Auto blogMon, 09 Jun 2014 15:45:00 EST
Lamborghini may have made headlines with the highly exclusive, $4.5-million Veneno and the even more expensive Veneno Roadster that followed, but when it comes to classics sold at auction, their prices seldom approach the kind of figures attained by rare classics made by arch-rival Ferrari. Early 350 GTs and rare Miuras (like the SV prototype Gooding sold a few years ago for a record $1.7 million) have been known to breach the seven-figure mark, but now the Countach is making its way into the big leagues as well.
Pictured here is a rather exceptional early example sold by Bonhams in Connecticut last week. This 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 "Periscopica" - so dubbed for the unique rearview mirror fitted to the first 150 examples made - has just over 10,000 miles on the odometer. With flawlessly retouched Blu Tahiti (read: French racing blue) paint and an immaculate deep tan leather interior, the Periscopica was the subject of feverish bidding before selling for $1.2 million to a buyer present at the auction, beating out a dozen or so telephone bidders.
The record price for a Countach trumps the previous record, also set by Bonhams at the Quail Lodge last August, where another '75 Periscopica sold for $836,000. The rising prices surely reflect the coming of age for the Countach, now nearly 40 years since its introduction - particularly for the generation that grew up idolizing it as the prototypical supercar. Scope it out in the artful gallery of 76 high-resolution images above and the details of the auction below.
Vmax200 in in England organizes events where those who care to show up with a supercar can run them down the two-mile runway at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground. Evo attended the latest event, bringing an impressively green Lamborghini Aventador to test its girth and gaping vents against other precious metals like the McLaren P1 and F1, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and Enzo, a Porsche Carrera GT and enough 911 Turbos to start a dealership. Speaking of those Porsches, nine of the top ten slots in the top speed competition are claimed by modified 911 Turbos.
A monochrome Swede ruled them all, though, a black-and-white Koenigsegg CCX setting fire to the speed trap run after run, hitting 211 miles per hour at its quickest. It was followed by, surprise, a 911 GT2 modified by 9E that did 210 mph. You can watch the EVO video below, GT Spirit has a bigger breakdown of the day, and we've included another vid showing the tandem launch of the CCX and McLaren F1.
Lamborghini has been seriously upping its production overt the years. When Audi took over in the late 1990s, the company's production was measured in the 200-unit range. Now it's making over 2,000 cars every year. But at the same time, Sant'Agata has been focusing on low-volume production as well, with a separate assembly line dedicated to putting together concept cars and limited editions like the Sesto Elemento and Veneno. And now it may just have another on its hands.
That would be the Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato, a unique coachbuilt supercar based on the Gallardo and unveiled last week at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on the shores of Italy's glamorous Lake Como. It was commissioned as a one-off custom for noted Lambo and Zagato collector Albert Spiess, but reports suggest that it could be put into limited production.
The viability of the project would likely depend on how many orders the Italians might garner for an expanded production run. Whether the project would be undertaken at Lamborghini's special projects facility or off-site by Zagato remains to be seen, but you can bet it would fetch a pretty penny or two, despite the fact that the platform on which it's based is now over a decade old and has since been replaced by the newer Huracán.
We all know the story of how Automobili Lamborghini got its start. The short of it is that Ferruccio, who had already started a successful tractor business, wanted to stick it to Enzo Ferrari, so he started making sports cars of his own. Lamborghini, however, never embraced motorsports to the same degree that Ferrari has - dabbling in Formula One engines in the early '90s and the occasional foray into GT racing - but these days the Raging Bull marque is getting more serious about racing. It partners with Reiter Engineering to field competition versions of its road-going supercars, and organizes its own one-make series with individual championships around the world.
That's where the new Huracán comes in. While the Ferrari Challenge has progressed from the 348 to the 355, 360, 430 and now the 458, the Lamborghini Super Trofeo has always been centered around the Gallardo. That's because the series only kicked off in 2009, and the Gallardo had been in production since 2003. But now that the Gallardo has been replaced by the Huracán, the Squadra Corse team is hard at work on their new Super Trofeo racer.
To that end, Lamborghini has recruited racing drivers Fabio Babini and Adrian Zaugg to conduct development work on the Huracán LP 610-4 Super Trofeo. Babini is a GT racing veteran who took a class win at Le Mans in 2001, while Zaugg came up the formula racing ladder, competing on A1GP and GP2 before signing on as a Lamborghini factory driver.
How does one make fast, loud, drifting cars better? Well, you can add more fast, loud, drifting cars or you can add lasers. Either or, really. In this case, Castrol did the right thing and added both, creating a highly stylized commercial for its Edge Titanium motor oil starring South African racer Adrian Zaugg, BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus, Audi DTM and Le Mans staple Mike Rockenfeller and some bloke named Ken Block.
