On the brink of launching the Aventador let’s take a look back to Lamborghini’s first conquest. Even the fabled Diablo and the Sesto Elemento pale in comparison with what has been known as the King of Supercars: the Lamborghini Countach.
Since its creation the Countach as been equipped with the most high tech components available (and the most expensive) at the time. It was mid- engined with a V12 engine that holt 4 camshafts, a space framed chassis and the entire body made from aluminum. It had the typical Lamborghini niches (NACA ducts) that directed the air flow to the engine giving it sufficient cooling even at top speed. Yet the most impressive feature that belongs to Lamborghini to this very day, the vertical opening doors was considered a unique feat at that time. Later the form of the Countach will be compared many times with Starwars A-Wing space fighter.
The first thing that made people think the Countach belonged to the exotic series, was the looks. Wedge-shape design along side edges and sharp lines with “scissors doors” and air ducts made the Countach look downright futuristic. The Countach would set the standards for all the Lamborghini hyper cars to come. It gave the impression of being lightning fast because of the low gravity center and the fact that the car itself was only 42.1 inch high. When it was presented at the Geneva motor show Lamborghini representatives claimed a top speed of over 200 mph and most journalists present believed them.
Note that the Lamborghini didn’t only look fast, it really was. It was packed with a huge V12 engine that could develop 375 hp. The engine felt “glad” to boost the power with every shift increase. The block and the head were a special aluminum alloy that gave it significant decrease in weight and the fact that it had 2 valves per cylinder with an outstanding compression ratio of 10.5:1and dry sump lubrication made it one of the most technologically advanced engines of the age.
Lamborghini Countach interior
If you think the engine was high tech? Wait for the drivetrain. This was literally the most amazing part of the Countach. Since the V12 was placed on the rear which would make it heavier and harder to maneuver, the technicians thought of a unique idea: put the clutch and the entire gearbox in front of the engine block. This brought another huge advantage: the transmission link between the shifter and the gearbox was dramatically decreased which made gear shifting a lot more precise and effortless.
All this high tech integrated in the car resulted in enormous performance on the race track. So in 1975 the Countach was able to develop a massive acceleration of 5.6 sec on a 0-60 mph run.
The driving experience was one the driver wouldn’t forget soon. It was literally “hot and heavy” since despite the whole advancements you would still need quite a grip to shift between gears, yet even at near top speeds the car would handle just as great sticking to the lane like tar. The brakes applied thousands of times would look like new because of the ingenious way they were built. No premature locks or other glitces.
Despite the flaws like, a very crammer cockpit, practicability close to zero, heavy weighted despite the advanced body and chassis, noisy and powerful. Characteristics that make the Super in Supercars. And when thinking of exotic classics, we think Countach