The legendary supercar is reborn in the name of electrification. Fast and exciting, both to watch and to drive, it costs € 2 million. We tried it, here’s how it goes
Giacomo Ruben Martini
In 2022, it is difficult to feel awe or wonder about an object again. It can be said that the human being has seen them all. Today it is in fact possible to interact with the appliances in your home or with your car, receive information through holograms, walk in virtual universes wearing a viewer. We can transact and certify our existence through the blockchain, live a parallel life in the body of an avatar and – apparently – even our earthly experience now seems saturated, as it is already possible to buy a (expensive) return ticket for a space cruise. We live in science fiction. The same science fiction that, more than 50 years ago, important body shops like Bertone and designers like Marcello Gandini prophesied in the futuristic designs of their cars. Objects such as the Alfa Romeo Carabo and the Lancia Strato’s Zero told the world of the feats that the human being would have accomplished in fifty years, prefiguring the sense of speed and dynamism that the car, from that moment on, would have had to transmit even when stationary.
The 1971 Lamborghini Countach is the car that par excellence embodied this spirit. Its name, in the Piedmontese dialect, is an expression that, among other things, indicates amazement, incredulity. Never has a name been more appropriate: the Countach with its square and sharp lines, its scissor doors and its periscope, in the early 1970s was the terrestrial equivalent of a spaceship. In all these years, that iconic design has inspired not only subsequent Lamborghinis, but numerous cars from other brands. Therefore, the feeling of amazement has become almost a habit over time. Yet, the magic and the emotions evoked by this name have remained and are still alive today in the Countach Lpi 800-4a remake that the Sant’Agata Bolognese company wanted to create to pay homage to the most important car in its history. Much discussed remake, because unlike what happened with the 2006 Miura Concept, production has been planned for the new Countach, albeit limited to 112 units as a tribute to the LP112 denomination of the first Stanzani-Gandini prototype.
Although Marcello Gandini did not appreciate this tribute, distancing himself from the project and defining it as devoid of the spirit of innovation and breaking the mold, the new Countach LPI 800-4 is a love letter from the Lamborghini Style Center to the Turin designer. So part of the experience of our test was the careful observation of all the references to the car of the past, which the team led by Mitja Borkert tried to insert in the new body despite the structural constraints of an already existing chassis, namely that of the Aventador. With a clever use of stylistic tricks, the Countach features a windshield that simulates the hexagonal shape of the original car, while representing the legendary periscope, an electrochromic panoramic roof has been obtained from the carbon tub. Some details also reflect the style of later versions: for example the mudguards and the front spoiler, as well as the four rear exhausts, recall the Quattrovalvole. The roof line has been modified compared to that of the Aventador to accentuate the unmistakable wedge profile, while the engine takes air through a modern reinterpretation of the lateral “naca” and the slits that recall the LP500. Finally, in place of the retractable headlights, we find ultra-modern LED matrix headlights, rectangular in shape, which remain the most evident stylistic link at first glance.
The Countach technique derives from the Aventador: the frame is made up of a carbon fiber tub, in which a space has been created to house the panoramic roof. This is connected to aluminum structures that support the monumental 6.5-liter, 780 horsepower V12, which is electrified on the Countach. The engine is in fact transplanted from Sián, the first hybrid Lambo ever produced, and features a 48 Volt module integrated into the gearbox powered by supercapacitors. This solution, much lighter and faster in charging than a lithium battery, is not designed to contain consumption and limit carbon dioxide emissions, but to provide more power to the engine (34 additional horsepower) without sacrificing weight. (only 34 kg more). The overall power of the system reaches 814 horsepower and 760 Nm of torque, all in the upper area of the tachometer. As on the sister Aventador, traction is entrusted to an all-wheel drive system and a seven-speed robotised gearbox.
On a Lambo V12 it is always necessary to calibrate the driving keeping in mind the distances and the dimensions of the road, because the two meters of width and a limited height from the ground can be deceiving. Once you get used to it, however, you discover a car that is easy to drive and manageable, perhaps even more so thanks to the steering rear wheels that make the car’s wheelbase seem much smaller than the declared 2.70 meters. The Countach gives the idea of a docile character, given that at 60 km / h in seventh gear it “walks” at 1,500 rpm, despite having an engine ready to unleash all its power, while passing with ease on the roughness of the road without excessive vibrations. A ride comfort further accentuated by the strong reduction in sway, since the power gaps generated by the shifting of the single clutch are compensated by the intervention of the electric motor which remains in pull. At least, that’s what happens with the engine below 4,000 rpm. Going further, the story changes. Peak power is at the limit of the rev counter, at 8,500 rpmwhile the maximum torque is reached at 6,750. Trying to reach these speeds, the sound of the twelve cylinders forcefully invades the passenger compartment and acceleration seems unlimited. Even gear changes become more violent, when cornering the Countach draws the trajectories with surgical precision without disruption, without the slightest roll. Nothing surprising, therefore, given that they are the same sensations that the Aventador project, in all its incarnations and technical refinements, has given us over the last ten years. Yet on the Countach the emotions are amplified by the awareness of driving a cult object, a name that evokes childhood memories and still reminds us that times are changing. With this swan song, the Aventador project will have to leave room for a new heir even more electrified and performing, who will have a very big responsibility: to be able to make fans dream of the coming decades.
strengths and weaknesses
Like it: the retro-wave design, the sound of the naturally aspirated V12, the exclusivity. Do not like: the fact that we will see few of them on the streets.
Dimensions: length 4,870 mm, width 2,265 mm, height 1,139 mm, pitch 2,700 mm
Motor: 60 ° longitudinal rear V12, aspirated Displacement 6,498 cc
Power: 780 Hp thermal engine at 8,500 rpm, 34 Hp electric motor
Couple: thermal engine 720 Nm at 6,750 rpm, electric motor 35 Nm
Brakes: carbon ceramic front with 6 calipers 400mm x 38mm; carbon ceramic rear 4 calipers 380mm x 38mm
Suspensions: active front and rear magnetorheological push-rod with springs and horizontal shock absorbers
Wheels: front 20 inch tires P Zero 255/30 ZR 20 92Y; 21 inch rear tires P Zero 355/25 ZR 21 107Y
Price: 2,000,000 euros
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