Re-born Lamborghini Countach - A Retro Dream
Written by Somnath Chatterjee
Countach. It has quite literally made Lamborghini what it is today and this behemoth of the supercar game owes it all to this wedge shaped masterpiece. The Countach was not the first Lamborghini- that was the Miura but the significance of the former was way more than the latter. It developed a new style in automotive design and inspired automotive culture along being a shock to the visual senses. The original Countach still looks dramatic today and seems to have plucked straight from outer space. To understand how and why Lamborghini chose to revisit this icon, we must take a look at how the original was designed.
It was first designed in 1970 as a concept but the final Countach moniker was chosen because it was the Piedmontese term for “awe”. Indeed, your eyes would be perplexed at the visual complexities afforded by the Countach shape. Designed by Marcello Gandini, it was under the order of Ferruccio Lamborghini that a no compromise extreme supercar shape was envisioned.
It took a few years before the first Countach LP400 was built for production and there was no looking back after that. The iconic design sailed on for two decades but along the way it also gained many design iterations with numerous additions and mechanical changes. Still, the freshness of the design endears to automobile connoisseurs even today.
Rather fitting then that Lamborghini has brought it back after 31 years. Despite electrification on the horizon, the supercar industry is enjoying buoyant sales. Limited edition supercars are flying off the shelves and Lamborghini decided to make one itself to give buyers a retro taste of the Countach.
Unlike its predecessor, it is not an off the shelf production car being a strict limited edition of 112 units. Plus its $2.64 million price-tag dwarfs that of the original Countach on the market today. So, what is the new Countach all about?
In essence it is an extreme Lamborghini wrapped in sepia tinted clothes. The Countach LPI 800-4, unveiled at The Quail, USA, looks as radical as the original. Lamborghini has taken inspiration from the Quattrovalvole edition of the original in reference to way, the lines are all devoid of any curves. It is a wedge shaped time capsule with the long and low hood plus the sleek grille. The headlamps also look strikingly similar while the air intakes at the sides have the square like pattern. The greenhouse has a sharp inclination along with a cleaner front-o-rear tire ratio. Unlike the later original Countach models, the rear spoiler is not there and we think that is a smart design move owing to cleaner shape that results from it.
The whole ‘wedge’ shape design brief continues to the rear too with a ‘hexagonita’ shape along with the fabled three rear light cluster. Even the Bianco Siderale hue, contains a hint of pearlescent blue and is similar to that of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s own Countach LP 400 S. The car also has the period correct red and black leather heritage interior. The interior also takes design cues from the original Countach within the context of a modern car. The classic and luxurious leather features geometric stitching on the specially designed comfort seats and dashboard, sporting a square motif referencing the bold style and “optimism” of 1970s design and technology.
The engine is an orchestral delight being a V12 and devoid of turbos. However, Lamborghini has added in the hybrid technology which was earlier seen on its Sian. Combined forces of near 800bhp means the new Countach carries on the tradition of the fast yet aurally pleasing Lamborghini. The V12 sound continues to dominate the experience while a 0-100 km/h acceleration of just 2.8 seconds means this raging bull would slingshot into the horizon with utmost nonchalance.
The original Countach did not have such power and neither did it have the four-wheel drive transmission of the new one. Also, the Countach LPI 800-4 can be a luxurious boulevard cruiser with its leather lined interior while the upholstery is a subtle nod to the 70s style.
Recreating a yesteryears icon is a tricky task but Lamborghini has managed to pull it off with elan. The new Countach manages to immerse us in a retro filled nostalgia tour and brings back the carefree years which resulted in this universally admired and loved design. Sometimes, going back is indeed the way forward.