Doctor’s Orders: Why Lamborghini Matters in 2018
Meet The Doctor

There’s a small section of floor which reveals the red brickwork of the original factory floor, now covered in a clear resin.

It’s a simple but significant nod to Lamborghini’s past, and the final remaining feature of the ‘old’ days which are long behind one of the world’s most exciting car manufacturers. That doesn’t mean they have forgotten where they came from, and they still most certainly know where they are going.

“Any Lamborghini you have ever seen in your life, has been driven out that door,” our guide tells us as he points to a huge rolling shutter door just 100 feet away. We’re standing amidst the production lines of the Huracán and Aventador, where cameras are strictly forbidden. Even our smartphones have been locked away ahead of this private tour, so there was no chance of sneaking a proper camera in here with us.

While a fascinating insight into the increased efficiency at the Lamborghini factory, this wasn’t the ultimate purpose of our visit. We were here at the invitation of Lamborghini’s Head of Whole Vehicle Development, Dr. Rouven Mohr, to see just how much we could learn about the past, present and future of the company.

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His title might insinuate an intimidating position of authority with little regard to the automotive world outside of his job, the reality is that you would have to look long and hard to find a more genuine car enthusiast than Dr. Mohr, or just Rouven as he prefers to be called.

His office is filled with mementos and collectibles which support this. His personal car collection, too, is an impressive one; from a street registered R32 GT-R on TE37s to his track-only 2JZ-swapped Infiniti G35 drift car with Wisefab, anti-lag and water-methanol injection.

Quite simply, Rouven is one of us.


Rouven’s resume is also an impressive one, having only recently migrated across to Lamborghini from Audi. There he spearheaded renowned projects like the TT Clubsport, a car which drew inspiration from the Audi 90 IMSA GTO and featured a contemporary 600hp package – including a manual transmission – and has toured the globe and made several appearances on Speedhunters in recent times.

From SEMA last year to Wörthersee this year, Rouven also had a heavy hand in arranging the most important meeting there, too. Through all my encounters with him this year, I never got the impression that these were just marketing activations, but rather were things that were done out of pure passion.

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Rouven’s position at Lamborghini is a product of one of the most significant changes at any point in the company’s history: its acquisition by Volkswagen Group in 1998. Despite being 20 years ago, I remember when this happened and the commentary which heralded the ‘death’ of Lamborghini.

They said that the Germans didn’t understand the company, and that they could never replicate the Italian’s passion or creative flair. That Germany’s love of rules, efficiency and structure could not be enforced on the Italian company without removing Lamborghini’s soul.

They were very much wrong, as it turned out, and that this merging of cultures was exactly what Lamborghini needed.

Rather than sit in an office or boardroom all day to discuss things, Rouven arranged for us to have a sort of roaming meeting around the Italian countryside with almost all of Lamborghini’s current production lineup. For the best part of two days, we were either driving, eating or driving somewhere to get something to eat. I guess that’s the Italian side of the business shining through.

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While there is no question that Lamborghinis of old were immensely striking vehicles that overflowed with emotion, they often lacked in reliability and forgiveness. Anyone who has seen underneath the skin of an ’80s or ’90s example will acknowledge that there was certainly a more agricultural approach to certain aspects of the cars’ construction.

Some will say this was part of the charm. Others will say it was an opportunity for improvement.

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Despite Rouven’s love for all aspects of car culture, you quickly come to learn that his passion for engineering with a mind for performance is where his heart lies. Still, he doesn’t lose sight of the emotional connection between car and driver. He speaks with great detail and passion about seemingly ordinary things which you would not immediately recognise as being design features of the cars. The whine of the fuel pump before the engine fires into life, or even the simple feel of how the cover over the push-start button opens and closes.

Nothing is by accident.

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“We want to offer to the customer one of the most emotional driving experiences that they can buy for their money. Nobody needs a Lamborghini, but people want a Lamborghini,” Rouven tells us. It’s a fascinating insight into the difference between the major sportscar brands. At this level, all of the major manufacturers are building good cars, but there’s still a need to offer something that none of their rivals do, and Lamborghini heavily rely on the driving experience.

It’s for emotional reasons that Lamborghini choose one technical solution over another. “Of course, we could use turbo engines in our sports cars, then it’s easier to generate more power. Every engineer knows it, but the price that we would have to pay [means] the loss of this emotion,” he continues.

