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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Lamborghini rules out more retro specials

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Lamborghini won’t go down a retro rabbit hole, despite bringing the Countach back to the life.

The brand says it won’t lean on the Miura, Diablo, or Murcielago for inspiration in its future special editions, no matter how popular the sold-out Countach LPI 800-4 proves with the public.

“Mr [Stephan] Winkelmann [Lamborghini CEO] was really clear, we don’t want to make retro cars,” according to Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini chief technical officer.

Why did the boss allow the Countach LPI 800-4 to go ahead, then?

“Countach is something different,” Mr Reggiani explains, “because Countach redefined completely not only Lamborghini, but the entire world of super sports cars in approach – in terms of design, and in terms of technology.”

“This was the reason we decided to give a tribute uniquely to a car like Countach. In the future we will not have a kind of homage to the Miura, to the Diablo, or to other cars from Lamborghini,” he said.

Just 112 examples of the Countach LPI 800-4 will be built, and they’re all spoken for.

Its numbers are eye-opening. Combined with an electrical system fed by low-capacity, high-output supercapacitors instead of lithium-ion batteries, the V12 in the LPI 800-4 is good for 600kW of power and 720Nm of torque.

Coupled with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed transmission, the electrified 6.5-litre V12 shunts the Countach to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, 200km/h in 8.6 seconds, and will keep on pulling to a top speed of 355km/h.

The supercapacitor technology attached to the V12 is designed to provide a “bridge” between the outgoing, naturally-aspirated Aventador and whatever comes next atop the Lamborghini range.

That’s where the links between the Countach and future Lamborghinis stops, though. Its design is meant to stand alone, with design boss Mitja Borkert telling media to “expect the unexpected” from next-generation Lamborghinis.

Although a wedgy silhouette and an aggressive, pinched greenhouse remain non-negotiable, Mr Borkert opened the door for future models to feature a “completely different design DNA” that underlines their unique character.

We know that character has to change, amid tightening emissions regulations and an industry-wide push towards electric power.

Lamborghini has confirmed its next-generation flagship has a V12 engine backed by some form of electrification, and will reveal its first electric car in the second half of the 2020s.

It hasn’t revealed any details of its first electric vehicle, other than that it’ll be a new, fourth model line for the brand.

A shadowy teaser reveals the new, fourth Lamborghini will have a sleek coupe body, perhaps a little more upright than an Huracán but certainly not another SUV like the Urus.

By the end of 2024, the entire Lamborghini range will be electrified as Lamborghini aims to reduce product CO2 emissions by the beginning of 2025.

The company is investing €1.5 billion (A$2.34 billion) over a four-year period in what it’s billing its hybrid transition, which it says is the largest investment in its history.

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