification is purely cosmetic – a set of custom exhaust tips. You do however have to admit they look rather nice peeking through that completely mental LB Performance rear bumper!
Even the suspension has been left stock, but given the freakishly low ride height that super cars like the Murcielago are equipped with from scratch, I can’t say I blame him. Needless to say, the wheels have been replaced with an insane set of iForged Equip V3s in sizes that are sure to blow your mind: 19×8.5 -2 out front and stonkingly massive 20×13 -50 in the back! Buried deep within the barrels lay the only other performance modification on the car, a big brake kit from CSD.
But again, if you’re simply looking at this car in hopes of witnessing a crazy list of bolt-ons you’ve missed the point. As the premier Lamborghini body kit brand in Japan, LB Performance has become synonymous with radically sinister Murcielagos. So how do you make a splash at the world’s largest aftermarket trade show with a car that’s beginning to show its age? You take a page from Madonna and reinvent it.
Needless to say, trying to outdo Lamborghini is an extremely tall order. Known the world over for their forward-thinking-avant-garde design, Lambo’s are some of the most extreme cars on earth, but they also date themselves quite badly. With each new generation, the most recent predecessor must suffer an awkward phase where it is neither new enough to be cutting edge nor old enough to be a classic. When compared to the Aventador, a standard Murcielago is chopped liver.
Yet somehow, almost impossibly, this new LB-R Limited Works kit manifests a totally new look for the car. Ironically, the majority of the kit, including the bumpers and rocker panels, are items that Liberty Walk has been selling for years. But once these pieces are combined with a new set of over fenders the entire look and feel of the car is transformed into something even wider and more aggressive, yet simultaneously sleeker and contemporary.
This refresh comes courtesy of the man I’d call the most influential designer in the aftermarket in 2012; of course I’m talking about Miura-san of TRA Kyoto. I know that Speedhunters readers aren’t dummies so I would imagine that most of you had already pegged his involvement from the first glimpse of one of his unmistakably shaped fender flares. Maybe I’m just sipping the Rocket Bunny Kool-aid, but it seems like right now this man can do no wrong.
When you take all of that – the raw potential of Lamborghini with the flavor of LB – and cover it in an incredibly shiny faux-brushed-aluminum wrap this is what you end up with; a car that takes your notion of an outdated V12 monster and tears it to shreds. What you have is the wildest looking Murcielago on the planet; the one car from SEMA that everyone keeps talking about. What you have, is art.
LB Performance “LB-R Limited Works 20″ 2004 Lamborghini Murcielago
LB Performance exhaust tips
CSD calipers and floating rotors (f/r)
WHEELS / TIRES
19×8.5 -2 (f) / 20×13 – 50 (r) iForged Equip V3 wheels; 235/35R19 (f) / 345/25R20 Toyo Proxes T1R tires
LB Performance steering wheel wrap, door sill plate
LB Performance body kit including LB-R limited works 20 front bumper, version 2 front lip, side skirts, rear bumper, rear diffuser, version 3 rear wing, LB-R limited works 20 over fenders (f/r); Brushed aluminum vinyl wrap by Boom Craft Japan / SPF
CSD, Boom Craft / SPF, Fatlace
I dont get how car enthusiasts really look at this and feel so much hate and anger. Its a cool looking car, like a big hotwheels car. its just to make a visual impact, f*cking relax.
I think this is pretty dope. Imagine it coming down the toad! Sure fire head turner. But I see why some hate it. Not for everyone I guess
Bearsdkills This. I can't understand how this atrocity is acceptable to some people. Apparently 8.5" wide front wheels and 13" in the rear are the proper set up for a wide body lambo lool. Ricers gon' rice.
Fkitbtn Bearsdkills Lambo's have always run wide wheels. Correct me if im wrong but the rear tires on a lambo are the widest street legal tires.
Bearsdkills the company stemmed from farm equipment, and has virtually no motor sports history.
i'll just leave that here...
@TravisRock @Bearsdkills hey now, they have a very rich Motorsport history over the last half decade. :p
TravisRock Bearsdkills Well the Dodge Viper had a tractor motor in it initially and subaru stemmed from airplanes. Its called progression people, especially after the world wars alot of companies turned their eyes to car design.
