The first supercar with a rear mid-engine two-seat layout was the Lamborghini Miura and produced between 1966 and 1973. It was designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone and during its production lifespan, 764 examples were built. Its replacement was the Lamborghini Countach, which was produced from 1974 to 1990. Shown for the first time at the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled, like its predecessor, by Marcello Gandini of Bertone.
Gandini predicated the angular style of the 1980s nearly a decade in advance. It was originally embodied and shown to the public in 1970 as the Lancia Stratos Zero concept car. This was followed a year later by the Lamborghini LP500 concept car shown at the Geneva Motor Show. The Countach utilized a 'cab forward' design concept, which had the passenger compartment placed forward to allow for a large rear-mounted engine. Scissor doors provided the unconventional entry into the passenger compartment, in similar fashion to the Alfa Romeo Carabo Concept of 1968. The exterior was entirely wedge-shaped with a low, flat front, angular details, and a truncated tail. It was 73-inches wide, 41 inches tall, and 158 inches long.
The four-cam V12 engine found in the Miura was installed into the Countach, though this time installed longitudinally. Designer Paolo Stanzani positioned the five-speed gearbox ahead of the engine between the seats. The differential, which was driven by a shaft passing through the sump, was placed at the rear. This allowed the Countach to achieve optimum weight distribution which greatly added to its handling and performance characteristics.
Although the prototype had been powered by a 5.0-liter engine, the early production Countach's had 4.0-liter unit placed into its spaceframe chassis. The 375 horsepower was enough to give the aerodynamic Countach a top speed of 170 mph.
In 1978, the first upgrade appeared, dubbed the 'LP400S.' Changes included modifications to the chassis and suspension, and a rear aerofoil became available. The 'emissions friendly' LP500S appeared in 1982. The engine displaced 4,754cc and had an increase in torque over the prior engine. The final development appeared in 1985, with the engine enlarged to 5,167cc and new four-valves-per-cylinder head. With a top speed of 186 mph, it was the world's fastest car at the time.
The Quattrovalvole, or QV for short, made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 1985. In European-carbureted specification, it offered 455 brake horsepower at 7,000 RPM. It featured downdraft rather than side-draft carburetors, and the only cosmetic styling change was to the rocker panels, where vents were added to increase air flow for the rear brakes.
Most of the 610 Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole models imported into the United States from 1985 to 1988 were outfitted with a Bosch Electronic fuel-injection system. 13 models were fitted with downdraft carburetors and sent to the United States before the EPA and DOT banned Lamborghini from importing them.
The 25th Anniversary Edition appeared in 1988, honoring the company's twenty-fifth anniversary. They were mechanically similar to the 5000QV, with modified styling courtesy of Horacio Pagani. Changes were made to the rear 'air-box' intake-ducts, refashioned fins which now ran longitudinally rather than transversely, and the air-boxes located behind the radiators were rotated from a transverse to a longitudinal position. The rear was redeveloped with the most notable being the introduction of a rear bumper extending outwardly from the lower-section.
Production of the 25th Anniversary Edition continued until 1990, when it was replaced by the Lamborghini Diablo. During the sixteen-year lifespan of the Countach, a total of 1,983 examples were built. More than half were built in the final five years of production. by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2019
Related Reading : Lamborghini Countach History
The Countach was the predecessor to the very successful Miura. The body was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, and given a mid-engine layout in two-door coupe configuration. It featured an attractive and curvaceous body with elegant lines and fitted with modern mechanical components and technology. The engine was mounted longitudinally and replaced the transverse layout of its predecessor. The.... Continue Reading >>
The Lamborghini Countach was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1971. It wore a design by Marcello Gandini and featured angular styling and stood just over 40 inches tall. The shocking and exotic design continued to its upwards-hinging 'scissor do....[continue reading]
This Countach is a carbureted Quattrovalvole model. Fewer than half of the production run of 631 Countach Quattrovalvole models featured the six double barrel Webers. They offered nearly 10% more power than the fuel-injected examples that were largel....[continue reading]
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