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Lamborghini just here to tease

The star of Lamborghini's stand; one of the most expensive cars on display at the Australian International Motor Show which opened yesterday, a Murcielago LP640 Versace and is the only one left.

Shipped from Italy to be a centrepiece of the event, the special edition supercar bears the distinctive emblem of the Versace fashion house on the doors and stitched into the sumptuous cabin leather, from dash to roof.

It made a splash at the Paris Motor Show a year ago and all 20 were quickly snapped up despite the premium of at least $250,000 over the 'standard' supercar.

The dealer principal of Lamborghini Melbourne, Tom Dowd, said there was plenty of interest from Australian buyers, but because the car was built only in left-hand drive, none would be sold here.

The Versace Lamborghini returns to Italy after the show to be retained by the factory, but plenty of other exotica will be staying.

Maserati displayed its GranTurismo coupe, which has just gone on sale in Europe. Even at $292,800 apiece, the local importer cannot get enough of them. General manager Edward Butler said the importer held 140 advance orders and there was now an eight-month waiting list. “We could sell double that but supply is constrained,” he said.

A surprise arrival fresh from Europe was the BMW Concept X6, which made its debut only weeks ago in Frankfurt. The German brand says it combines the practicality of an SUV with the sportiness of a coupe. “We will be building a car based on the Concept X6 very soon and will have it for sale in Australia during 2008,” the managing director of BMW Group Australia, Guenther Seemann, said.

The return of the wagon quickly emerged as a theme of the show, with a string of new models ranging from high-performance utes to traditional off-roaders.

Toyota introduced its next generation LandCruiser, a global debut; with a song by country singer Lee Kernaghan. The new SUV is even larger than the current model and features a new V8 diesel engine.