1971: the debut with the “idea car”, the Lamborghini Countach LP 500

1971: the debut with the “idea car”, the Lamborghini Countach LP 500

21.07.2021: Lamborghini Countach LP 500- In the summer of 1970, Ferruccio Lamborghini pushed his men to get a revolutionary car that could succeed in the not so easy undertaking of replacing an icon like the Miura. The new car had to be technically advanced and

Lamborghini Countach LP 500

In the summer of 1970, Ferruccio Lamborghini pushed his men to get a revolutionary car that could succeed in the not so easy undertaking of replacing an icon like the Miura. The new car had to be technically advanced and faster, able to become the sports car symbolizing the 1970s.  


The 12-cylinder engine remained but its displacement was increased from 4 to 5 liters, and its position on the car changed: from rear transversal to rear longitudinal. To be able to achieve this while avoiding the limitations of a rear overhang transmission, the company’s technical manager, Paolo Stanzani, invented a new technical solution, with the transmission placed in front of the engine, practically abutting the seats, and the propeller shaft passing inside the engine block.



From the stylistic viewpoint, Marcello Gandini, head of style at Carrozzeria Bertone, decided to abandon the rounded shapes that had distinguished the 1960s and he designed a very low and wide car featuring sharp edges. It was absolutely extraordinary in its shape.


Gandini decided to use scissor doors not only to fulfill a technical requirement resulting from the height of the side portion of the chassis but also to gain a few centimeters in width to make it easier to climb into the car.


 By opting for this solution, he met with Ferruccio’s approval for another innovation and, even if he wasn’t yet aware of it, he created what has since become one of the most distinctive features of all the 12-cylinder models produced in Sant’Agata Bolognese.



The extraordinary feature of the LP 500 lies in its sharp edges, which in the automotive industry became the stylistic symbol of the years to come, and gave birth to a model that remained in production with very few modifications for seventeen years.



It was precisely while working on the execution of this first prototype, called LP 500, which had to be ready for the Geneva Motor Show in March 1971, that the word “Countach” made its first appearance. It is an exclamation of the Italian Piedmontese dialect that indicates astonishment and admiration for something.





 - Lamborghini also photo

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21.07.2021 / MaP

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