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Lamborghini brings out the poster car that conquered all

Lamborghini brings out the poster car that conquered all


The 2021 Lamborghini Countach broke through the grass at The Quail in Monterey this weekend

Fifty years after the original Countach astounded the world with aesthetic boldness and technical audacity, the Countach LPI 800-4 does the same. But don’t mistake this very-small-run car to be a homage meant to cater to those who long for the past. The new car brings not just the look and feel but more importantly the soul of the brand of the bull. You will see design features from the past but reinterpreted for the future. 

As Lamborghini Head of Design Mitja Borkert explained, they looked at every special detail and thought about how they could use the best possible technology for it. That is why they did not even consider the much-beloved pop-up headlight features, for example, because the best lighting can now be achieved without them. Also details like the periscopio, which used a physical cut to allow the driver to actually use a rear view mirror is now interpreted with a roof design that uses photochromic technology that changes from solid to transparent with the touch of a button. 

Technologically, the new car is at the forefront. The name Countach may be from 50 years ago, and by the way it is one of the few Lamborghini names that isn’t referencing a bull but actually a Piedmontese expression of wonder, but the numbers and letters tell the specs story. 

LPI 800-4. LP means Longitudinale Posteriore, for the longways rearward position of the 6.5 liter V12 engine that puts out 780 hp on its own. I denotes the innovative hybrid system developed by Lamborghini for their Sian, which has a 48v e-motor mounted directly on the gearbox that provides an additional 34 hp. Combined maximum power is thus 814, which Lamborghini rounds down to the 800 in the name code. The 4 means that all that power goes out all the time to all four wheels. More numbers? zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, zero to 200 in 8.6 seconds, a top speed of 355 km/h.

Another fun number? 112. LP 112 was the internal project name of that very first Countach over fifty years ago. So, in a move that will surely incense collectors and enthusiasts, there will only be 112 of the cars produced.

Was it easy to make a modern car with so storied a name? Quite a challenge, said Borkert. The toughest audience is internal, he said, and he pointed to Lamborghini Chief Technical Officer Mauricio Reggiani. We need to create iconic cars, always, and we need to get that feeling internally or we will never get it externally. So, Borkert said, he listens to Reggiani. 

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The key, Mauricio Reggiani says, is the mix of talent in the team and the ability to make bold decisions. “ The engineering team that developed the original Countach advanced Lamborghini’s pioneering technical approach, delivering unexpected innovations and the best performance available in a production car” he stated. “That spirit inherently drives Lamborghini R&D, resulting in the pioneering hybrid technology in the LPI 800-4, and the emotive driving experience and top-line performance expected from a flagship V12 Lamborghini.” 

Are we seeing design cues for the future of Lamborghini here? No, says Mitja Borkert, because there must always be something unexpected. That is the revolutionary aspect of our design language, he added. Which obviously presents rather a challenge with every new car. 

But, as Reggiani said, “that is who we are.” If there’s no “WOW,” it’s not a Lamborghini.