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Tina Turner is one of the most successful performing and recording artists of all time. She's won eight Grammies, hit the Billboard Top 10 seven times and sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. Unfortunately she never learned how to drive stick, but having sold over 180 million records, she could well afford (and as The Queen of the Rock & Roll could hardly afford not) to buy a Lamborghini. So Turner bought an LM002, the Lamborghini of sport-utility vehicles, and had the original Countach V12 ripped out and swapped for a V8 out of a Mercedes E500 with an automatic transmission.

Naturally, the retrofit also included a thumpin' entertainment system, including a 1500-Watt Blaupunkt stereo and a whole load of lights and mirrors. The conversion originally cost twice the value of the truck itself, at 150,000 deutschemarks. The truck has been workin' for the man every night and day ever since, but now it could be your very own private dancer, a dancer for money: the vehicle is on the market for ??179,000. Seems like a fair price for a unique and storied vehicle: we've seen Lamborghini-powered Audis, but never a Mercedes-powered Lambo.

[Source: Autobild via German Car Blog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      ahh well stick is like ancient technology.... Lambo offers a robotic shifter.....
      but that engine in the original, from what i heard isnt even fuel injected.. soooo I dunno.. I think it's a better SUV with a modern drivetrain...
      tho it would have been cooler to use a AWD lambo drive train.. OR a v12 mercedes...
      where is this thing listed anyway???
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who rules Barter Town?!
      • 7 Years Ago
      it's funny how stars decide to change the transmission instead of simply learning to drive stick. Kobe Bryant did the same thing when he bought his wife a Lambo. They act as if it's the car's fault they can't drive it.
      I'm not the biggest fan of stick shift, I actually prefer automatic; but if I were to buy my dream car (Aston Martin DBS) i woul learn how to drive the damn thing! Makes sense, right?
        • 7 Years Ago
        JD: There are plenty of supercars that don't use paddle-shifting sequential manual transmissions, and rely on the traditional manual with a foot-operated clutch pedal. The Porsche Carrera GT you mentioned is one of them, but it is one of the oldest supercars in the day and age of paddle shifters, preceded only by the Enzo. Newer supercars that rely exclusively on the traditional manual include the Koenigsegg CCXR, the Pagani Zonda F, etc., but notice these are from smaller car companies, which may or may not have the financial resources to develop a sophisticated paddle-shifting transmission system. In fact, Koenigsegg was reportedly in financial trouble last year.

        At the end of the day, the 2 biggest names in the supercar business, Ferrari and Lamborghini, both offer paddle shifters in their entire lineup of cars currently in production, which speaks volumes about the legitimacy of paddle shifters as a high-performance transmission. Add the fact that high-performance competitive racing such as Formula One and IndyCar use paddle shifters at the exclusion of the traditional manual, and the conclusion becomes very clear: From a performance standpoint, paddle shifters are a superior choice.
        • 7 Years Ago
        scout_vet2: You are correct to say DSG (paddle shifters) will automatically shift for you to prevent over-revving the engine. Although stick enthusiasts might disagree, I see that as an advantage, an insurance against damage to the engine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        vdk @ Jan 21st 2008 11:10PM wrote: "if your life depended on driving to a hospital in a '92 Civic stick, you wouldn't make it... cause you can't drive stick..."
        When was the last time you or anyone else heard this from the news? Would "Never" be the correct answer for this imaginary fantasy? I thought so.

        vdk: "How much fun is a car which won't stall, won't ever be your true love, will never wanna play, and won't break your neck when you mis shift..."
        The opportunity to stall a car and/or injure your neck due to a missed manual shift is considered fun and playful? That is the most laughable statement I have ever heard from any stick enthusiast. How the fortunes have changed, when stick enthusiasts used to laugh at automatics for their inferior performance, only to find their foot-operated clutches being laughed at for their inferior performance compared to paddle shifters. To your other point, I pity anyone who considers his car to be his true love. Driving a stick shift doesn't make anyone a man. Only a woman can do that.

