Lamborghini Countach Reborn With A Hybrid V12 Heart

The Countach’s 50th birthday is celebrated by Lamborghini with this limited-run Sian-based hypercar. 

Lamborghini’s legendary Countach has recently turned 50 this year. And while many expected the Italian supercar manufacturer to throw a big birthday bash for this most iconic of raging bulls, very few were perhaps expecting for an all-new new iteration to be launched. 

That is exactly what Lamborghini has delivered though, with the recent unveiling of its new Countach LPI 800-4. Before getting anyone’s hopes up too much however, it is nevertheless worth highlighting first and foremost that this retro revival isn’t to be a wholly new raging bull. 

What is instead to be found underneath its throwback design is in essence a Sián. This therefore then means that lying in the middle of this Countach will be a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 and 7-speed automatic transmission, which is then hooked up to Lamborghini’s proprietary super-capacitor mild-hybrid system. 

Now naturally this has lead to more than a few lamentations in regards to the absence of a manual transmission and the pooh-poohing of the encroachment of electrification into what many consider to be the a name that is associated with the most analogue of supercars. Interestingly however, no one has thus far made any negative noises in terms of this new bull’s 803 hp power output to all four of its wheels and its 2.8 second century sprint time. 

In continuing on the topic of performance figures too, stepping further still on the loud pedal of this new Countach will see it crack 200 km/h in just 8.6 seconds and onto a top speed of 356 km/h (221 mph). Though its staggering speed isn’t exactly the talk of the town with this recently revealed raging bull, as that honour goes to its retro-futuristic design instead. 

A mashup of the various Countaches produced during its near 20-year lifecycle, this modern reincarnation’s flat front end with its trapezoidal headlights and rectangular intakes is supposedly inspired by the 80s-tastic LP5000 QV models. Its blacked-out NACA ducts on the sides and those upper intakes on the wide shoulders however look to be lifted straight off the 25th Anniversary iterations, while the slits in its side windows and black panel on its roof are a throwback to the genesis LP400 periscopio cars. 

Rather unfortunately though, there is the distinct lack of a massive V-wing sticking out the back of these reborn Countaches. Other throwback touches however includes its scissor doors, transparent engine cover louvres and hexagonal wheel arches that hide beneath it teledial-style alloy wheels. 

Just touching a little bit more on what’s going on inside these modern Countaches meanwhile, it is a mix of Aventador and Sian bits, with the former donating its seats and steering wheel while the latter contributes its dashboard and centre console layout. Unique however within this recently revealed raging bull is and a new 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen with a unique ‘Stile’ screensaver, and a photochromatic roof panel that changes from transparent to opaque on command. 

Speaking of unique too, it will certainly be a unique experience to see one of these new Countaches on the road. That is because Lamborghini will only be making 112 examples, which is incidentally an homage to the original prototype’s LP 112 designation.

Lamborghini has also yet to reveal how much exactly the Countach LPI 800-4 will cost, but rumours are suggesting for a starting price of $1 million (RM 4.24 million). What has been officially revealed though is that a wealth of personalisation options are on offer, with the automaker even bringing back some of the colours from its classic catalogue for this retro revival. 

PRESS RELEASE: Automobili Lamborghini unveils the Countach LPI 800-4: a futuristic limited edition paying homage to the Countach’s iconic status as a revolutionary design and technology rule-breaker and recreated for the 21st century.

Its puristic lines are immediately recognizable from the Countach legacy: the patriarch of modern super sports cars and Lamborghini design. With its aspirated V12 engine combined with Lamborghini’s hybrid supercapacitor technology, the Countach LPI 800-4 retains the inimitable V12 experience and sound from its Longitudinale Posteriore (LP) mounted powerplant combined with the hybrid (I) technology developed for the Sián. Delivering 814 cv as maximum combined power (rounded at 800 in the name) from its aspirated powerplant (780 cv) and electric motor (34 cv) to its permanent four-wheel drive transmission, the LPI 800-4 produces peak Lamborghini performance of 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 2.8 seconds, a 0-200 km/h in 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 355 km/h.

“The Countach LPI 800-4 is a visionary car of the moment, just as its forerunner was,” says Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann. “One of the most important automotive icons, the Countach not only embodies the design and engineering tenet of Lamborghini but represents our philosophy of reinventing boundaries, achieving the unexpected and extraordinary and, most importantly, being the ‘stuff of dreams’. The Countach LPI 800-4 pays homage to this Lamborghini legacy but it is not retrospective: it imagines how the iconic Countach of the 70s and 80s might have evolved into an elite super sports model of this decade. It upholds the Lamborghini tradition of looking forward, of exploring new design and technology avenues while celebrating the DNA of our brand. It is a Lamborghini that innately expresses the marque’s enduring and emotive power: always inspirational and thrilling to see, hear and most of all drive.”

Countach – the patriarch of modern super sports car design

The Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 is instantly recognizable as the elevated descendant of Countach generations: testament to the lasting impact of the original Countach design that became the poster car of the 1980s and a symbol of automotive and lifestyle ultra-cool. The Countach moniker – a fitting expression of surprise and wonder in Piedmontese dialect and pronounced ‘Coon-tach’ – is one of very few Lamborghini model names not connected to bulls.

