Powertrain, chassis and design 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4

Powertrain, chassis and design 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4

Guess who’s back? Half a century after the original was revealed, Lamborghini has a new Countach.


Lamborghini is celebrating the 50th birthday of the Countach with this reimagined version based on the Aventador. The Countach LPI 800‑4, to use its full name, is the latest model in the company’s ‘few of’ series and will be built in the same vein as the Sián FKP 37, from which it borrows its mild-hybrid V12 powertrain and carbonfibre chassis. A total of 112 units of the new car will be made. The original Countach first appeared at the 1971 Geneva motor show as a concept, penned by Marcello Gandini, who was leading the Italian design studio Bertone at the time. It represented a step change in car design and refined the doorstop aesthetic that Gandini had dabbled with on earlier concepts such as the Lancia HF Stratos Zero of 1970. The difference with the Countach was that it would reach production, in 1974, with only the subtlest of changes.

So how do you even begin to reimagine a car as significant as the Countach? It’s something Lamborghini’s in‑house Centro Stile team has approached with varying degrees of sensitivity, aided by not referencing just one of the Countach’s many forms, but many. And the very first example of the new car, as pictured here, earns extra historical kudos for its Bianco Siderale colour – a nod to the white paint specified by Ferruccio Lamborghini for his own Countach LP400 S II in 1980.


CHASSIS

Just like an Aventador, the LPI 800‑4 has a carbonfibre monocoque cabin section with aluminium subframes at either end. This is a far cry from the tubular steel chassis of the original Countach, being both lighter and much more rigid. The suspension uses pushrods at both ends, with coilover springs and dampers that are adaptive magnetorheological units. A dry weight of 1595kg has been quoted – the same as the Sián and 70kgmore than the non‑hybridised Aventador SVJ.


DESIGN: FRONT

The distinctive, angular leading edge of the Countach’s windscreen has been mimicked in the new car’s bodywork, rather than fully recreated with bespoke glass. Ahead of this lie slim LED headlights reminiscent of the apertures that housed the indicators and sidelights on the original. There are no accompanying pop‑up lights here, though.


DESIGN: REAR

Dramatic undercuts and echoes of the original Countach’s signature tail-light surround creatively reimagine the back end while still allowing for the technical requirements of expelling the vast powertrain’s heat. Quad exhaust pipes reference all iterations of the original car, while the roof-light and engine cover (see left) hint at the early LP400 ‘Periscopio’ and its periscope rear-view mirror arrangement.


POWERTRAIN

The mid-mounted naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 produces 769bhp – 5bhp less than in the Sián FKP 37 – and is supported by an electric motor with an unchanged 34bhp. Lamborghini’s familiar ISR single-clutch Automated manual transmission sends power to all four wheels, with the electric motor providing boost to the rears. Performance is a hair’s breadth from the Sián’s, with 62mph reached in 2.8sec rather than ‘<2.8sec’ and top speed quoted as an identical 220mph.


HYBRID SYSTEM

The 34bhp electric motor draws its power not from a lithium-ion battery but from a supercapacitor – one that’s somewhat different to the kind currently causing some issues for vehicle manufacturing. In this application, a supercapacitor intakes and deploys energy far more quickly than a traditional battery, while also being lighter and more flexible in its packaging. Its electrical energy might only last one or two heavy throttle applications, but can be replenished just as quickly under braking.


DESIGN: PROFILE

The job of reimagining the Countach was always going to be complicated by the much larger proportions of the Aventador package used as a base for the new car. But while its overall shape isn’t quite the Delicate wedge of the original, the key graphics on the flanks survive: the slatted intakes aft of the door glass, as per the 1971 concept, the large NACA ducts that Arrived with the production cars, the Angular wheelarches and an exaggerated take on the classic ‘telephone dial’ alloys.

Above: interior owes plenty to the Aventador, but features new seats that neatly reference the original Countach’s by mimicking their distinctive stitching pattern.

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