And from a brand that prides itself on the extreme, that's saying something.
Lamborghini are the kings of the extreme supercar, always providing something a little more hardcore that Ferrari with whom they had a particularly strong grudge against. But in the brand’s at times illustrious, at times tumultuous history, some models have been more extreme than others. In the wake of the new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ claiming top honors at the Nurburgring, we’ve selected 10 Lamborghinis that represent just how extreme the Italian brand can be. From the outrageous concepts to the insane production cars, these are ten of the most extreme Lamborghinis ever made.
We kick this list off with a concept that first debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1967. Designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, the Marzal was designed to be the brand’s first full 4-seater model in their line-up, as opposed to the 2+2 seat 400GT. It was also to be the brand’s first six-cylinder model ever, powered by a 2.0-liter inline six developing 175 horsepower that was actually derived from the existing 4-liter V12 split in two.
But the Marzal's most extreme features were its doors – two massive gullwing items made almost entirely of glass that exposed all 4 seats entirely. The roof was also made of glass. Interestingly enough, and perhaps a foreshadowing of Lamborghini’s future, the Marzal used hexagonal shapes in much of its interior design – a design trait that now dominates almost every model released by Lamborghini. Rumor has it, the Marzal was canned due to Ferruccio Lamborghini’s concern that the glass doors would mean that “a lady’s legs would be there for all to see.”
Not only was the Lamborghini Miura one of Lambo’s most beautiful supercars ever, but it was arguably the first mid-engined supercar in the world and the first to coin the supercar moniker. But of the many stunning versions of the Miura, the P400 Jota was the most extreme. Created by Bob Wallace, Lamborghini’s development driver, to conform to the FIA’s Appendix J racing regulations, the P400 Jota (‘Jota’ is the Spanish pronunciation of the letter ‘J’) featured extensive modifications to both the chassis and engine.
Steel portions of the chassis were replaced with a lightweight aluminum alloy called Avional, body panels too. The windows were replaced with plastic, and the total resultant weight loss was more or less 800 pounds compared to the standard Miura. The suspension was reworked substantially, and the 4.0-liter V12 was tweaked to develop 440hp, up from the 365hp in the P400S. Only one example was ever made, sold to a private buyer, after which it was crashed in April of 1971, subsequently burning to the ground.
The Lamborghini Gallardo single-handedly saved the Italian supercar brand, accounting for more than half of all Lamborghinis sold when its production run ended. Though the Cala concept may have immediately foreshadowed the first production V10 Lambo, it was the P140 concept that arrived 16 years before the Gallardo that planted the first V10 seed in our minds. Powered by the same 4.0-liter V10 that ended up in the Cala, the P140 concept produced 370hp, achieved the 0-62mph sprint in 5 seconds, and topped out at 183mph. That last figure was tested by the first prototype around the Nardo Ring in Italy.
The concept featured an aluminum chassis, carbon fiber bodywork, and troublesome cooling systems which led to overheating problems. That, and the desire to heavily invest in the Diablo led to the P140 being canceled prior to production. Pity, as the baby-Lambo could’ve reshaped the history of 1990’s supercars.
Who doesn’t love the Lamborghini Countach, the successor to the Miura, and one of the few Lamborghinis not named after anything bull-related, not to mention one of the most iconic poster cars of the last 5 decades? But of all the Countach variants, eight of them including the prototype and the Walter Wolf Countach, one stands out head and shoulders above the rest as a truly extreme Lambo. The Countach Turbo S was a series of just two prototype models developed by engineer Franz Albert.
The Countach Turbo S featured a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V12 engine, with driver-adjustable boost pressure between 0.7 and 1.5 bar. Maximum power outputs were an incredible 748 horsepower and 646 lb-ft of torque, channeled to the 345/35 profile rear tires. Despite its immense power creating traction issues, the Turbo S could sprint from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 208mph.
If the Countach was the poster-car of the 1980s, then the 1990s belonged to the Lamborghini Diablo. Named after the devil himself, the V12-powered Diablo was famous for its pop-up headlights and for being notoriously difficult to drive despite the all-wheel drive. The most extreme Diablo ever arrived in the form of the non-road-legal Diablo GTR. Based on the road-legal Diablo GT, it used the GT’s larger displacement 6.0-liter V12, but thanks to revised fuel and ignition systems, titanium con-rods, variable valve timing, a lightened crankshaft, and a revised intake system, the V12 produced 590hp and 472 lb-ft. The rear wheels were driven through a 5-speed gearbox.
