Curbside Classic: 2015 Lamborghini Estoque By Fighting Star – DIY Or WTF?

Enough of the usual suspects, down with the run-of-the-mill regulars and plain common vehicles already featured in half a dozen CC posts! I’m fixing to kick things into high gear for December and feature things we’ve not seen before on this website, for a change. Just to set the standard, here’s one not many people will have seen anywhere, judging by how extensive my Internet searches had to be to comprehend its existence: a locally-made Lambo four-door saloon.

This highly unfamiliar machine crossed my path about a month ago in Ginza, central Tokyo’s high-end shopping district.  I like to prowl that area on week-ends, as the ratio of CCs per square kilometer is pretty good. On that particular day though, it was off the scale.

Luck was on my side that day: the mystery mobile, which wailed and growled exactly like a real Lambo, wafted past me. It rolled down the road and I followed its general direction, on the off chance I could catch it. Modern cars aren’t my wheelhouse, but this warranted further investigation.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained: even as I went down a side street to see this gray monster was lurking in some corner, it had doubled back around, passed me again and parked. The driver exited. Conditions were ideal for a full photo shoot.

This encounter spawned a host of questions, some of which remain unanswered. The first and most difficult to tackle was: So what have we here, then? Lamborghini’s current range contains four models: the Huracán and Aventador are mid-engined two-door supercars, in the traditional Lamborghini mold. In 2018, they were joined by the Urus, a V8-engined SUV using the same platform as the Audi Q7 / Bentley Bentayga / Porsche Panamera / VW Touareg. Finally, there is the super-limited edition Sián, a souped-up re-bodied Aventador. Yet none of those look like this tormented Tokyo tourer.

Source (above and next two below): Wikicommons

What this does look like is the Estoque. That was a one-off Lamborghini saloon shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show – just as the financial crisis was starting to really bite. It was powered by a front-mounted V10, probably using a Bentley platform (pure speculation on my part, but what else could it be based on?) and was mooted for production in the next couple of years. The economic climate soon cooled Lamborghini’s four-door fantasies, and they announced the project’s cancellation in early 2009.

Ever since then, the sole Estoque has been languishing at the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Rumours of the Estoque’s re-emergence, perhaps as a Diesel hybrid or a full EV, have cropped up here and there since 2018-19, most articles predicting a 2025 launch date. So I guess it could still happen…

Did the Tokyo car slip through a crack in the space-time continuum from the year ’25 ’25 (if man is still aliiiive)? Occam’s razor will shave us from idle speculation: no, this is a different beast. And judging from the noises it emitted, it’s neither a Diesel, nor an EV.

That’s not the only difference, of course. The more one compares the Tokyo car with the European one, the more differences one sees. Not a single detail or shut line is identical.

In fact, the more I photographed it, the odder this bloated bizarro-world behemoth looked. The fenders were strangely flared – the genuine Estoque’s rear wings were quite bulbous too, but not like this. And the front ones were also affected on this car, going almost half-way into the front doors, giving the whole affair an early ‘40s pastiche feel.

While we’re on the flanks, there was this awkward protruding piece of B-pillar at the bottom of the rear doors. Never seen anything like it, but it screamed “structural compromise”. Who could have designed something as crazy as this?

Fortunately, there was this nice big clue on the front fenders. Searching “Lamborghini Fighting Star” on the web led to a lot of information about Tokyo’s Lambo customizer scene, some of which is on display on Sundays at the Jingu Gaien and briefly documented in some of my recent Singles Outtakes posts. Most local Lamborghini enthusiasts get their cars worked on by Fighting Star, a specialist shop in central Tokyo. The man behind the madness is Shinichi Morohoshi, who is the very person that was driving this four-door creation.

Fighting Star manufactures a lot of kits and other decorative items for Aventadors and the like, and organizes meet-ups and events for the Lamborghinistas of the Japanese capital. And on a couple of instances, Morohoshi-san has publicized the fact that he is “the only one in the world driving an Estoque.” What some folks wouldn’t do for exclusivity…

The interior does look like a pretty sweet place to be, to be fair. It could certainly pass for something made by Lamborghini themselves. If this is a DYI project, some serious coin, time and talent were sunk into it.


With a bit more online sleuthing, I ended up finding more tidbits of information. It appears the original creator of this car was a Japanese coachbuilder called Belladonna. For some reason, this shop decided to do their version of the Lamborghini Estoque and display it, not entirely finished, at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

It doesn’t look like the Fighting Star side of things was involved in creating this second Estoque, at least at this initial stage, but it’s clearly the same car. The Belladonna lead gets cold around 2018 – they may have gone under. Perhaps that’s when Fighting Star bought the car, repainted it gray (a crying shame) and made a number of small changes, such as adding Lamborghini badging, headlights and spraying it gray. I’m sure there were many other bits and bobs – and registering it can’t have been too easy, either.

What stumped me completely for ages was what base they used. Articles discussing the Belladonna version of this car claim that an Audi RS7 was used. Apparently, only the windshield, front window and B-pillar were straight from the Audi – everything else is custom bodywork. There are rumours that an air suspension system was also added to the car – because a bespoke one-off four-door body just wasn’t mad or ambitious enough.

While it cannot be said that this unofficial Estoque is beautiful, it’s certainly intriguing. The same can be said of many Lamborghini cars, but this one’s obsession with hexagon motifs, curious proportions and sumptuous interior do make it stand out. Oh, and the fact that it was entirely made by Japanese car nerds with zero actual input from the factory.

It’s not clear what engine this car has – perhaps simply the RS7’s twin turbocharged 4-litre V8. Clocking in at 553hp, it’s certainly no slouch. And it found its way into the Urus a few years later, so it looks like a case of life imitating art, if you will.

Sometimes though, art is better off not being scaled up to life-size. The “production” Estoque was questionable enough for Lamborghini to pump the brakes on the idea. The later re-creation took the weird to a new level – perhaps a couple rungs higher than sanity would recommend.

Will the real thing ever be made by Lamborghini? We’ll know for sure in a couple of years, I guess, but it’s pretty doubtful. Meantime, if you want a sports saloon with a bull badge on its nose, you’ll just have to take matters into your own hands.