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2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 vs 1990 Lamborghini Countach


From the December 2022 subject of Automotive and Driver.

Vast, wedgy, and outrageous, the Countach wasn’t the primary Lamborghini, however Marcello Gandini’s jaw-dropping design created the archetype the corporate has adopted ever since. No new Countach might ever match the unique when it comes to the awestruck response that greeted the automobile, named for a Piedmontese expletive uttered on the idea automobile. Which is why Lamborghini’s choice to provide a brand new Countach, the LPI 800-4, appeared dangerously near heresy. The query is: Can the LPI 800-4 examine as an expertise?

To reply it, we drove the LPI 800-4 alongside a historic Countach from Lamborghini’s personal assortment. This 1990 twenty fifth Anniversary Version is the ultimate unique Countach constructed, and it is usually exhibited within the manufacturing facility museum. With simply 6000 miles, it is virtually box-fresh. Because the final model of the primary Countach, it is probably the most acceptable instance to match with the brand new automobile.

Park them subsequent to one another, and the variations are at the least as apparent because the similarities. The LPI 800-4 Countach sits on the Aventador’s platform and shares its carbon-fiber tub. Years of evolution make it greater in each airplane. But there may be additionally a visible kinship throughout the many years, with the LPI 800-4 clearly an homage fairly than an tried reproduction.

Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini’s design director, was in a position to riff on themes from all through the Countach’s lengthy life. There’s an LP5000S-like entrance finish (regardless of the absence of pop-up headlights), hexagonal wheel arches, and raised air intakes paying homage to the mid-’80s Quattrovalvole. In keeping with the ideas of recent automobile design, the brand new Countach options higher proportions and extra harmonious particulars than the clad-and-straked twenty fifth Anniversary. However the older automobile is the one you may’t cease .

In efficiency, it is not even near being shut. The LPI 800-4 will get the brawniest model of the Aventador’s magnificent 6.5-liter V-12, together with the supercapacitor hybrid system used within the Sián hypercar. The automobile drives like a turned-up Aventador, because the all-wheel-drive system delivers large thrust with assurance. The nearer the engine will get to its 8700-rpm restrict, the angrier and extra savage it turns into. Whereas the electrical motor’s modest 34-hp contribution is indiscernible from the V-12’s 769 horsepower, its torque does easy the single-clutch automated guide’s gear modifications, that are far much less brutal than within the Aventador. Like each different trendy Lambo, the LPI 800-4 has selectable drive modes, with the punchiest Corsa setting making it really feel impressively wieldy on the small, tight 1.3-mile Autodromo di Modena we used for pictures.

By comparability, the unique Countach is woeful. The cramped cockpit is uncomfortable, and all however the shortest pilots will discover their head grazing the roof, even with the seat in its lowest and most reclined place. It hails from a interval earlier than ergonomic issues in supercars, and the driving place is closely offset towards the middle of the automobile because of the intrusion of the entrance wheel nicely. The footwell is so full of its three pedals that there is nowhere to place a resting clutch foot. The dogleg gearshift incorporates a foldable tab to stop a first-to-reverse flubbed shift; in an excellent indication of the cabin designers’ priorities, it sits forward of an enormous ashtray.

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Rated at 449 horsepower, the outdated automobile’s V-12 is quieter at startup than the LPI 800-4’s and idles with a carbureted wuffle. U.S. Countaches as early as ’83 fashions received Bosch gas injection to satisfy emission regs, however European fashions caught with six Webers till the top. The throttle pedal is gentle, and response is fast and eager. The engine pulls cleanly from low down and with spectacular vigor as revs rise. It sounds nice too—a lot softer than the newer automobile, with valvetrain clatter audible over the exhaust.

But every thing else is simply a lot laborious work. The clutch is a leg-press machine set to Lou Ferrigno. The unassisted steering is so heavy at maneuvering speeds that turning the wheel is painful. Even as soon as the automobile is shifting, tight corners convey it again to full Hulk weighting, and in Autodromo’s tight corners, few of the apexes are even grazed, not to mention clipped. Between-corner speeds are restricted by stopping fairly than going, and the brake pedal’s mushy responses impart not one of the confidence you’d need when pushing a priceless supercar on a good monitor. Does it have ABS? Our chaperone, Mario Fasanetto, who began at Lamborghini in 1985 constructing Countach engines and right now is the corporate’s chief check driver, simply laughs.

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The staff in Sant’Agata by no means designed the Countach for the monitor, and it exhibits. The automobile is vastly higher on roads, particularly quick highways from the times when European limits have been both nonexistent or largely discretionary for supercar house owners. The twenty fifth Anniversary’s claimed 183-mph prime pace was doubtless simply Ferrari baiting—the highest pace we noticed in a 1983 Countach 5000S was 160 mph. However even touring on the decrease velocities of the tamer twenty first century, the Countach has the strong, planted really feel you need for critical cruising tempo.

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Reaching a mountain street provides the trendy automobile one other probability to show its dynamic superiority. The Strada Provinciale 26 close to the Modenese village of Samone is a quiet street that mixes hairpins and scenic views. It is a backdrop that attracts all of the native supercar makers (we have beforehand been right here with Ferrari and Pagani, in addition to Lamborghini). However the Countaches have it to themselves right now. After the vein-popping exercise of the twenty fifth Anniversary mannequin, the brand new automobile feels lighter and extra agile than a V-12 Lamborghini has any proper to.

The unique Countach is a kind of automobiles that’s superior each regardless of and due to its flaws. Justifying its divinity requires the form of tortuous logic that corrupt medieval clergymen would make use of to render the unholy holy, and even one of many much less liked variations of this unarguable icon nonetheless affords an unforgettable expertise. In contrast, the LPI 800-4 feels too good—too well-engineered and slick to be a real successor to such a flawed gem, whatever the new automobile’s good-looking design. It is a Countach, however it’s going to by no means be the Countach.

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