Their cars? No surprise, but Block is in his Ford Fiesta GRC, while Zaugg samples a Lamborghini Aventador and Farfus and Rockenfeller drive along party lines, with a BMW M4 and an Audi R8, respectively. And those cars look good, too, thanks to the creative light and laser work on display.
Take a look below for the video from Castrol.
Lamborghini made a big entrance with the Huracán LP 610-4, and now the Italian State Police can, too. The Sant'Agata automaker donated one to Giovanni Law to the replace the Gallardo the authorities have had in service for six years.
It will be used to "sustain security on Italian roads" and is loaded with a Q-Branch worth of features that you won't even find on any Ad Personam options list: a "Proof Video Data System" to track the Lamborghini and the suspects being chased, number plate recognition and tracking and real-time transmission of images to HQ, four sirens, an aerodynamic light bar, a refrigerated trunk for organ storage, a defibrillator and - naturally - a hand-held stop sign.
The Huracán LP 610-4 Polizia should go into service by year's end. There's a press release below so you'll know who to look out for if you turn scofflaw inside the nation-state line.
1965 was the first time Zagato and Lamborghini hooked up, when the Milanese coachbuilder created the Lamborghini 3500 GTZ for Marquis Gerino Gerini. There have been several more collaborations since then, the one you see above being the latest: the Lamborghini 5-95, created for collector Albert Spiess and designed to be "a modern collectible" in honor of Zagato's 95th anniversary.
Underneath its Speed Racer curves is a Gallardo LP570-4, its visual mass pushed forward thanks to the striving front fascia and a wind deflector at the bottom of the windshield that lengthens the hood, and a shortened trunk that "reveals the brutality of the mechanical components" in back. Between them are Zagato trademarks like wraparound glass and the double-bubble roof, and the size of the obvious air intakes has been reduced by hiding others in the greenhouse and fixing a center intake above the roof.
The Lamborghini 5-95 is on show at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como in Switzerland. As for being a collectible, since it's headed straight for Spiess' garage afterward, we'd say they've got that part sealed up. For you non-collectors, there's a short video where you can hear the car fire up and a press release below with a lot more info.
Unless you happen to live in one of the great supercar capitals of the world, seeing a Lamborghini up close is a rare treat. But even in such rarified company, some Lambos stand out more than others. We're talking here about elusive examples like the Reventón (of which only 20 were made), the $3.4-million Veneno (only four made) or this, the one-of-a-kind Egoista.
The Egoista concept was revealed a year and a week ago during Lamborghini's 50th anniversary celebrations. Unless you are a Lamborghini owner who traveled to Italy for the event, chances are you didn't get a chance to see it. But if you're heading to the Bologna region any time in the near future, you'll be able to check it out at the Lamborghini Museum in Sant'Agata.
There the one-of-a-kind single-seater concept with the aircraft-style canopy greenhouse will surely occupy a place of honor, alongside the many classic, racing and otherwise significant models - including the Sesto Elemento, Estoque and Miura concepts. Unfortunately, since Google's crew was there before the Egoista (or before us, for that matter), you won't be able to see it on Street View, so you're going to have to trek to northern Italy to see it for yourself.
If any modern movie franchise defines spectacle, it has to be Transformers. All instantiations are about inviting audiences to sit down, fill up popcorn and turn off their brains because the next 90 minutes are nothing but shiny robots, explosions and loud noises. Oh, and cars... lots of cars. The latest trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in the series, has just hit the web, and it checks all the boxes of what makes the films stand out.
The last trailer showed off a plethora of the movie's cars. This new one aims for action and focuses mostly on robots beating each other up in various international locales. Although, there is a great look at the movie's Lamborghini Aventador (pictured above) transforming and even briefly fighting Optimus Prime.
From the previous trailer and other releases, we know that the latest movie features a ton of vehicles, including a new look for Bumblebee, the Chevrolet Camaro, plus a Bugatti Veyron, C7 Corvette, Freightliner truck, Pagani Huayra and many more. Transformers: Age of Extinction is scheduled to hit theaters on June 27, 2014. Scroll down to watch this extravaganza of special effects.
Ferrari has used turbochargers off and on over the years. Porsche has long embraced them. McLaren uses them exclusively these days. As do Pagani and Bugatti. Lamborghini never has, but that could all change in the near future.
According to Auto Express (whose reports we usually take with a grain or two of sodium chloride) in speaking with Sant'Agata's R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini could be forced to start using turbocharged engines in the next three to four years. And their first application in the Raging Bull marque's history could be on the upcoming production version of the Urus concept.
The Urus, for those who may not recall, was a crossover concept unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show two years ago and which we saw in a closed-door preview just before that during the New York Auto Show. Taking a sportier approach than the unapologetically utilitarian LM002 (popularly known as the "Rambo Lambo"), the Urus followed the Estoque sedan concept in testing the waters for a different kind of Lamborghini - one to which potential buyers apparently responded positively, as the Italian automaker has been working on bringing it to production ever since.