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Lamborghini Countach Review 2022 | Top gear

Lamborghini Countach Review 2022 |  Top gear

Come on, you know this one. Wedgy Supercar of the 1970s, pioneering moment in automobile design, defined the era, helped define the mid-engine supercar template that has remained true to this day, some 50 years later. The only one, Lamborghini Countach.

Mark II. So let’s start with the main problem here. Lamborghini claims this is what the Countach would look like if it had evolved. But the original was about revolution, not evolution – if there had been more Countachs, each should have been a radical new beginning. It must not be a rebodied Sian, who in turn is a made up Aventador. Lamborghini and TopGear will have to disagree on that.

This is what I want to know first – how do you pronounce it?

Koon-tatch. That second syllable must be hard apparently. The most accurate translation is ‘it’s a miracle!’

But this is no wonder, is it?

There’s less romance and more hard business decisions about this one, that’s for sure. But you can see the reason for doing it – taking 112 old Aventador chassis and turning them into £224 million pounds? genius. There is enough money to develop new cars and there is no long-term damage to the image of the original Countach because people will see this car for what it is and realize the place the original occupies.

This is done retro… odd. Most firms have either stayed completely true to the original (all those lost cars with VIN number) or have exaggerated/perfected the old-timer (Singer 911, Alfaholics GTA-R, GTO Engineering 250 SWB).

Fewer have taken a new car and given old gear to wear. Ferrari recently gave us the Daytona SP3, sort of in that vein, just like the Porsche 935. Neither is as successful as Aston’s mighty Victor – no strict recreation, but brilliant at evoking a sense of time, place and British brutality.

The problem for Lambo is that too much of the Sian is still visible, indicating that this was done on a relatively tight budget, while retaining the hard points, underpinnings and much of the interior.

So what’s going on here?

The Sian was the first production Lamborghini ever to be electrified. It was based on the Aventador, but added a 33 hp electric motor to the 6.5-liter 770 hp V12. That didn’t draw the charge from a battery pack, but from a light, powerful supercapacitor. The electric motor couldn’t power the car, but was there to help fill the torque during gear changes. Important work, as the Aventador’s sequential manual ISR gearbox has never been the smoothest and fastest shifter.

Lamborghini made 63 Sian coupes and 19 roadsters, each costing £2.5 million plus tax. And now 112 more have been built, each costing £2 million (again plus tax), but with a different body.

Below the Countach is largely identical to the Sian. Yes, there are new stitching patterns on the inside, a Stile mode in the center screen that shows you around the car, various badging and a few other little trinkets, but mechanically this is the same car: a carbon-tubbed, loud-piped 4WD extrovert goes from 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, 124 km/h in 8.6 seconds and 221 km/h in full. At the other end of the scale, 14.5mpg and 440g/km of CO2. So no, that electric motor doesn’t contribute much.

What do we think of how it looks?

Make up your own mind about that. Obviously the designer of the original, Marcello Gandini, has said he’s not in favor of it, and for our money it should have been even bolder and more extravagant, with sharper folds and flatter surfaces – almost a caricature of the original. We would also have slid the wing of the LP5000 on it.

But from a low three-quarter angle, it’s suitably striking and true to the original. Perhaps don’t venture too far back, where the Sian directions are rather obvious.

Do you think it drives like the Sian too?

It does. The driving experience is one area where the Countach is – at least by modern standards – quite faithful to the original. The high-capacity, free-breathing V12 dominates every conversation you have with the car. It’s a beautiful bike, tractable enough low down, but always gives you reason to hold that gear and keep going. Power and speed dominate the torque.

The stock carbon-ceramic brakes are firm and responsive, the steering is nuanced and pleasant to the touch, but the chassis is a bit blunt. Where most modern supercars and hypercars move with relative grace and flow, this stomps.

Where did you drive it?

I thought you’d never ask. We took him to the world’s most famous mountain pass, the Stelvio Pass in northern Italy, before it opened for the season. So we had it to ourselves. Yes really. The full story about it in this month’s magazine (issue 362) and the film is on YouTube.

Were they a match made in heaven?

Watch out for the other stories, but for now suffice to say they had a lot in common with the other. As a viewing platform, the Countach can take a beating, especially with a blood-red cab and windshield tilted back so it’s more like a skylight. Tends to give the outside world a certain drama. And that’s before you factor in the noise, driving position, clunky gearbox and so on. Let’s say driving the Countach is an event best experienced on a suitable stage.

You choose which side of the Countach fence you sit on: or you love to bring back an infamous badge and power it with a V12 now twice as powerful as the one it was equipped with 50 years ago , or you despise him for not going further, for not being as radical and revolutionary as the original, for being a Countach in name and dress alone.

We can’t help but feel that a car so important to the history of the supercar, as a key factor in its development, deserved a more fitting tribute. It’s not the idea of ​​a redesigned Countach we’re talking about, but its execution. That said, lit up in third gear, V12 growling in your ears, perhaps it’s closer to the Countach’s drama than we give it credit.