If you were a testosterone-addled boy back in the 1970s, odds were good you had a poster of Farah Fawcett on your wall. The other popular alternative was the Lamborghini Countach. If anything, the Italian supercar remained popular far longer than the American actress. Hard as it is to imagine, the supercar is set to make a comeback — but it’s going to be a very different vehicle from the one that captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world when it debuted a half-century back.
Yes, indeed, it has been a full 50 years since the scissor-doored exotic rolled onto the scene. But perhaps even more surprising is the fact Lamborghini is bringing the name back, with an all-new version of the Countach set to make its debut at the upcoming Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
What come as a bigger surprise is that this limited-run model will be featuring a hybrid drivetrain — though it’s unclear if the Lamborghini Countach expected to go into production in 2023 will be a conventional hybrid or a plug-in model.
“Future is our legacy. And the new Lamborghini Countach is coming. Stay tuned … ,” the Italian automaker said on its website ahead of the Concours.
A retro name to launch into the future
Perhaps this shouldn’t be considered a surprise considering what Lamborghini announced barely three months ago. A new program, known in Italian as “Direzione Cor Tauri,” lays out a “roadmap towards electrification. Stephan Winkelmann, Automobili Lamborghini’s president and CEO, said in May that “the entire range will be electrified.”
It will play out in three steps, with pure gasoline models first giving way to hybrids — the first series model due to reach showrooms in 2023. By late this decade, the Italian automaker said, it plans to bring four all-electric vehicles to market.
What the new Lamborghini Countach will have under its sensuously sculpted hood is far from certain, but a hybrid it clearly will be, if you check out its full name: Countach LPI 800-4. That’s short for Longitudinale Posteriore Ibrido, the designation first used on the Asterion, a hybrid concept from 2014.
Oh, and that “800”? That’s a reference to the new Countach’s metric output of 800 PS — or roughly 780 horsepower.
Plenty of options
Exactly what sort of hybrid system Lamborghini has in store has triggered a hot debate. One possibility is that it could simply lift the system used in the limited-run supercar, the Sian, pairing a V-12 with a supercapacitor, rather than a battery. In keeping with the direction Lambo has laid out in Direzione Cor Tauri, however, the betting odds seem to favor a more conventional system using a lithium-ion pack – though it could yet be paired with a V-12.
In May, in fact, Lambo hinted that it would reveal two final models using a 12-cylinder driveline. Making it a hybrid would seem to be a perfect way to morph into the future it is aiming for. But will it be a conventional hybrid or plug-in? Stay tuned for more details by next Sunday’s Concours — where the Countach celebrates its golden anniversary as a celebrated class.
As for its design, The camouflaged prototype shown here seems to pick up on the basic lines of the original Lamborghini Countach — which made its debut on March 11, 1971 at the Geneva Motors Show. Whether the automaker goes retro is another question we’ll be looking to answer. It would be hard to imagine, however, bringing back the Countach badge without the original supercar’s scissor doors.
It’s widely expected that production of the revived nameplate will be limited to only a 100 or so vehicles. And, in keeping with Lambo’s approach to special editions, a price of $1 million or more would seem highly likely.