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And what about the future of the V12?

“It will be in the future, in my opinion of course,” he states, matter of factly. “I cannot give an answer for the next 20 years, but from our point of view, the V12 is a part of our DNA. It’s the heart of Lamborghini; we will do everything to keep the V12 alive as long as possible.

“I can tell you that from a technological point of view, we have some ideas to do this.”

The Bull In The Room

Then, there’s the proverbial bull in the room: the divisive introduction of the Urus.

While not Lamborghini’s first venture into this market – that would be the almost hilariously impractical LM002 introduced in 1986 – the Urus is more than just a new vehicle for the Italian manufacturer, it’s pretty much a guarantor of its future.

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Again, this is where the German sensibility and practicality comes into play. Having seen first-hand the benefits of an SUV introduced into the lineups of other brands within the VW Group portfolio, the Urus was almost an inevitability. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Cayenne saved Porsche, it has allowed them the freedom to expand and develop their sportscar range on a scale that likely wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Between 2008 and 2010, during the height of the global financial crisis, Lamborghini saw a sales drop of nearly 50%. When single-digit percentage drops in sales can cause serious alarm inside a company, I can’t imagine what this must have been like. Without the ability of its parent company Audi to absorb these losses, it’s not a stretch to imagine that we could well live in a world without Lamborghini today. Therefore, financial growth and stability are key to the progression and survival of the company.

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The Urus could have been a lazy cash-in, but (thankfully) it’s anything but. While its looks will continue to divide, this is very much a Lamborghini. While this particular car was a pre-production model, its Jekyll and Hyde abilities were beyond impressive. It can transform from a docile daily driver to a vehicle which simply has no right to be as quick as it is in an instant.

I’m not going to change anyone’s opinion with a few words here, but I would keep an open mind until you have the opportunity to experience one in person. It might just surprise you.

2018 Lamborghini Urus Speedhunters by BC-1 copy

It also makes for a great tracking car.

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In recent years, Lamborghinis have become synonymous with being revved while stationary in a public place, helping to keep an entire industry of YouTube-based supercar spotters afloat, and what an utter shame that is.

While Lamborghini can’t really dictate how customers use their cars (although they can reject questionable colour combinations during the build process, as we learned during our tour), you would be forgiven for not truly appreciating the performance potential of both the Aventador and Huracán.

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Both models are the benefactors of a constant forward momentum within Lamborghini with regards to performance technologies. You might remember the Huracán Performante taking the production car lap record at the Nordschleife in late 2016, before the Porsche 911 GT2 RS reclaimed it a year later, only for Lamborghini to take it back once more with the Aventador SV Jota at the end of July.

These cars represent the very sharp end of current performance production cars.

And then, there was more food.

Conversations continued about the benefits of Lamborghini’s forged carbon fibre technologies and their patented active aerodynamic solutions, which make other manufacturers’ equivalent systems seem crude in comparison. We’ll delve further into both of these areas in separate posts, and we hope to bring you the relevant AMAs in due course.

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Ben mentioned to Rouven that one of the requirements to work at Lamborghini must be that you have to be a nice person, as everyone we had encountered on our visit was friendly and that there was a strong community spirit amongst the workforce. While he couldn’t specify exactly why this was the case, he did have a working theory.

“I think it’s a combination of facts, but I only have my own hypothesis. Size is one component, but it’s not the only one. I think it’s related a lot to the Italian culture and to the attitude of the people here. Even when you go to the streets of Bologna, the people are friendly.

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“I don’t speak Italian very well, but I try my best, but the people here will always try to help you where in other countries, they will not. I think this is the second component and the third component is due to the history of Lamborghini and the iconic cars over the decades; the Miura, the Countach and the Diablo.”

“As a child, I had a poster of a purple Diablo with a white interior on my wall, like so many people. With these cars, there’s such a passion for them, and that’s what I think the third component is.”

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Rouven’s understanding of and passion for Lamborghini is something we encountered time and time again when speaking with everyone working at the factory.

From the security guard who admitted us that morning, the kind lady at the front desk who gave us our passes, Rouven and all his team (hello, Mauro!), and the countless people who gave their time to explain their relevant departments and talk with us in detail about their areas of expertise. Everyone spoke with a level of pride that was nothing short of inspiring.

