Click above for high-res gallery of the Lamborghini Estoque concept

Emerging reports indicate that Lamborghini is currently in negotiations with the suits at its corporate superior Volkswagen to put the Estoque into production. The four-door Lamborghini concept was unveiled last month at the Paris show after a drawn-out parade of teasers, but with no actual engine unde-hood and little in the way of specifications revealed, most surmised that the Estoque was just a flash-in-the-pan publicity gimmick. Not so, according to the company's R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani, who confirmed to British weekly Autocar that the company is in the process of making a business case to the VW executive board. If approved, the Estoque could hit showrooms by late 2011 with a UK sticker quoted at around £150k, which lies in between the Gallardo's £135k British list price and the Murcielago's £220k.

To make financial sense, the Estoque would have to borrow heavily from the corporate parts bin, but Reggiani was quick to dismiss speculation that the Estoque would share its platform with any current or next-generation Audi. So what would provide the power, you ask? A re-tuned version of the Gallardo LP560-4's direct-injection V10, optimized for usability at the slight expense of peak output and driving through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox -- another first for Lamborghini. Also under consideration for the Estoque are hybrid and diesel V8 options, noting that the concept car's platform was designed to accommodate a variety of engines.

Wait a second, a diesel hybrid automatic four-door Lamborghini? What's going on in Sant'Agata since Porsche took over in Wolfsburg? Nothing all that unusual for the company that started out making tractors and even produced a HUMMER rival for a while. But with the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide on the way, the market for the four-door exotic super-coupe could be the new premium battlefield.

Related GalleryParis 2008: Lamborghini Estoque LIVE

[Source: Autocar]