Lamborghini Countach LP500S

Lamborghini Countach LP500S

Lamborghini Countach LP500S

  • 186MPH

    Top speed

  • 5.6 seconds

    0-60 time

  • 375BHP

    Power

  • £350,000

    Value


If Ferrari’s Testarossa was flamboyant, the 1980s Bertone-designed Lamborghini Countach was exotically extravagant; a spaceship for the road that did everything but fly.

Initially launched in 1974, when its origami shape of angles and flat panels was truly groundbreaking, the Countach developed into a monstrous, aggressive supercar in the 80s, with wider wheelarches and more powerful engines to eclipse the Testarossa in terms of out and out top speed.

From its forward tilting scissor doors to its almost horizontal windscreen, huge rear spoiler and irregular-shaped rear lights and wheelarches, no supercar design had ever been so bold. It was a Storm Trooper on wheels.

Lamborghini Countach LP500S
Lamborghini Countach LP500S

The Countach LP500S was introduced in 1982 in response to Ferrari’s faster Boxer, which had overtaken the LP400S.

Lamborghini needed to respond, so after an abortive attempt to fit a turbo to the 400’s 4-litre V-12 because of overheating problems, the engine was increased to 4.8-litres in conjunction with larger Weber carburettors, new combustion chambers and revised cams.

An LP500S road tested by Motor in 1984 gave a taste of exactly what it would be like to own “the most outrageous looking car on four wheels”.

“Half the charisma of the Countach is what happens at journey’s end. To arrive anywhere in it is to take a shortcut to celebrity: park it and you create an instant tourist attraction. Some ask if they can sit in the driver’s seat for a few moments. Other merely want to look at the engine. The witty ones ask you what it’s like to fly.”

Motor’s testers achieved a 4.8-second run to 60mph, but the claimed top speed of 186mph proved elusive.

As a road car, just starting the Countach is an event. After noisily priming the fuel pumps, the car “fires instantly, like a small explosion, making nearby householders fear for their foundations”.

“Beyond the charisma and beneath the dream car shape, there’s a car of real substance and ability which, by our figures, is the ultimate production car.”

Over three years of production, 323 customers drove away a new LP500S, but the prototype 758bhp twin-turbo version never made it for sale…

Want to see an ‘˜85 Countach driving on mountain roads? Course you do.

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