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Even underneath a blanket of complete darkness, we continued to explore the Italian countryside, taking turns to drive both of the cars in order to appreciate the differences between them. To bring a naturally aspirated Lamborghini engine, whether V10 or V12, to redline is absolute food for the soul.

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It was an occasion which drove home the fact that this marriage between Germany and Italy is one made in heaven. Without losing even a single iota of that special Italian passion or creative flair and flamboyance, the Germans have helped the company evolve immeasurably. The structures, efficiency and stability introduced have allowed Lamborghini to become its best self. It’s the perfect balance of cultures and attitudes while keeping Lamborghini as a very Italian entity at the same time. The love and passion for the company from every employee we met and spoke with was unquestionable.

There was one question remaining, which we all really want to know the answer to: as a car guy, what is it like to work for Lamborghini?

Rouven smiled and without hesitatation replied. “For me? It’s not work, to be honest. It’s a dream come true.”

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Paddy, you sure know your way around a camera. Great job!


Cheers, Matt. It's hard to make these look bad, in fairness.


When was the visit for this article? Can't help but notice the cars are on winters!


Good spot! It was the end of March, and Europe had just had huge amounts of snow across the continent. Had we arrived a week earlier, we wouldn't have been able to get the cars out of the workshop.


Paddy, can you do a monthly segment on food and call it FoodHunters?


I can, but as Ben (and everyone in my life) will attest to, it's going to be pretty basic XD


well ,the great coverage is one thing but the attitude and the things rouven brings into life that´s something you can only salute to


Found this at Home Depot a few weeks ago.

This is why a bathroom renovation costs $40,000.



REALLY wish these "sports car companies" would STOP with the SUVS! These "pinhead" people want the performance of these companies "performance cars" but they want it in an SUV! I HATE these stupid performance SUVS! When Porsche came out with the Pamemera I was like "they gave in" to the idiots! Trying to put a performance car and an SUV in the same package to me, is selling out! And a company that has been making 2-door sports cars their entire existence and then "caving" to Americans and where I live people from India and Asian folks because they have money is just "sad!". Get a Volvo if you want to haul your stupid kids and buy a 2-door sports car for performance. Nissan had a campaign a few years ago and they had this sticker on their cars that said: 4DSC. 4 Door Sports Car. I'm STILL laughing at that. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A 4-DOOR SPIRTS CAR! Period. Same goes for VW. No more 2 door GTIs in USA. Whose dumb idea was that? Sellout companies. How about a 4 door Corvette? That would look great.(Sarcasm)


I don't even know how you all even think about bringing up arguments such as "I have this much IQ" or "I own a Macan (+and can swear upon my entire family that everything stated on the internet is true and that people care deeply about my opinion and belongings regardless of the fact that they have no contact with me IRL whatsoever? Might aswell add that)".

Statistics speak for themselves. I don't like SUVs either, but they sell well, and thus will be produced. Lamborghini's a commercial company. From an economical standpoint its "passion" and "spirit" (which I won't deny) are merely a way to sell products at a higher price than what the market rolls for. Basic economics. In other words, they'll do what they can to make money. It's a damn company. It doesn't matter what a couple of guys on the internet state (including me, since I'm merely stating what is the absolute obvious).
Now be glad they actually keep up with their original motive and partly stick to a non-price competitive business plan.


What a total clown. You obviously don't understand the business rationale, or haven't experienced a performance SUV.
My Porsche Macan has twin turbos and all wheel drive, and looks great inside and out. According to reviewers, it has been considered the best performer in its category since it came out. Why should I have to choose a boring SUV when I can't fit my kids and gear into the 911?


So let's see. Jerry is calling me clown because I voiced my personal opinion. Didn't know that was illegal? Also I have 142 I.Q. and I worked at Langley and I've been into cars for 40 years. And I'm from New Jersey. So if Jerry thinks name-calling is for grown-ups, Jerry must be 5 years old! I can state my opinion all day long if I feel like it! If you don't agree, so be it! Not gonna lose any sleep over it. Trust me.

Still don't like performance SUVS! And that's that! Capeech?


He's a Macan owner, they tend to be that way (trust me). You clearly haven't experienced a performance SUV like 'ol Jerry has. Hey wait a minute, I actually used to get paid to drive Porsches and I can tell you the Macans are crap to drive.

