From the affordable to the crazy expensive.
Even the most accessible cars built by Lamborghini aren't a common sight on the roads, so seeing a truly rare Lamborghini is an event. Unfortunately, some are so rare many of us will never see them in person. To give you an idea of how limited Lamborghini models can be, only 118 of the first model from the Italian automaker, the 350 GT, were built. The more famous Miura only stretched to 275 models produced while Lamborghini's most famous car, the Countach, saw only 1,987 make it onto the roads. Even the Gallardo only reached a production number of 14,022 - and until recently, that was the brand's best-seller. However, the rarest of Lamborghini models range from historical anomalies to modern models that stray from the path of lunacy and into the valley of the unhinged.
Between 1981 and 1988, Lamborghini built just 410 of its Jalpa model. The Jalpa was intended to be an "affordable" Lamborghini at just $60,000 in its day. Lamborghini enthusiasts have been expecting it to become more valuable over time, but that still hasn't happened yet. It was powered by a V8 engine and was easy to drive compared to the Countach with its heavy steering, clutch, and terrible visibility. However, it wasn't as hardcore, therefore, anywhere near as desirable. The Jalpa has been largely forgotten in Lamborghini's history, which is a crying shame.
In 2001, and just before retiring the Diablo, Lamborghini created a 42-car limited production run of the special edition Diablo VT 6.0. It featured the 6.0-liter V12 from the Diablo GT making 549 hp, along with a revised air dam, nose panel, fenders, and a new front fascia with two large air intakes. Even rarer are the 20 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 SE models, which features gold metallic "Oro Elios" paint representing the sunrise, and "Marrone Eklipsis" paint representing sunset. The SE version also has Lamborghini-badged brake calipers and added carbon-fiber trim.
The Lamborghini Countach first broke new ground, and then paved the way for the modern supercar. However, the iconic poster car had a few problems, and one was visibility. Rear visibility was bad enough that the R&D department at Lamborghini took a crack at fixing it. They used a periscopic rearview mirror that worked via a tunnel in the roof through to the back. Only around 150 were made with that arrangement, although the tunnel remained on the early LP400 production models.
When Lamborghini reached its 50th anniversary, it threw off the shackles to make something even wilder than it had already. Some people think Lamborghini is too restrained with its modern car designs, so the Italian supercar maker built 100 of its anniversary edition. The exclusive aero package featured larger intakes, flaps, a humungous splitter, and came in a unique yellow paint color called Giallo Maggio unless specified otherwise. According to Lamborghini, the new bodywork makes the Aventador 50 percent more aerodynamically efficient.
The black wheels are also exclusive to the Lamborghini Aventador 50th-anniversary edition, and the 6.5-liter V12's power was cranked to 710 horsepower, up from the standard 691 for the regular derivative.
It's the original supercar, but in SV/J form (The J is for Jota, meaning lightweight). The track version of the road-going Miura SV appeared in 1970, but Ferruccio Lamborghini decided against entering racing competitions. It was a one of one model and was snapped up by millionaire Alfredo Belpone. Some hardcore Lamborghini fans learned of it and demanded the Jota treatment for their Miura SVs. It's believed around five conversions were made, with six SV/J models in total, but the original is finished in white. That one is priceless, while the conversions are worth at least a couple of million dollars apiece.
A more modern race car derivative is the Gallardo Squadra Corse, based on the 2013 Gallardo Super Trofeo race car. Only 50 of the street-legal version were made, and only 15 came to the US. A naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10, rated at 562 hp, pushes its power to all four wheels through an E-gear six-speed semi-automatic transmission. Carbon fiber is the main ingredient to make it lighter, including the tall and proud rear wing. However, unlike the race cars, the Squadra Corse retains the sound system and air conditioning. Other carbon fiber pieces include the door handles, racing seats, the center console, the lower section of the steering wheel, and trim around the instrument panels. The car, including its unique body pieces, were all painted in a yellow called Giallo Midas.
Only 40 Centenario models were made, 20 as coupes and 20 as convertibles. It was built to celebrate what would have been Ferruccio Lamborghini's hundredth birthday in 2017, so Lamborghini had to make it special. The 6.5-liter V12 familiar to Aventador aficionados is tuned to 759 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque, 70 hp more than the original Aventador. The Centenario is derived from the Aventador SV, but it's the first Lamborghini built with rear-wheel steering, Other features on the Centenario include aerodynamic advancements like the twin-deck splitter at the front, an awe-inspiringly big rear diffuser, and a push-rod design suspension system.
You can't talk about rare Lamborghinis without bringing up the rarest of the rare. It's also the most extreme Lamborghini yet. The Veneno's 6.5-liter V12 engine generates 740 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque, with the car sharing the same carbon-fiber monocoque chassis as the Aventador; but that's just where the Veneno starts. It's a fighter jet for the road, complete with wings all over the show, although Lambo officially cites the styling as being its interpretation of a racing prototype built for the road. If you look carefully through the new styling elements, you can see the rear arch design is a nod to the Countach. If there's any doubt about its fighter jet styling not being deliberate, Lamborghini unveiled the Veneno on an Italian naval aircraft carrier. Only three coupes were made, and nine convertibles.
Only one Lamborghini Aventador J exists, which is one more than the Jota P400. The Jota P400 was a one-off version of the Miura built by Lamborghini's Chief engineer, Bob Wallace, in his spare time. Unfortunately, it was crashed and burned to a crisp by a later owner; hence it's not on this list. However, the Aventador J channels the Jota P400's spirit of building the lightest Lamborghini possible. The roofless and windowless car uses the same V12 engine from the Aventador, making 691 hp, but the car weighs just 3,472 pounds. It's road legal, but anything unnecessary to the act of driving, like air conditioning and a stereo system, has been left out. Lamborghini claims it went from concept to reality in just six weeks, and it was then snapped up by an unnamed collector for $2.8 million back in 2012.
The Sesto Elemento looks like a car built by a mad scientist Lamborghini keeps locked in the basement to only let loose on special occasions. It weighs just 2,200 lbs and is powered by the Gallardo's screamer of a 5.2-liter V10 making 562 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. The Sesto Elemento - which translates directly as the 'sixth element', carbon - was so light because of the amount of carbon fiber technology used for major parts, including the body, chassis, driveshaft, and suspension. It's, to our minds, the most spectacular Lamborghini yet, and only 20 were made; none of them street legal. It sold out instantly, and the only one we've seen go back on the market so far had an asking price of $3 million.