The Ultimate Bedroom Wall Poster - The Lamborghini Countach LP5000
"For sheer over-the-topness nothing comes close to the Lamborghini Countach." - Richard Hammond
The Lamborghini Countach LP5000 was launched in 1985 as a rival to Ferrari Testarossa. With a 48 valve, 5.2 litre V12 engine, the Countach was the fastest car at the time, reaching the top speed of 186 mph and was able to achieve 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The most distinguishing part about the Countach was the wide rear tires which gave an ultimate look to the 80s supercar.
Despite the aerodynamic look of the car, the Countach was never tested inside a wind tunnel due to the lack of resources. Instead, bits of wool were stuck onto the prototype and driven up and down the motorway to study the aerodynamics imprinted on the wool by the wind. The massive rear wing on the Countach had no purpose of providing downforce and was only an added weight at the back which would cause the front end of the car to lift at high speeds. The rear wing was illegal since Lamborghini did not have the resources to homologate it; in fact, the rear wing was drilled to the car in the car park after the production from the factory.
On March 11, 1971, the Lamborghini Countach LP500 in a bright shade of yellow made a public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show thus marking the beginning of unprecedented success and changing the course of history for Automobili Lamborghini forever. Responsible for the mechanical part of the Countach was an engineer named Paolo Stanzani who at the time was Lamborghini's General Manager and Technical Director. The beautiful lines and edgy design with scissor doors that since have characterized Lamborghini's V12 models were styled by Marcello Gandini, Design Director of Carrozzeria Bertone. The LP500 was a prototype and substantially different car than the Countach that would go into production in 1974. It was equipped with a 12-cylinder 4971cc engine. Following the LP 500’s success in Geneva, Lamborghini’s chief test driver Bob Wallace used the car, equipped with a more reliable 4-litre engine, for every possible kind of road test. The career of this extraordinary car ended at the beginning of 1974 when it was used for the crash tests required for the homologation of the production car and subsequently scrapped.
The first production Countach hit the streets in 1974. It was a subtle evolution from the stunningly beautiful prototype LP500, named LP400. It retained the majority of the style from Marcello Gandini. The distinctive louvred engine cowlings, light clusters and snoop nosed stance that are visible today in all production Lamborghini were present for the first time. With a 3.9 litre, V12 engine, the Lamborghini Countach LP400 produced 370 bhp with 368 Nm torque through a 5-speed manual gearbox powering the rear wheels and was able to achieve 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
In 1978, an upgrade to the LP 400 was introduced called the Lamborghini Countach LP400 S. It had slightly less power than LP 400 but had an aggressive stance to accommodate the wider Pirellis at the back. This model also offered an optional rear wing.
After few more years, the LP 500S and LP 5000 were launched. With an upgraded engine from the LP 400S, it had body styling louvres, shades and scalps that made this the quintessential monster of the 80s. Last but not least was the Countach 25th Anniversary, which was influenced by the Ferrari Testarossa. It featured side skirts and redesigned louvres and rear lights, thus watering down the brutality of the Countach's character. The design of the 25th Anniversary model shows the evolution of the Countach into its successor, the Lamborghini Diablo.