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Sixty years of unique Lamborghinis

8 August 2023
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From the 1963 350 GTV to the Invencible and Auténtica one-offs, 60 years of design prototypes, concept cars, one-offs and exclusive limited series

Exclusivity has always been one of Automobili Lamborghini’s fundamental values. Over these last 60 years, the car maker has become a concrete reality in making one-off models that, each and every time, anticipate the technical and styling direction that the company was to take in the future to come. They are, in fact, prototypes of style, technology or testing of new concepts.

And in only a few days the Sant’Agata Bolognese-based automotive company will unveil its next prototype – the new concept of its first 100% electric car – at Monterey Car Week.

In taking a glance back at a not too far away past, in the 1960s, these one-offs were very often show cars bound for motor show parades. Let’s take, for example the 1963 350 GTV, which gave rise to the 350 GT, its first production car. A few years later, in 1967, the four-seater “glass” Marzal was presented and it became one of the most famous show cars in the world. The Miura Roadster made its debut in 1968, at Bertone’s booth at the Brussels Motor Show. It was then followed in 1970 by the Miura Jota, which gave birth to the four Miura units called SV-J. 

These one-off cars are an excellent way to measure the public’s reactions, appreciate its enthusiasm or grasp its curiosity, too. For example, that was the case of the LP 500 Countach, an extreme futuristic car that was presented at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show as an idea car. Its success was so immediate that the Countach LP 400, with minimum changes introduced to the above concept, went into standard production keeping the scissor doors, from then on a distinctive feature of all 12-cylinder Lamborghini cars with rear-mounted engine, starting from 1973. 

As for the show cars designed for the track, we can recall, for example, the 1973 Urraco Rally and the 1973 Jarama Rally, very often also called Jarama Bob.

Testing materials, technologies and performance: these are just a few of the objectives accompanying these exclusive vehicles. For example, the concept of “Roadster” at Lamborghini arose precisely from a show car, the 1980 Anthon.

It was in those years that the spur to create off-road vehicles boasting sporty performance was seized upon. Made to meet this need was the 1982 LMA, the prototype of what was to become the LM 002, which went into production in 1986. This vehicle, without a doubt, gave rise to the Urus, which was presented starting from a prototype – the SuperSUV – at the Beijing Motor Show in 2012.

On the subject of testing new materials, Lamborghini started to process a textile fiber made with very rigid, very strong and very light carbon fibers in 1985. Its first application was on the Countach Evoluzione. With this car, the unbreakable bond and technological capabilities of Lamborghini with carbon fiber were born. This material is being used and being perfected still today.

Speaking of one-offs, we have to mention the Diablo. Still today, 30 years later, it is enjoying the same passion and attention of collectors that surround the Countach.   

Recently, we have been talking about one-offs or few-offs, a category of cars created precisely by Lamborghini to denote a limited edition of cars that anticipate, or exalt, the most advanced technical solutions. 

These one-offs often mark or celebrate the achievement of important goals in the company’s history. For example, the Veneno celebrated Lamborghini's 50th anniversary in 2013. The Centenario, instead, as can be guessed from its name, was presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ferruccio Lamborghini in 2016.

The 2019 Sián is the first hybrid Lamborghini made available to customers. This car is blazing the trail for electrification, which is becoming increasingly concrete and tangible, and even more so in these days right before the Monterey Car Week. Sixty-three of them were built in the Coupé version and 19 in the Roadster version. The total power of 819 CV made the Sián the most powerful Lamborghini production car ever produced up to that time. 

Drawing up to present day, the latest one-offs made in 2023 to celebrate the V12 engine are the Invencible coupé and the Auténtica roadster, the final expression of super sports car in the purest style.

Following this incredible excursus, anticipation for the first prototype of the “fourth range” is growing even more. This full-electric Lamborghini – following the guidelines mapped out in the 2021 “Direzione Cor Tauri” program – is due to enter into production by the end of the decade.

Stay tuned.

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