        vdk: "Are you the type of guy who needs a warning to know his coffee is hot?"
        Are you the type of guy who believes in popular myths without looking into the facts behind them? I would tell you more about the facts behind the McDonald's case, but that would distract us from more interesting facts about cars and transmissions: Paddle shifters are superior to foot-operated clutches, and are used *exclusively* in:
        • IndyCar
        • Formula One
        • Ferrari's Enzo Ferrari
        • Lamborghini's Reventon
        • Bugatti's Veyron
        • 7 Years Ago
        R @ Jan 22nd 2008 1:38AM:
        Fun is a highly subjective term. For anyone who finds it fun to take on the challenge of a third foot pedal, more power to them, and I have no problem with it. The problem comes from snobs who perpetuate the myth that it is more skillful or manly to drive a real sports car with a stick. As I had pointed out:
        • Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. have some of the world's finest sports cars, and they use paddle shifters exclusively in the best of their best.
        • IndyCar and Formula One have some of the world's most skillful drivers, and they use paddle shifters exclusively.
        • Only a woman can turn a boy into a man. Playing with a stick does not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        DSG or whatever the company may be faster and offter better preformance, but they dont feel the same. I like being able to flip my car into netural coast into the spot, put it into first, hit the brake and get out. You cannot do that with an auto you have to come to a complete stop and then shift into park. That and I dont want some tranny shifting for me at all. You can't tell me that any type of DSG will not shift if you get it close to red line.
        • 7 Years Ago
        BigRocket: A long time ago I had a clutch cable fail. In a different car, I had the plates of the clutch stick together once. These are very simple systems and still have the occasional problem. However, being a resourceful person and knowing how things actually work, I was able to drive the car home safely both times, it just took a little change in my usual routine.

        I don't think that's going to happen to you and your fanchy-schmancy flappy-paddle gearbox when it decides it doesn't want to engage (or disengage) the clutch, or perhaps just doesn't feel like selecting a particular gear. Ugly reg lights light up your dashboard and you call for a tow (hope you have cell service!)

        I know how to drive a flappy-paddle box. If you had to put any effort at all into learning to do so, I'll cast aspersions on your IQ. I'll stick with lighter, less-complex, more-reliable. Thanks ever so.
        • 7 Years Ago
        k.w.a @ Jan 21st 2008 6:17PM wrote: "... learn how to drive the damn thing!"

        And that's why stick enthusiasts should stop whining about the loss of a third pedal, and learn to drive with paddle shifters.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'll admit there are some very advanced paddle shifter systems out there, and that they can outshift a manual quite easily. But I'm not going to be driving any of those cars you mentioned any time soon (way out of budget), and while the DSG systems for the more common cars can upshift quite fast, they're not so fast downshifting. And then the non-DSG paddle systems, well...they're not nearly as good as the brands and marques you've mentioned. But even if they were, that's not my personal biggest issue anyway. It *is* about fun. And no, misshifting is not fun; I know, I've done it before.

        But overcoming resistance is fun. Sports are fun because they are challenging. Football would be a bore if there was no defense and it was just the offense running towards a goal post. Billiards would be retarded if players started playing with pool sticks mounted on tripods that auto-fired themselves. Golf...wouldn't be golf if the clubs had auto-correction. After trying the absurdity known as golf, I truly appreciate the pro's.

        I track my car, and nailing my heel and toe shifts smoothly just before a turn is awesome, almost as awesome as nailing a rail on my snowboard, and I certainly wouldn't want an AI snowboard to do it for me. Will paddle shifts replace all traditional manuals one day? Maybe, but until then, I'm sticking with a manual, or until the day those F1-class shifters reach the rest of us mortals.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Bigrocket, just want to point out that you missed a very, very serious supercar that doesn't make use of paddles. Porsche Carrera GT. Now, I love stick. Paddles can't be hard to use. If I were offered an F430 with either a stick or paddles, I honestly have no idea what my choice would be. They both have their ups and downs. I see what you're saying and all, but if nothing else, I'd love the option of a stick shift. But I mean, come on. Pulling the lambo V12 and replacing it with- of all things- a mercedes engine and tranny?? That's absurd. I will argue that stick isn't hard to learn. If you buy a Lamborghini, learn to drive it. If you don't want to learn to drive it, then don't buy one. Or am I way off base here?
      • 7 Years Ago
      IMO, Paddle shifters in exotics are so that guys (who can't drive stick?) can have a cool sounding alternative, or so that they can justify the car to the wife or girlfriend, and thus buy it. It opens up the market for the model to a huge group of people with the cash who otherwise couldn't own or drive the car with a manual for a number of reasons. So while auto manufacturers put the racing spin on it, it is also a clever marketing ploy.

