COUNTACH! SOME FIFTY years after the iconic Lamborghini supercar was revealed at the 1971 Geneva Show, Sant’Agata has revived the nameplate for a limited run of 112 homage models based on the underpinnings of the Sián FKP37 hybrid hypercar. Revealed at The Quail motorsport gathering at Pebble Beach this year, credit for the styling of the Countach LPI 800-4 goes not to Marcello Gandini, but to Mitja Borkert’s team at Lamborghini Centro Stile.
“The first Countach has been present in our Centro Stile as a model for some years now”, explains Borkert. “Whenever I look at it, it gives me goosebumps and it serves as the perfect reminder for me and the entire design team to design every future Lamborghini in a visionary and futuristic way. This is an unnegotiable part of our DNA, the essence if you so will. The first Countach shaped the Lamborghini design DNA like no other car; the new Countach translates that unconventional and edgy character into the future.”
Given that the hardpoints are shared with the Sián, it’s unsurprising that some of the proportioning looks similar. The Sián already carried over a number of design cues redolent of the Countach such as the trapezoidal bonnet feature line, the scissor doors, the sculpting of the roof that paid tribute to the original periscope and three-point rear light graphic. The nuovo Countach extends that theme still further.
Retaining the distinctive silhouette with the instantly recognisable ‘Countach line’ that has shaped all modern mid-engined Lamborghinis, the car’s front end hints at a secondary set of pop-up lamps with an indented detail line, while the LPI 800-4 also features slatted box intakes on the rear haunches, vast side intakes (we won’t call them NACA ducts because they aren’t) and quad exhaust tips. The wheels are interesting, their five-hole theme tipping a hat to the original’s Campagnolo alloys without being an overly literal recreation. It would have been easy to source a set of lookalike Vossen LC-103 forged alloys but Lamborghini clearly didn’t want to step too far down the retro path.
“The Countach LPI 800-4 is a visionary car of the moment, just as its forerunner was,” says Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann. “The Countach LPI 800-4 pays homage to this Lamborghini legacy but it is not retrospective: it imagines how the iconic Countach of the 70s and 80s might have evolved into an elite super sports model of this decade. It upholds the Lamborghini tradition of looking forward, of exploring new design and technology avenues while celebrating the DNA of our brand.”
It’s fairly understandable that Winkelmann would take that tack, having painted himself into something of a corner after the unveiling of the 2006 Miura concept by saying, “The Miura was a celebration of our history, but Lamborghini is about the future. Retro design is not what we are here for. So we won’t do the Miura.”
When MOTOR asked chief technology officer Maurizio Reggiani whether, as a result of that stance, there was some resistance to reviving the Countach name and ethos, he claims that the decision was straightforward.
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