What's like to drive a Murci daily? I asked murci_daily.
Today is a Lamborghini day. And because I want every day to be a Lambo day for me, I did a Lamborghini-inspired tattoo. It’s still very fresh, I did it 4 days ago, but once it’s healed, I’ll reveal it. No, it’s not the raging bull. But I did an interview with murci_daily, whose raging bull can be spotted every day in Sofia. His Balloon White Murciélago LP640 is without a doubt one of the coolest cars in Bulgaria. If you ever wondered what’s like to drive a V12 supercar daily, keep on reading, because such insights are rare and unique.
theSLRgirl: To me the Murciélago is the embodiment of the supercar. It’s been relevant in pop culture for almost two decades now. What is so special about it and what made you want to share every daily drive with it?
murci_daily: It's the presence, the absurdity and the feeling this car gives you. I've driven other supercars and they've been much more tame and approachable. The Murcielago is a bit intimidating but not too much, it feels special even if you're already used to special cars, it keeps you on your toes and demands your full attention all the time.
The reason for this is the whole vibe of the car, the raw V12, the E-gear system, chassis, suspension - all of this feels a bit raw - a bit "agricultural" and retro in a nice way. It's not a technologically advanced car and it never was - the very opposite - it was built on "classic" principles to begin with, for example a steel tubular chassis, a robotized manual transmission, a naturally aspirated big V12 that hasn't been redesigned since the 60s. This is what gives it its unique feeling, together with the whole presence and exaggerated proportions.
theSLRgirl: This car has a cult following, including some of the most popular car influencers. Why do you think this is the case?
murci_daily: Probably because of the presence and feelings it creates that I previously talked about, but also because it was and still is to some extent affordable, at least to buy. You need to be aware of what you're getting yourself into, because it's more expensive to maintain than a modern supercar, and you don't have luxuries like warranty. The truth is, there's nothing else like a V12 Lambo, no other car that is so dramatic - and influencers prefer it to the Aventador because it is: 1) arguably a bit more better sounding and looking, and it has an arguably more timeless design 2) definitely more quirky and weird, which makes for better content and 3) has been cheaper to buy in the previous few years.
theSLRgirl: Why not the Aventador? It got the V12, it’s more modern, still very much a Lamborghini.
murci_daily: True. The Aventador is a fantastic car and I don't see any big flaws in it. The Murciealgo is personally to me, a bit more better sounding, a bit more timeless in terms of its looks, but more importantly it is objectively more quirky and weird. This makes for a more interesting experience.
This shouldn't take anything away from the Aventador. It's a fantastic car and also quite quirky and dramatic.
theSLRgirl: Your Murci gained a lot of followers since you started the account. You have my admiration for building a community around this legendary car. What changed for you since you started posting your daily experiences?
murci_daily: Nothing changed for me, it's just that I put a bit of time in maintaining my IG page. Also, I got more contacts in the car community and even some Murcielago owners got in touch with me saying my page is interesting and they learned something, which is flattering. But overall I approach things in the same way.
theSLRgirl: Did you know it was going to be your daily the day you bought it, or this realisation occurred after a few adrenaline-fuelled drives? If it’s the latter, what was your initial plan for it?
murci_daily: Honestly I just wanted a V12 supercar, I had no idea how much I would like it. My initial plan was to drive it on occasion. I wouldn't say adrenaline-fuelled though, more like fun. But also some adrenaline :)
theSLRgirl: Is there something that you absolutely hate about the Murci? And as we are at it, can you please share what are some of the obstacles that you experience when you drive it daily?
murci_daily: I wouldn't say I hate this but it's quite low and prone to scrapes, even with the front-end lift. To a big extent this limits my daily driving. Interestingly this is not true for other supercars, perhaps due to a shorter nose (less overhang) and just a bit more ride height. I modified my LP640 to have an extra 1.5cm of ride height and it makes a huge difference, but I still managed to put the car in a parking lot that I couldn't exit from without scraping the bumper in two places.
The other thing would be the E-gear system. I love it and hate it at the same time. It feels great to shift with it, and it's an interesting challenge when parking and maneuvering. But it is a huge pain in the butt to maintain and so many things can go wrong with it. I like the experience but if it breaks a lot I might consider a manual conversion.
theSLRgirl: What are the fuel consumption and the upkeep like? Are they exactly what you expected?
murci_daily: Fuel consumption shouldn't even be a factor in a car like this. Everyone who owns a supercar should be aware that fuel costs shouldn't matter to them. As for the maintenance, exotic cars are always a huge liability but I would like to address a misunderstanding within the car community: many of the Murcielago's fans claim that it's cheap to maintain, which is not true, especially for E-gear cars. There's many things that can break in the E-gear system alone, which is in itself one of the least reliable things in this car. As for other things, it's generally reliable, but if you actually need replacement parts, it's possible you might run into difficulties since it's an old car and many parts are not even in stock and have to be made on-demand.
theSLRgirl: I know that you went from all wheel drive to rear wheel drive. What made you do this fundamental change?
murci_daily: The AWD system on old V12 Lamborghinis (Diablo, Murcielago) is absolutely horrible.
