Few cars are as legendary as the Lamborghini Countach, the original poster boy of supercars. Conceived in the 1970s to replace the aging Miura, the Countach broke tradition by being the only Lamborghini car to have a monicker not associated with bullfighting or bulls in general. When news broke of Lamborghini’s plan to revive the Countach, meanwhile, images of hybrid technology immediately came to mind, particularly given the automaker’s breathtaking Sian hypercar, the progenitor of new-age Lambos with its supercapacitor-powered hybrid technology.
And then it happened: in a festive event at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, Lamborghini unveiled what is perhaps its most ambitious production car to date. The 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4, the second generation of the automaker’s wedge-shaped bad boy, is as real as it gets and is entering production soon. However, Lamborghini is only building 112 units of its newest Countach, making it a highly limited-edition hybrid supercar. As I let my gaze play over what I think is one of the prettiest production car shapes I’ve seen so far, I kept asking myself: “How could I not see this coming?”
You see, the first-gen Countach turned 50 this year. We all know how the Countach’s wedge styling elements became the trademarked Lamborghini shape, eventually filtering down to all its production cars like the Diablo, Gallardo, Aventador, Huracan, and the Sian. “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,’” said Stephan Winkelmann, Automobili Lamborghini President, and CEO.
I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the Countach’s golden jubilee than by unveiling an all-new, second-gen version of Lamborghini’s legendary supercar. “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,” added Winkelmann. “It upholds the Lamborghini tradition of looking forward, of exploring new design and technology avenues while celebrating the DNA of our brand.”
Right off the bat, there’s no mistaking the LPI 800-4 is a Countach. It has an instantly recognizable silhouette, all sharp angles and bold lines. Lamborghini claims the new car’s distinctive Countach façade drew inspiration from the LP5000 Quattrovalvole, with a low-set rectangular grille, an angular bonnet like the nose of a stealth fighter, and rectangular-shaped headlights. Also evident are the hexagonal wheel arches, the most explicit representation of Countach DNA.
But unlike the Countach Quattrovalvole, the newest LPI 800-4 has no rear wing to disrupt the wedge-tastic design purity. Still, it does bear the original car’s largish air scoops and slatted gills, much like how a child can inherit their parent’s nose, chin, or eyes. Also present are the dominant NACA air intakes on the side and doors, a feature that Lambo made more prominent in the production model to address the cooling issues of the initial Countach LP 112 prototype.
Other period-correct juicy details include unique Periscopio lines on the roof and rear of the car, a new “inverted wedge” rear bumper, three-unit taillight clusters, quad exhaust pipes, and of course, those luscious scissor doors.
The original Countach had more power than you can handle. Back in the early 70s, a 370-horsepower V12-powered supercar was outrageous. The 25th Anniversary Edition Countach unveiled in 1988 became the fastest Countach to be produced with its 5.2-liter 450-horsepower V12 engine from the LP5000 Quattrovalvole. But for the latest Countach LPI 800-4, Lamborghini is settling for nothing less than the hybridized powertrain from its latest Sian hypercar.
“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,” said Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini Chief Technology Officer. “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 2022 Countach LPI 800-4 has a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine pumping out 770 horsepower. It also has a 48-volt electric motor mounted directly to the gearbox, contributing a further 33 horsepower. With a combined output of 803 horsepower, the new Countach is just as potent as the Sian. And since this innovative architecture is the only mild-hybrid to connect the electric motor and driving wheels directly, I presume the driving experience to be a lively mix of analog and digital.
What more can you expect from a roaring V12 engine behind your ears and a hybrid powertrain pushing you to the horizon silently and without delay? The electric motor draws juice from a supercapacitor that Lamborghini claims has three times more energy density than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.
Unsurprisingly, then, the performance numbers are staggering. The Countach LPI 800-4 can sprint from zero to 60mph in under 2.8 seconds, go from zero to 124 mph in 8.6 seconds, and has a top speed in excess of 220 mph.
In case you’re wondering, that means the Sian accelerates just as briskly as the new Countach, but the latter has a higher top speed: proof, were it needed, of the new Countach’s place in Lamborghini’s supercar hierarchy. It also has a better power-to-weight ratio than Sian, tipping the scales at a dry weight of 1,595 kg (3,516 pounds), thanks to a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and body panels. In addition, the new Countach has a photochromatic roof that changes from solid to transparent at your behest.
Outside, blending new tech with classic style, the Countach LPI 800-4 has 20-inch front and 21-inch rear “telephone style” wheels, wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. With such a propensity for speed, it has carbon-ceramic brakes to bring sanity to all this madness.
Inside, it has leather seats with geometric stitching and an 8.4-inch HDMI infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. And with aluminum double-wishbone suspension and active magnetic dampers, the new coupe could even be considered a proper grand-touring hypercar. Few will get to put that to the test, though: Lamborghini is only building 112 examples of Countach LPI 800-4, and the first deliveries will arrive at lucky customers in early 2022.