I'd be afraid to even walk in my garage with that monster sitting there! It just looks so mean!
I do think that if he would have done real brushed aluminum, this car would just be mind blowing.
otar It's already Carbon Fiber under the factory paint.
Please explain how replacing the carbon fiber body panels with aluminum is desirable.
A sticker job, and he's brilliant. Come on. If it was REAL brushed aluminum now that would impress me.
"Art is one of the most diverse words in all of the English language"
*puts on nerd glasses.
The F word is probably the most diverse.
That Murcief*ckinglago is so f*cking beautiful.
Bam! I just used that word as part of another word and as an adverb, supporting an adjective.
But yeah, beautiful f*cking pictures, sir.
Lamborghini pulled the model details off their website because they retired the model, but I'm reading several places that the base model Murcielago has a carbon fiber body, and only the doors and hood are steel. Then the upper range model has carbon fiber doors and hood.
So genius Kato took a carbon fiber car, and applied a big, plastic sticker over the top of it, to make a Lamborghini look like a Delorean.
The modifications have been carried out very well, but I don't like it. I just don't "get" modifying supercars unless it's for racing purposes and done by Michelotto-, JRM- or Manthey-type organisations.
Sean, great photos! i want to ask something, what flashes and how much of them do you use in this particular shoot? thanks!
rkalski I used two Profoto Compact 600s which are monoblock strobes. If you look back on one of the McLaren MP4-12C behind the scenes stories you can see the lights :)
sean klingelhoefer rkalski I would have really liked the photos if there weren't so many hot spots and unnatural shadows... Why didn't you use anything to soften the light with such powerful strobes indoors?
Fkitbtn It would've looked awful if he used any kind of diffuser. the chrome is one super big mirrored surface. any kind of diffuser would've given a reflection of whatever diffuser was used. Bare bulb composite is a much better idea- it gives you an idea of what it looks like in the sun (the sun isn't diffused- it's harsh direct light) plus it adds to the mood of the set. There's a very raw, industrial, un-refined theme to it.
@Fkitbtn @rkalski the shortest answer to your question is because I didn't want to. I wanted the car to look dynamic and exciting, not flat and boring. But everyone has their own idea of "good" and there's no such thing as right or wrong, just different.
this car is so sick!! looks nuts....and that engine bay, even though it is stock is truly incredible!
and are the CSD logo etched onto the callipers?! and i didnt realise so much of the car was stock! a testament to what a wrap, wheels and a body kit can do to a car!
Nikhil_P I think you meant rotor not caliper, but yes, the rotors are etched - it's one of the trends I touched on in one of my SEMA posts. I think this will continue to gain in popularity in the future.
@sean klingelhoefer @Nikhil_P yeah that's what I meant! I couldn't control my excitement!! but doing that doesn't improve anything does it, just purely for aesthetic reasons?
@Nikhil_P I would suspect the performance wouldn't be much different from a normally slotted rotor.
Thats a pretty cool tractor
I also dont get the comments on performance and suspension modifications this car is fast from the factory, thats why you buy them.
When I first saw this at sema I didn't like it. Now I love it and I want to see more people customizing supercars.
bradjh Ya it didn't look right inside the convention center. I think it would look even meaner out on the streets, I wanted to shoot it in downtown LA at night but it didn't work out unfortunately.
Larry Chen Larry bradjh Total run and gun... gonzo style suits the attitude of the car ;)
the photo with the doors up blows my mind. i mean, look at that rear, man!
i don`t even care about technical details, it`s a lamborghini, it goes fast by definition.. this thing looks f*ckin` awesome
Probably the function-based comments here are bang on the money, but i'm gonna only comment on the looks cos that's what this one's all about, no? And the photography. The photography is gorgeous... and thanks finally for some shots of the whole car. The car-plus-kit is gorgeous too. And i normally kind of hate Lambos. They made some cool tractors tho ;) But that wrap can f£@k off! And for the record, i'm pretty sure it's fake brushed steel, not faux brushed aluminium. Isn't aluminium a much paler, flatter colour?