Lamborghini unveils outlandish single-seat Egoista concept

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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What do the Ariel Atom and Lamborghini Egoista have in common? The Ariel Atom is considered one of the best handling road-going sports cars available anywhere; even capable of giving a top-tier Lamborghini a run for its money despite being a fraction of the price, but the more obvious commonality is its single-seat design.

"It's as if Ferruccio Lamborghini were saying: I'm going to put the engine in the back, I don't want a passenger," said Walter De Silva, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group to a 1,000-strong gala of VIPs held in a 20-metre-tall tent on the automaker's Sant'Agata Bolognese grounds. "I want it for myself, and I want it as I imagine it to be."

The new Egoista Concept, unveiled at a private 50th birthday party the Italian brand threw for itself (egotistical on its own by some peoples' standards) gets its name for being totally centered on its driver and driver alone, with no possibility of taking anyone else along for a ride.

"This is a car made for one person only, to allow them to have fun and express their personality to the maximum," added De Silva. "It is designed purely for hyper-sophisticated people who want only the most extreme and special things in the world. It represents hedonism taken to the extreme, it is a car without compromises, in a word: egoista (selfish)."

As any performance driving aficionado knows, the best way to kill the moment is unsolicited chatter. Driving fast and maintaining control requires total concentration, therefore there won't be any internal distraction when piloting the Egoista. And piloting might be the best term, not only because its 600-horsepower Gallardo-sourced 5.2-litre V10 would no doubt be able to make it feel like flying a jet fighter at low altitude, but also because the one-off prototype was inspired by the ultra-intimidating Boeing AH-64 Apache advanced attack helicopter. It even comes equipped with a "STEP HERE" sign so that an errant boot doesn't mar its lightweight bodywork. Only Lamborghini could build something so audacious.

"I am very attached to this Italian brand, being an Italian myself," said an emotional De Silva. "I wanted to pay homage to and think up a vehicle to underline the fact that Lamborghinis have always been made with passion, and with the heart more than the head."

The Egoista arrived with the same kind of auto show fanfare expected of a production model, nine big screens projecting visuals while the car rolled onto a makeshift landing strip next to a model in a flight suit (of course) and ground crew directing the car forward with light paddles. The Egoista might be the most provocative rolling creation since "the Tumbler" Batmobile from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the work of VW Group designers Alessandro Dambrosio, who designed the exterior, and Stefan Sielaff, responsible for the interior.

"The cockpit, made completely of carbon fiber and aluminum, represents a sort of survival cell, allowing the driver to isolate and protect themselves from external elements," said De Silva. "We kept an eye on the future when designing the Egoista, with the idea that its cockpit could have been taken from a jet aircraft and integrated into a road vehicle, to provide a different travel option."

Of course a racing seat with four-point harness is included, although colouring each strip differently is a unique approach. Instruments are kept to a minimum, with the focus instead being a head-up display, again with a nod to aeronautics. With respect to Formula 1, egress requires the removal of the steering wheel at which point the roof raises and the driver needs to stand on the seat to get out of the car, remembering to only place the aforementioned boot on the special step. It appears easier than getting in and out of a Lotus Exige, but only slightly.

Not even for the usual Lamborghini owner, the Egoista is something for the truly individualistic supercar buyer; although it will need to be a fantasy buyer as the car won't likely see the light of day. Still this seems a shame, as it somehow fits within the iconic brand's exotic lineup perfectly. Something similar, with the ability to notch the seatback rearward about six inches so as to tuck that flight suit-clad model in tight just behind, motorcycle style with arms wrapped around chest, would be ideal, and just might make this the automaker's ultimate expression of purchasable excess.

De Silva wrapped it up perfectly by saying, "It is a fanatical vehicle, Egoista fits it well."

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Lamborghini, 2013, Egoista Concept, Exotic,

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