Fast Five

A collection of compelling Lamborghinis.

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The Lamborghini brand is extreme, it is uncompromising and, of course, it is Italian. Last year, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. In recognition of this milestone, a collection of compelling Lamborghinis from the automotive leader’s first 50 years.

1964 Lamborghini 350 GT
The very first production Lamborghini was a serious effort right from the word “go”. This stylish coupe featured an all-aluminum 3.5-litre V12 engine, 5-speed manual transmission, fully independent suspension system, 4-wheel disc brakes, and an aluminum body. The engine produced 270 horsepower, good enough to push the lightweight car to a very respectable 254 km/h. Over the course of its production run, there were 120 Lamborghini 350 GTs produced; the price at the time was $15,600 (USD).

1966 Lamborghini Miura
Considered by many to be the first “supercar” in history, the Lamborghini Miura is an absolute legend with car aficionados. The Miura was first shown at the 1965 Turin Auto Show, where it generated scores of orders even though the car on display had no body; it was just a rolling chassis with a 4.0-litre V12 engine mounted in the middle. Marcello Gandini of Bertone stepped in to handle exterior styling duties and he created a masterpiece—the Miura has gone on to become one of the most collectible cars in the world.

1974 Lamborghini Countach
The car that continues to influence Lamborghini design to this day is, in many ways, also the most notorious model in company history. The dramatic wedge shape of the Countach also emerged from the mind of Marcello Gandini and went on to become an absolute design icon. The car was also very difficult to drive; with its tiny back window, drivers found that the safest way to back up was to open the scissor door and hang out the side of the car. The first production version, the LP400, was powered by the Miura’s 4.0-litre V12 engine.

1986 Lamborghini LM002
Nicknamed the “Rambo Lambo”, the LM002 was an off-road-ready SUV that was originally developed in hopes of selling it to the U.S. military. This audacious vehicle featured the 5.2-litre V12 engine that was used for that era’s Countach, so it had plenty of power in reserve for all manner of manoeuvres. What’s perhaps most interesting about the LM002 is that it pre-dated the more well-known Hummer H1, a very similar concept also developed for military use, by some six years.

2001 Lamborghini Murciélago
The first Lamborghini to be produced under Audi ownership was also the first new car from the company in some 11 years. Much was riding on the success of the Murciélago and the 580-horsepower supercar delivered, continuing a tradition of sheer seat-of-the-pants excitement that began with the Miura and continued with the Countach. The car boasted a mammoth 6.2-litre V12 engine, permanent 4-wheel-drive, and the choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed e-Gear semi-automatic transmission. An absolute monster.

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July 8, 2014