But over and above the extra power, the already lightweight GT was lightened even further, with the aircon, stereo, sound deadening, heat-proofing, and passenger seat all removed. A full roll cage, fire suppression system, and fixed plexiglass windows were also added, in addition to lower, stiffer suspension and racing brakes. The GTR weighed just 3075 pounds and won several championships in which it raced. Though 30 were originally planned, 40 Diablo GTRs were eventually built, along with 40 spare chassis in case of wreckages needing to be replaced.
Walter de Silva may be famous for numerous Audi designs, including the first Audi R8, but he also had a hand in designing two unique Lambo concepts. The Miura concept is his most well-known – an homage to the original – but the Egoista was the more extreme of the two, and one of the most extreme Lamborghinis ever crafted. The concept celebrated 50 years of Lamborghini, with the fully functional concept based on the Gallardo and making use of its 5.2-liter V10 engine producing 600hp. But what made the Egoista so extreme was the styling, almost Speed Racer-ish in its fusion of car and fighter jet designs.
Entry to the cockpit was through an orange canopy door to a single-seat cockpit – tying in with a name translating to ‘selfish’, with de Silva saying the Egoista “represents hedonism taken to the extreme.”
Directly translating as ‘Sixth Element’ and correlating with carbon as the 6th element on the periodic table and having an atomic number of 6, the Sesto Elemento was a Gallardo Superleggera based supercar produced in limited numbers of just 20 units. The Sesto Elemento was incredibly light due to its carbon-fiber intensive construction, weighing just 2202 lbs, and boasting a power to weight ratio of 1.75kg per horsepower. The 5.2-liter V10 engine delivered 570hp to all 4 wheels through a semi-automatic transmission, enabling a 0-62mph sprint of just 2.5 seconds with a top speed in excess of 210mph.
The Sesto Elemento was incredibly hardcore, stripped of almost all creature comforts, and with carbon fiber seats mounted directly to the chassis. Though bare and extreme, all 20 were lapped up before it even went on sale, and at the time of release, it was the most expensive Lamborghini ever, selling for up to $4.5 million.
Built as part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations for Lamborghini, the Veneno was based on the Aventador, but with garish bodywork and increased power outputs to truly set it apart. The origami masterpiece was released to the world at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in grey with Italian flag striping adorning either side. 3 subsequent production models were manufactured for clients, with each one painted one of the 3 colors of the Italian flag. The 740hp V12 drove all 4 wheels through a 7-speed semi-automatic gearbox, enabling a 0-60mph time of 2.8 seconds.
In 2014 a Roadster version of the Veneno was released, with 9 units produced, all sold prior to the launch. Despite an added 80 pounds worth of body strengthening, performance was claimed as identical to the Veneno coupe.
Another Aventador-based special from Lamborghini was built to celebrate what would have been Ferrucio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. Much like the Veneno, it debuted in Geneva – though this in 2016 – and much like the Veneno is featured extreme styling and power increases over the donor Aventador chassis and engine. The 6.5-liter V12 now produced 759 horsepower and 509 lb-ft, though acceleration remained the same as the Veneno. A total of 40 Centenarios were produced, 20 coupes and 20 roadsters, all of which were sold by the time they were revealed to the public.
Translating as ‘third millennium’, the Terzo Millennio concept unveiled in late 2017 is a futuristic concept car collaboration between Lamborghini and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Despite being electrically powered, Lamborghini has been quick to state that they have no definite plans to go electric in future production models. Instead of conventional batteries, the Terzo Millennio makes use of high-capacity supercapacitors that rapidly absorb and release energy, channeling power to electric motors in each of the concept’s four wheels.
Despite not being a fully functional concept, the Terzo Millennio is claimed to have autonomous capabilities that would be able to be used both on road and on track. In addition to the high-tech drivetrain and over-the-top styling, the Terzo Millennio also features full carbon fiber bodywork that is monitored by an onboard health system and can be self-repaired thanks to the inclusion of nano-technology.