Lamborghini is well known because of the powerful and outrageous V12 engines which equip the supercars envisioned by talented designers and manufactured in the Italian Lamborghini factories. But along with the V12 engines, the recent V10 engine used on the Gallardo was also used for more than one model in the past. If we go even further back in time, I think that we all heard about the incredible success of the Uraco and Jalpa models from the 1970s and the 1980s. These supercars were equipped with the well known V8 engine and were fierce competitors for the Ferrari 308.
But after the retirement of the Jalpa in the late 1980s, the company didn’t have the funds that were necessary in order to design and manufacture another Lamborghini that was meant to replace the Jalpa. As a result, the Italian automaker considered that it was better to focus on manufacturing a replacement for the Countach. Later on, in 1994, Lamborghini hired Gorgietto Giugiaro and decided to invest in creating the successor of the Lamborghini Jalpa.
The work of the newly hired designer resulted in a Lamborghini that was ready for reveal at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show and was named Lamborghini Cala. This new Lamborghini was a real success and everybody was amazed and fascinated by its looks. The prototype was complete and drivable and was equipped with an improved 3.9 liters V10 engine placed behind the passenger compartment. The new engine’s design showed how serious was the company in following the production plans of the Lamborghini Cala. The engine was placed in a 90-degree angle, being able to produce 400 horsepower. The supercar also featured a six-speed manual gearbox and all wheel ventilated disc brakes. All the technical components made it possible for the Lamborghini Cala to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in around 5.0 seconds, while the top speed achievable was around 180 mph.
If the technical components used on the Lamborghini Cala impressed by quality and performance, the exterior design was stunning as well. This Lamborghini has a carbon fiber body placed over an aluminum chassis. The interior is also of high quality, covered in upholstery which is a mixture between leather and suede. The Recaro seats are very comfortable and the instrumentation panel offers all the information you need. Behind the seats, the Cala has a small space for children, but it can be considered an additional luggage space, as well. The Lamborghini Cala also features a Targa roof configuration which uses two small clear glass parts at the front. The goal of this roof was to increase the lighting inside this supercar. The two glass parts can be detached and stored behind the seats.
The new Lamborghini was tested by some journalists and it impressed all of them with its performance even it was only a prototype. When it came to the testing performance, the journalists were impressed by its excellent road handling and by the high performance acceleration. These technological capabilities were completed by its speed and the interior ergonomics.
In 1998, Audi purchased the Italian company and immediately froze this project. But, the idea of producing a V10-powered “baby Lambo” was not completely forgotten. As a result, in 2003 was released a Lamborghini which is the real replacement of the Jalpa and the Uraco. The name of this new Lamborghini is Gallardo and it’s equipped with an improved V10 engine. Unfortunately, the design of the Gallardo wasn’t similar or a remainder of the Cala.
Nowadays, the Lamborghini Cala is still running and you can admire it in the Italian factory museum.
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