      Paddle shifters may be quicker than a manual, but then racing is not about having fun, it's about winning. If somebody wants to "win" while driving 15mph in a traffic jam, that's their choice. A manumatic might be more efficient, but unless you aren't coordinated, or are a video game junkie, you are not going to have more fun - even in traffic at 15mph.

      In the end I'll enjoy heel and toeing, double declutching, and matching revs. At 100,000 miles, my car may need a clutch/throw out bearing/slave and master cylinder, which will cost around $1500. A clutch in an E-Gear Lambo will set you back about $7000, and need replaced every 10,000 to 50,000 miles. The F1 system in a Ferrari last 10,000 to 30,000 miles, and can set you back around $6500. The Veyron's transmission is $25,000 alone and has two computer controlled clutches...... https://www.justauto.com/article.aspx?ID=91469
      • 7 Years Ago
      A pointless and terrible waste of metal, materials and money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Which was probably a week's worth of income to her back in the day if Britney's 700k/mo of income is accurate.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Those that live in wankel engines shouldn't throw stones.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It also isn't going for $179K Euros.
      • 7 Years Ago
      why bother if you can't work a stick .. its not a " sports " car if its a "momomatic " come on people
      • 7 Years Ago
      definitely, Its pointless and waste of money. . .

      • 7 Years Ago
      For such a rugged design, I've never noticed how wimpy those mirrors are. Directly off the Countach, I guess.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Several years ago she was shown driving this car around the South of France, I think, in a 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley. I distinctly remember thinking how strange it was to see her behind the wheel of this monster. Anyone else remember?
      • 7 Years Ago
      @ big rocket . . . yes, F1 cars have paddle shifted automated clutch MANUAL transmissions. BUT F1 driver skill has very little to do with shifting. That's like saying they are really good at pushing the gas pedal. To a top notch racing driver, the actual act of shifting is nearly brainless, regardless of how its done. The SKILL involves the absolute mastery of controlling a car of such high capability, with ultra high precision and repeatability under severe mental, physical, and environmental consitions.

      THere's really no argument that a GOOD DSG transmission can shift faster. But to take it a step further, modern traction and stability control systems can be tuned to make a car much faster around a road course as well. You literally mash the brakes to stop, turn the wheel, and mash the gas to go again, and the electronics, differentials, and ABS sorts it all out for you.

      If you are a top level racing driver whose ONLY concern is winning, and millions of dollars are at stake, then by all means, do what it takes to shave milliseconds off your lap time.

      BUT, like someone above said, a big part of it for many people in the lower ranks is to challenge YOURSELF to improve as a driver and racer. The reward is the feeling of acheivement as the coordination between your hands, feet, eyes, and mind come together just right to put together that flawless heel-toe two gear down shift while threshold braking into a corner, then just barely getting into a 4 wheel drift as you roll on the throttle and blast out of the corner with your outside tires bushing the exit curb for just a second. To a TRUE enthusaist, that's what matters, not that extra tenth of a second that you saved by not having to push in the clutch. If you think that letting the car do the work for you is better, then you probably haven't experienced what I'm talking about, and no amount of argument will convince you.

      The more and more we let electronics drive the car for us, the less and less our own skill, coordination, and experience matter. Sure, the car may be faster, but you can't argue about which takes more skill or driver involvement. That's like debating whether or not 1+1=2.
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