“The first Countach has been present in our Centro Stile as a model for some years now”, explains Mitja Borkert, Head of Centro Stile. „Whenever I look at it, it gives me goose bumps and it serves as the perfect reminder for me and the entire design team to design every future Lamborghini in a visionary and futuristic way. This is an unnegotiable part of our DNA, the essence if you so will. The first Countach shaped the Lamborghini design DNA like no other car; the new Countach translates that unconventional and edgy character into the future.”

The Countach’s distinctive silhouette with the essential line running from front to rear, sharp angles and lines and idiosyncratic wedge shape, innovated modern super sports design as well as future Lamborghini models. The Countach LPI 800-4 develops the characteristic lines of the Countach’s five models over nearly 20 years, concentrated into the purest realization of iconic automotive design.

The final outline is pure and uncluttered, with references to the first LP 500 and LP 400 production version. Giving the LPI 800-4 a distinctive Countach face, inspiration was taken from the Quattrovalvole edition in the assertive lines of the front bonnet with long, low rectangular grille and headlights, as well as in the wheel arches with their hexagonal theme. The sharp inclination of the greenhouse adopts the straight lines redolent of the original Countach, adjoining the powerful, clean front-to-rear line. There is no fixed rear wing outside the pure lines, and the airscoops are integrated fluidly in the strong shoulders of the car, embellished with the distinctive Countach slatted ‘gills’. The iconic and aerodynamically powerful NACA air intakes cut into the side and doors of the Countach LPI 800-4 while the distinctive Periscopio lines running through the roof to the rear of the car, particularly distinctive if viewed from above, appear to float towards the rear of the car.

The rear of the Countach LPI 800-4 is immediately recognizable from its distinctive inverted wedge shape, with the rear bumper featuring a lower, sleeker line, and the ‘hexagonita’ design shaping the three-unit rear light clusters. The LPI 800-4 sports the four-strong exhaust tail pipes of the Countach family, connected within the carbon fiber rear diffuser. Access for driver and passenger is of course via the infamous scissor doors, first introduced on the Countach and that have become a Lamborghini V12 signature.

Performance engineering for a new era

The V12 engine of the Countach is as legendary as the design. Mounted longways at the rear together with its forward-cabin layout, the original Countach featured side-mounted radiators from Formula One; forward-facing gearbox and tubular spaceframe technology. It was as revolutionary in its approach to sports car engineering as in its astonishing looks, with its engine position chosen for weight distribution and balance and of course, the aspirated twelve cylinders delivering the most emotive top performance. The Countach developed the best available technologies to produce an extraordinary car: this visionary philosophy is reflected in the Countach LPI 800-4, taking the pinnacle of current Lamborghini technologies and engineering to produce the performance expected from a Countach in 2021.

“The engineering team that developed the original Countach advanced Lamborghini’s pioneering technical approach, delivering unexpected innovations and the best performance available in a production car,” says Lamborghini Chief Technology Officer Maurizio Reggiani. “That spirit inherently drives Lamborghini R&D, resulting in the pioneering hybrid technology in the LPI 800-4, and the emotive driving experience and top-line performance expected from a flagship V12 Lamborghini.”

The Lamborghini V12 6.5 liter engine, outputting 780 cv, is combined with a 48 volt e-motor mounted directly on the gearbox providing a further 34 cv for immediate response and increased performance: it is the innovative and unique architecture Lamborghini developed for Sián, that is the only mild-hybrid technology to create a direct connection between electric motor and wheels, preserving the pure V12 behavior. The e-motor is powered by a supercapacitor providing three times more power compared to a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.

The monocoque chassis and all the body panels are in carbon fiber, provide the optimum lightweight solution as well as exceptional torsional stiffness: the Countach LPI 800-4 has a dry weight of 1595 kg for a dry weight to power ratio of 1,95 kg/cv. Visible exterior carbon fiber features are available in the front splitter, around the front window and wing mirrors, engine bonnet cover air intakes and rocker panel and it is always present in specific interior details. Moveable air vents produced by the state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, and a photocromatic roof – changing from solid to transparent at the push of a button – act as a reminder that this car, despite its historic inspiration, is a future automotive screensaver for the 21st century.

World debut at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, USA

The Countach LPI 800-4 is unveiled today at The Quail, USA in a dedicated color Bianco Siderale, containing a hint of pearlescent blue and reminiscent of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s own Countach LP 400 S, complete with red and black leather heritage interior. The interior also takes design cues from the original Countach within the context of a modern car. The classic and luxurious leather features geometric stitching on the specially designed comfort seats and dashboard, sporting a square motif referencing the bold style and optimism of 1970s design and technology.

The Countach LPI 800-4 20” (front) and 21” (rear) wheels are created in the ‘telephone’ style of the 1980s, fitted with carbon ceramic brake discs, and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.

Owners of the exclusive limited edition Countach LPI 800-4 can choose from a range of heritage exterior paint options, mostly in solid colours, such as the iconic Impact White, Giallo Countach and Verde Medio. Otherwise, the contemporary palette offers modern paintings, mostly metallic colors, such as Viola Pasifae or Blu Uranus.

An 8,4” HDMI center touchscreen unique to the LPI 800-4 manages car controls including Connectivity and Apple CarPlay. It also includes a unique button entitled ‘Stile’ (Design): pressed, it explains the Countach design philosophy to its privileged audience.

Produced in a run of 112 units, the number denotes the ‘LP 112’ internal project name used during the original Lamborghini Countach’s development. The Countach LPI 800-4 will be delivered from first quarter 2022 to owners worldwide, privileged to drive a piece of automotive history reimagined for the future.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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