It is my personal opinion that Lamborghini bolted this system on a car designed to be RWD originally: the fundamental design of the Murcielago dates back to the Countach, and the chassis and engine are both just updated rather than redesigned since then. Even Valentino Balboni, the famous Lamborghini test driver, preferred the RWD configuration, and therefore the Valentino Balboni edition of the Gallardo was RWD itself.
The main flaw of the system is that it's based on a viscous coupling which engages better when it's heated up. And since the system is not permanent, meaning that by default the car is RWD and only becomes AWD when there's rear slip, this could mean that depending on the outside temperature and how hard the car has been driven, the front would start "pulling" at a random point while the rear is slipping. This is quite unpredictable and dangerous.
As an example, imagine you give the car a bit more throttle and the rear steps out. In a normal RWD car, you know how to catch this. In an AWD Murcielago, midway towards your little "drift", the front would start pulling you, and as a result you may overcorrect, or just enter a permanent sideways powerslide that's hard to recover without the car "snapping" in the other direction.
To summarize, it's unpredictable.
Another disadvantage is the locking differential with a really high unlock threshold in the front, which makes the car feel understeery.
theSLRgirl: Car collectors are generally scared to do any modifications on their exotics. The reason behind it is to allow the value of the car to appreciate. Your approach is different and you want to make your Murci more personal and suitable for your driving style. What are your observations on this topic and do you know other exotic car owners who modified their cars? Does this mean you don’t care about the resale value?
murci_daily: I bought this car to drive it, not only for the collectability. I do care about resale value in the sense that I maintain the car well and I do not cut corners, but I do this because I want it to be a well-maintained example for myself as well.
But I do not care about the "collectors approach" where the car would be parked in a garage in it's original state, because I think it's a shame for such a car which is made to be used and to be driven.
In other words, I believe exotic cars are not investments and they must be enjoyed. Even the McLaren F1, a car that appreciated massively, has only appreciated about 10%-15% per year, which is not more or less than any big stock market index.
So why would you treat such a machine that can bring you so much joy as an investment, when you can invest in much safer and profitable investments? My point is, you buy an exotic car to drive it. If you're looking for an investment there are better options.
That said, I believe other owners do not modify their cars because they believe that the factory knows best. I am also one of those people, with the exception of the AWD system in the Murcielago. I would never modify any other exotic car, at least for now.
theSLRgirl: Do you plan any future modifications or you’re done for now?
murci_daily: I am done for now. Maybe a new exhaust system to shed some weight from the back - since the RWD modification removed some weight from the front and that throws off the original factory balance a bit.
And of course, I am putting new 19" wheels soon, but this is more out of necessity, since I can't find any good tires for the 18" wheels.
theSLRgirl: Are you going to stay anonymous and does this help when you talk about cars? Of course the people around you know who you are, I know who you are, but do your followers care about it and do you get questions like “What do you do for a living?” often?
murci_daily: I like staying anonymous because I am a very privacy-centric person and I'd like to publicize the car and not myself. My followers definitely would like to know more but they don't bother me too much with this question. It came up a few times during a Q&A and I answered it. To save the readers some digging: I'm a software engineer turned entrepreneur, I run my own software company.
theSLRgirl: What’s next for murci_daily?
murci_daily: I have a lot of followers who wanna see what it's like living with this car in practice, so I'm gonna focus on that. Furthermore, I have some interesting (from an artistic point of view) photos/videos coming up. I have also been considering revealing some of the other cars in my collection but let's see...
theSLRgirl: The Aventador successor is getting a hybrid V12 engine, which marks the end of an era for Lamborghini. Every car manufacturer is trying to keep up with the current trends and demands. How do you imagine the future for the car enthusiasts? Do you think the next generation will be more hyped about a Rimac than about a V12 Murciélago? Do you see the core petrolhead values still relevant?
murci_daily: I have a very controversial opinion about this. I think that internal combustion is not that important. Even though there's nothing like a V12, the immediate torque and insane acceleration of EVs is also thrilling in it's own way. Think of it like the manual transmission - it offers great driver engagement, it is/was universally loved, but DCTs and even sequential systems are just faster and more seamless, leading to a better experience on track and, for some people, on the road. So in conclusion, I think that electrification has it's upsides as well as downsides. With V12s specifically it's a bit strange, because naturally aspirated V12s have high torque and instant power delivery, and electric motors have the same qualities but even more. Anyway, I think that old naturally aspirated V12 Lamborghinis are always going to be special, but the new thing, whatever it is, shouldn't be disregarded.
We could talk for a lot longer, but I had to end this interview eventually. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and I'll make sure that the Murci continues to be present on here. If you you want to learn firsthand what’s like to live with it (which you should) - just follow murci_daily: https://www.instagram.com/murci_daily/