4 door sports car is definitely debatable. What would you call a supercharged M3 on racing slicks?


Writing out your (supposed) IQ - sign of an idiot regardless of the number lol.
I'm glad you picked on the Panamera, now go drive one because if you're not happy at the end you must lack a pulse. I'm a fan of light simple cars but if you can't see the good in something because of your internal bias it might be time for a change in life.


I'll back David on this as I have an IQ of 138. I've driven Panameras and Panamera Turbos Brian. "If you're not happy you must lack a pulse."

Not really, they aren't that great of cars to drive mate. Maybe you just need more experience behind the wheel of other cars. This is part of the problem with this hobby: there are a lot of people who have these staggeringly strong opinions who haven't driven more than a handful of cars.



Wow, someone needs a coffee this morning - Or has already had too much?


That's a lot of exclamation marks.

In truth, I was apprehensive of the Urus at first but they have previous (LM002) and if it allows them to build even crazier stuff in future, then I'm not going to complain. My initial first, albeit short, impressions are that the Urus is bloody good as well.


same here, almost agree with you, David. but... what do you really mean by saying India and Asian folks?! SMH!


In my area there are A LOT of Indian and Asian folks. No issue but since Ray Catena is right down the street, the Indian and Asian folks buy cars from this dealership and seem to "flaunt" themselves because of what they're driving. I grew up here WAY before any of them where New Jersey was. We've had a HUGE influx of folks from India and they have s lot of cad flow so they all(not ALL) flock to Ray Catena to buy their cars. And it seems to me that the dealers "cater" to them because of it. Hey, money talks and bullshit walks. I've been a car guy all my life. I love cars because of what they are not because I'm trying to show off my wealth 'cause I am in a new country. Porsche for life! German cars for life! And yes, I know all about Panamera. Still has too many doors!(laughing). But it's a Porsche so I'll cut it some slack.


Supposed?! It

Mahesh Sukhram ZA

I remember having a similar opinion when the Porsche Cayenne came out. Recently a colleague of mine was in a terrible accident, the result is his mobility is hampered (bending down for him is a task), getting into any sports coupe is impossible for him. He struggles to even get into a normal sedan as he is tall as well. The introduction of SUV's also caters for this kind of market.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

It's either they stick to their guns by not building what people wants and then go bust, or you make cars that people want and then use the profit to develop future performance models further. You decide.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

It is always refreshing to see proper car guys leading car companies or development projects. You know for sure the end product would be great.

Having driven a couple of Lamborghinis before, I can say they sure are intoxicating to drive. But recent news say that the Aventador is the last of the internal combustion-only V12 Lamborghini, and that the replacement would go the hybrid route.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Awesome piece Paddy. I'm hungry now! Great to see Lamborghini continuing to push the envelope. Awesome company


Driving their latest and greatest cars next week on a track. Can't wait.


Were you able to see how they make their forged composites?


Yes, we had a tour of their facility (which we were allowed shoot) along with interviews with the relevant people involved. It's all in the pipeline :)


I don't mean to hate but I'm a bit irritated at all that talk about passion and emotion for what are essentially big, heavy AWD cars (heavily influenced by Audi) without the option for a 3rd pedal.
And it gets worse because I realise that a 4 door Alfa Romeo (which costs a fraction of the price of a Lambo) has the option of a manual and RWD which (to me) are a must for a car that is claiming to be emotional.
Germans think that passion and emotion = speed and fast lap times. But speed and fast lap times were never a priority at Lamborghini.
The main feature of a big Lamborghini has to be craziness.
Lamborghinis have to be mad, dangerous and hard to drive, they have to give their owner a stockholm syndrome.
Can't they make the Lamborghini Urus as "Audi Q4RS by lamborghini" with the last bit in small letters or something like that?


I wouldn't call them heavy (the Performante is lighter than a Golf) and these are still very much Lamborghinis, rather than Audis in an Italian frock. They're very different vehicles.

I do understand your frustration with regard to the death of the manual, it's something we've debated before on here countless times. The reality is that a good single or double clutch transmission is just the better solution for these cars with regards to performance and more importantly, reliability.

The days of the 'mad, dangerous and hard to drive' production car are over, but mostly due to advances in tire technology than anything else.


