The Lamborghini Countach is one of the most iconic classic cars you can find, with many crediting it for Lamborghini’s radical styling trend. When it launched, the Countach was quite different from the Miura since Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted to create a vehicle that was eye-popping. Marcello Gandini was the designer behind the Countach, working as part of the house of Bertone. The Countach was produced for 16 years, during which time it stood out with its disregard for ergonomic design. It also had the industry-first signature scissor doors.
Introducing the Countach LP500 Prototype
The very first Countach was the LP500 prototype, with only a single model produced. The LP refers to “longitudinale posteriore,” meaning “longitudinally in the rear” in reference to the placement and orientation of the engine. The 500 refers to the planned 5-liter engine displacement. The prototype debuted at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. It more or less followed the original design concepts by Gandini but needed modification for mass production. For example, the air intake was not enough to keep the engine cool.
When it entered production, the Countach was an LP400 with a 3,929-cc engine and 370 horsepower. The main difference from the prototype was the conventional lights in the rear. The styling was also a bit more aggressive thanks to the required changes to the vents and large air scoops. At the same time, it kept a sleek profile on narrow tires. Unfortunately, this led to a low drag coefficient.
Countach LP400 S
Lamborghini introduced the Countach LP400 S model in 1978 with a slightly downgraded engine that generated 350 horsepower. The tires were swapped out for ones that were the widest of the time on a production car, 345/35R15 Pirelli P7s. There were also new fiberglass wheel arch extensions. Drivers could also opt for a V-shaped spoiler to improve high-speed stability but drop the top speed slightly. Experts divide the LP400 S into three series based on when they were produced.
Countach LP500 S
In 1982, the LP500 S arrived with a 4.8-liter engine. It had the same bodywork but a refreshed interior. There were only 321 autos of this configuration built.
Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole
Another version of the Countach arrived in 1985 with a 5.2-liter engine that had four valves per cylinder, hence the name “Quattrovalvole.” The carburetors moved to the engine’s top to improve breathing, which led to an engine deck hump for even worse rear visibility. This is when fuel injection was introduced in the U.S., distinguishing American and European versions of this particular Countach.
Countach 25th Anniversary
Starting in 1988, Lamborghini produced the Countach 25th Anniversary in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. It was mechanically similar to the LP5000 Quattrovalvole but with different styling. The rear “air-box” intake ducts got larger, while the secondary ducts moved forward. The refashioned fins ran along the Countach longitudinally instead of transversely like they had before. The engine bay cover was also modified. This version is the most refined and probably the fastest of the models. It had a top speed of 183 mph and the ability to reach 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.