HYBRID SUPERCAR, THE LAMBORGHINI COUNTACH LPI800-4
Lamborghini design director Mitja Borkert and CEO Stephan Winkelmann discuss why the time was right for a new take on the car that adorned so many bedroom walls.
After all the leaks and teases, Lamborghini has finally announced its new hybrid-engine Countach. Thankfully, almost everything you need to know about the car is in its model designation: LPI 800-4. The first part is short for Longitudinale Posteriore Ibrido, referencing how the powertrain is mounted lengthwise toward the back of the supercar and the fact that it’s a hybrid. Meanwhile, the two numbers point to the approximately 802 horsepower the Countach’s V12 6.5-liter engine and 48-volt electric motor can output together, as well as the fact that it has four-wheel drive.
All of that makes for one powerful car. The Lamborghini Countach can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds and zero to 124 miles per hour in just under nine seconds. As for a top speed, you can push it to 221 miles per hour, and it has a maximum torque of 531 lb-ft.
Powering the Countach’s electric motor is a supercapacitor Lamborghini claims delivers three times more power compared to a lithium-ion battery of the same weight. The automaker says it mounted the electric motor directly to the gearbox to preserve the feeling of power transfer you get from a V12 engine.
Carbon fiber makes up most of the chassis and exterior of the Countach LPI 800-4. “It imagines how the iconic Countach of the 70s and 80s might have evolved into an elite super sports model of this decade,” Lamborghini says of the design, which is more reminiscent of the Aventador than its original namesake. Inside, you’ll find an 8.4-inch touchscreen display that includes CarPlay integration and a button labeled “Stile.” Pressing it “explains the Countach design philosophy to its privileged audience.”
Speaking of a privileged audience, Lamborghini will only make 112 units of the Countach LPI 800-4. The press release the automaker sent over doesn’t even mention a price tag. It seems Lamborghini is keen on looking forward, but the Countach was too important not to acknowledge with a limited run.
The Countach’s progenitor was a wild concept called the LP500 unveiled by Bertone at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971. That the design still remains so futuristic and fresh is a testament to Marcello Gandini, the young design director of Bertone who had just previously penned the brilliant Alfa Romeo Carabo and Lancia Stratos Zero concept cars.
Lamborghini’s Miura SV was still on a roll, but customers clamored for the space-aged Lamborghini Countach and so the Lamborghini factory set about developing the car for production. The LP in its name refers to Longitudinale Posteriore, as the engine was laid out lengthwise, unlike the sidewinder stuffed into the Miura.
Any Lamborghini Countach is a desirable collectible; a real sculptural centerpiece of a garage. That being said, the cars are challenging to drive, not least because anyone even closely approaching six feet in height will have a devil of a time folding themselves into the cockpit. With legs splayed to either side of the steering wheel and arms straight out, and without steering assist, most people will find that the Countach is a workout to pilot. It’s not a “flickable” car like a Porsche 911, where quick input is rewarded by quick response.