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  • Lamborghini Countach - design icon and supercar

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    The Lamborghini Countach was a stunning mid-engined supercar launched in 1974 which lasted until 1990, largely unchanged, demonstrating the high quality of the original vision.

    Styled by Marcello Gandini from Bertone - the same studio that came up with the Miura - the design pioneered an angular wedge-shape that became the key design language of supercars for the next 20 years. Wide and low but relatively short, the Countach used front-hinged scissor doors so the doors opened upward and forwards. This allowed passengers to get over the high, wide door sills demanded by the tubular space-frame chassis.

    Although constantly updated to keep abreast of regulatory changes and mechanical developments, the last Countach was essentially the same as the first, with the exception of the final 25th Anniversary edition.

    The original 1974 LP400 production model was superseded by the LP400S four years later. The LP400S had the trademark flared arches, to accommodate new wheels and tires, which stayed with the Countach to the end. Both were powered by a 4 litre V12 mounted behind the cabin and forward of the rear wheels to achieve the desired mid-engined layout.

    In 1982 the LP500S was introduced with a larger 4754cc engine and a new interior, then the LP500QV arrived in 1985 with engine size up to 5167cc and four valves per cylinder. Originally fed by carburettors, fuel injection was soon introduced.

    The final two years of production, with the Anniversary model, saw significant changes - rounded off edges, Testarossa-style intake strakes and enlarged airbox vents above the cockpit. Although unpopular because of the Ferrari influence, the changes vastly improved engine cooling, which had always been the Achilles heel of the Countach.

    A true design classic, early models now command nearly a million pounds at auction, a testament to the striking and innovative original design ethos.