Actually no, that's not really due to tire technology at all. It's due to electronic nannies, improved geometry (multi-link rear ends) and boost being delivered in a more linear fashion than before due to turbo and ECU improvements.

Keep up and drop the silly name 'old boy.


"The days of the 'mad, dangerous and hard to drive' production car are over, but mostly due to advances in tire technology than anything else."

Here's where progress is not an unalloyed blessing. Some cars SHOULD be dangerous to drive.

If cars at this level get their cachet from exclusivity, what's more exclusive than not just being able to AFFORD one, but to DRIVE it as well?

Where're the bragging rights if any investment banker, YouTube fame whore or Teenage Internet Billionaire can drive your car?

Lamborghinis, Ferraris, etc should all have manual transmissions, twitchy throttles and peaky engines. You know, like a literbike.


Litre bikes are pretty managable these days (were they ever that difficult!?) and 1) safety rules 2) normal people trying to drive 1000hp cars means even mad production cars will be managable.
Also you do realise that the old supercars weren't dodgy because they had super power it's cos (regardless of the history etc) they weren't that good.


completely agree with you.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

"Lamborghinis have to be mad, dangerous and hard to drive, they have to give their owner a stockholm syndrome."

Can't risk getting unnecessary lawsuits, mate. Porsche's case with Paul Walker's family already shows you a lot.


That's really more of a legal and cultural problem than a technological one.


Culture and technology are inextricably linked at this point buddy. Car's will never be the same hairy chested crazy things they once were because we simply build them better now. Tire technology, suspension design and geometry have all come a long long way in the last 10 years.



Great job!


Great article, and good to know a high up at Lamborghini, still appreciates a 2JZ.


His R32 GT-R is something special as well.


OMG! these shots were taken here! where i live, i can clearly see Modena, Vignola, Guiglia etc. Awesome!!! Speedhunters wass here!


If you recognise the pizza place, please send a Google pin so I can find it again.


Via Ludovico Antonio Muratori, 8, 41058 Vignola MO
059 765231


I think I love you.


Lol! Glad to have you here in Italy! Keep up with the awesome job!


When can we expect Tastehunters? Baked not bought...

Great article. My earliest car related memory is of pushing a Matchbox Diablo around my living room floor making, what I thought were pretty convincing, V12 noises with my mouth.


hahaha... Lol... that was a good one!


new Speedhunters theme for september : Hypercars Except Ferrari!
Porsche, Mercedes, Pagani and even lambo SUV! why you guys hate Ferrari?!


Ferrari didn't invite us to Modena and opened their doors to us like Lamborghini and Pagani have ;)


so I was wrong. probably Ferrari hate Speedhunters and SUVs and India and Asian folks!


What a great article! Really interesting, well written and amazing photographs! In a dream I have Rouven's job.


Honestly ?... I am bored of Lamborghini, sure give me one to drive, or tell me i will never have to worry about costs, then yeah i would have one and enjoy it to the full !
But really, i have lost interest in Lambo, all cars have this sharp eagle style that was brought up by the Reventon, the Urus looks like an Audi with a bodykit, and i am really bored of there styling.
Other car makers are doing the same thing for sure, and in the super car realm, body style changes are not that frequent but this Lambo style is really getting old for me. Yes they look good, but i would really like to see a different approach to a Lambo, and not this same Reventon style just reused and reused with small touch ups !


Funny and shows how taste and style are personal cos I'd take a Hurucan over any of the others.


Paddy, please do more articles. I like dis.

I personally adore the Huracan, especially the performante. Probably the top of my list for new supercars.
The Aventador however does nothing for me - I would pick the Huracan over the Aventador every day of the week.



You're not going to believe this but a few years ago I had a kid on my school bus and his dad IS the VP for Finance at Ferrari. Gave me his card and went up to Ferrari in Englewood to see him and Ferrar office. Crazy! Like Italian cars but I'm Porsche guy forever. If it ain't German...


A dream come true indeed


Anything matters on here more than journalistic integrity so of course Lamborghinis matter. Reading is really hard.


Excellent Piece! I truly enjoyed reading it. That must have been quite the experience. That food looks nothing short of heavenly. Talk about a bucket list trip, touring Italy's best restaurants in one of Italy's finest cars.


I love their passion, but what is Lamborghini going to do when people aren't allowed to drive their cars anymore?


Man those are some quality photos right there. What are you using?