LAMBORGHINI TURNS 60: SIX CARS THAT DEFINED THE SIX DECADES
Lamborghini celebrates 60 years of Italian bravado, making wedge cars cool, and delivering endless ground-rumbling engine roars.
Putting it in reverse, we’re looking back at six of the most influential cars that shaped not only the brand but also gave them the hottest badge in automobile history.
Sir Ferruccio Lamborghini sure loved his cars – but hated his Ferrari.
What do you do when you’re a wealthy industrialist in Italy? – You might either purchase a three-storey villa by Lake Como, splurge on Roman haute joaillerie, or well, buy a Ferrari.
Built as street-legal sportscars, Ferraris were fast and head-turning but needed fortnightly visits to the shop to have their clutch oil changed. This annoyance led Ferruccio to realize that spending all his hard-earned, Italian tractor money on such a vehicle was nowhere close to worth it. Taking his worries straight to the mighty Enzo Ferrari himself in Maranello, the reception he received wasn’t as polite as he expected. Ferruccio was dismissed by Enzo and left utterly enraged. He drove his Ferrari 250 GT back home and had his finest tractor engineers work on the speedster.
The result outdid the stock car by a longshot, and that was the moment Ferruccio decided to turn his tractor company into a luxury sportscar brand. That’s how in 1963, a petty grudge between a Maranello racing legend and a Bolognese tractor tycoon led to the birth of what would become the greatest cult supercar brand of all time.
Lamborghini today, is an icon of excess. Their very footprint in the automobile industry is a testament to how they’ve consistently revolutionized the idea of a luxury automobile.
A gift that keeps giving – V12s, wedge cars, butterfly doors, and well, tons of college dorm-room poster material. This year (2023), marks 60 years of Lamborghini and to celebrate the occasion, they’ve made a sharp right into hybrid-ville as they debut the 1000-horsepower, 2024 Revuelto – The brand’s promise of the future with an engine roar that isn’t yet silenced by the industry’s electric currents.
Dialling back the clocks and tracking all six decades of Lamborghini motoring, here are six cars that made Lamborghini, Lamborghini.
1.A legend is born – Lamborghini 350 GT
When we think 350 GT, we think V12.
Right after Ferruccio decided to switch from tractors to supercars, he hired Italy’s finest engineers, including Giotto Bizzarini who previously worked on Ferrari’s race engines. Ferruccio’s mission was clear – Build a race-ready V12 but for the road, not the track. Bizzarini was unhesitant to deliver what was asked for – He created a monstrous 3.5 litre V12 that could rev up to 11,000 rpm. Ferrucio gave it a nod of approval and decided that upon this rock he will build his church. Thus came, Lamborghini’s first-ever road car, the 350 GT. This singular V12 build from 1964 was so influential that they used variants of it up until 2010. This Raging Bull’s body was designed by Carrozzeria Touring, known for its lightweight Superleggera construction technique.
2. Eyes on the prize – Lamborghini Miura
With the development of their in-house V12 and a signature body silhouette, Lamborghini had a clear line of sight as to what they needed to build. Merely two years later, came the Muira – Mid-engine, super lightweight, refined, and housed their legendary V12 sitting right behind the cockpit. Producing between 345 and 385 horsepower, the Miura was a technological marvel that solidified Lamborghini’s reputation as a pioneer in automotive engineering. Why? You ask? It’s said that every modern supercar today uses some variation of the original Miura’s layout – it was a cornerstone in the development of supercar history. Also, it was the fastest production car ever in its time, zooming up to 180 mph.
3. UFO for a car? – Lamborghini Countach (LP400)
Amidst an oil crisis, management change, and big-time cashflow problems, Lamborghini unleashed one of the craziest-looking cars ever made – The Countach. Back in 1974, when the Countach made its global debut, it proved to the world that Lamborghinis aren’t just supercars – they’re better. Its sharp angular body looks like a rocket ship for the road and the 4L V12 in the rear, earned them the title of being an ‘icon of excess’. It became the wall poster car for dorm rooms across Europe and the West. What else was cool? They introduced the world to ‘scissor doors’.
4. Devil is in the details – Lamborghini Diablo
Next up, as the successor for the Countach was the 1991 Diablo – A 485 horsepower, V12 speed devil which was the fastest car in the world at the time of debut. There was nothing more exotic in the 90’s market than the Diablo and guess what? It kicked off a financial redemption arc for the company. What makes this model so significant was that it created a launchpad for Lamborghini to enter the 21st century.
5. New century, new Lambo – Lamborghini Murciélago (LP 640)
Entrée the Volkswagen Group at the dawn of the new century marking the beginning of modern Lamborghini. Taking the House Of The Raging Bull to new horizons, their first offering was the Murciélago, named after a bull in Don Eduardo Miura’s stable. Armed with a 572-horsepower V12 which took cues from their original 1964 V12, it also showed off refined wedge angles from the Countach, and some fancy new tech – All of this, with a teaspoon of modern elegance. Two years later, it got a baby brother called the Gallardo which came with a V10 guzzler. By the time this speedster ended its production run, 50% of all Lambos ever sold were Gallarados.
6. Audacious, loud, and freakin’ fast – Lamborghini Aventador (LP 700-4)
I don’t think I’ll ever run out of words for the Aventador – for its design, worthy of being in an Italian art gallery and mechanical mastery hiding just under the surface. The Aventador was the embodiment of Lamborghini’s limitless ambition for excess, be it in form or function. It housed a built-from-scratch V12 retiring the Bizzarini’s masterpiece after 50 years of service. Producing 700 brake horsepower and 509 ft-lb of raw Italian torque, it zoomed from zero to 60 in under three seconds and maxed out at 217 miles per hour.
7. New Age Icon – Lamborghini Revuelto (LB744)
We’ve mapped out 60 years of evolution so we might as well tell you where Lamborghini is at today.
Meet the Revuelto, a naturally aspirated, 1001-horsepower, hybrid V12 AWD – Lamborghini’s answer to the electric/hybrid revolution. It gets its name from a Catalan bull and a particularly rowdy one who said to jump the fence into the stands about eight times. Revuelto also translates to ‘scrambled’ or ‘mixed’, perfectly expressing its nature. What’s interesting is that its drivetrain isn’t just unique to Lamborghini but to the entire industry. On its front axle, you’ll find two oil-cooled axial flux electric motors, one for each wheel which delivers a total of 294 horsepower. We also see a 3.8-kWh unit which is mounted longitudinally and acts as a spine to the carbon fibre monocoque. The main attraction here is beyond the cabin. The ground-rumbling 6.5-litre NA V12 makes 813 horsepower at 9250 rpm. With the total output at a mind-bending 1001 horsepower, Lamborghini claims their new hybrid speedster can zoom from zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, maxing out at 217 mph. It also boasts a new Città driving mode, which puts its EV tech into action.
Mikhail Gomes @Fueler
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