The relationship dates back earlier than that, however.
Pirelli and Lamborghini have officially been working together for a full fifty years. It started with the original Countach, first introduced in 1971, and poetically, the partnership has celebrated 50 years with the all-new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4. To celebrate the occasion, Pirelli is looking back at how it all started and how it's going.
It's important to note that the two brands have worked together since before an official partnership was even struck up.
The story began back in 1963. Ferruccio Lamborghini had already created his first car, called the 350 GTV. It was launched at the Turin Motor Show and was a smash hit. Lamborghini knew he had something and turned to Pirelli to provide tires for the car's production version, called the 350 GT.
Pirelli provided a tire from its Cinturato range. It had a high-speed rating, capable of coping with a 150 mph top speed. Lamborghini was happy with the finished product and stuck with Pirelli for other iconic models like the Miura, and then again when the Countach was introduced in 1971.
Along the way, Pirelli designed a few bespoke tires for special Lamborghini models. The (in)famous LM002 truck required a unique tire to handle the V12 power while providing sufficient off-road grip. It became known as the Pirelli Scorpion, which is a name still in use today. A unique Pirelli P Zero was created specifically for the 1990 Lamborghini Diablo, while the 2001 Murcielago and 2003 Gallardo also had tailor-made P Zero Rosso rubber.
There have been more than just bespoke tires, however, as Lamborghini has paid tribute to the Italian tire-maker with its own special Aventador Pirelli Edition in 2014. It was essentially a standard Aventador with a two-tone color scheme alternating between matte and gloss. The most striking details are the red inserts on the tires and the red stripes on the roof, a theme also carried over to the interior.
The partnership has been fruitful, not only giving Lamborghini the grip it needed to pull off mega performance but also vice versa, with Lamborghini challenging Pirelli to keep improving its tire technology - a challenge Pirelli has reveled in. Just one example of this is to highlight the differences in demands between tires from the 1970s and modern tires. And perhaps there's no better way to showcase this than to compare the original Countach to its modern counterpart.
The birth of the Countach led to the birth of the Pirelli P7. It was equipped as standard to the Countach LP 500, LP 400, LP 500 S and the LP 5000 Quattrovalvole.
When Lamborghini celebrated its 25th anniversary, it launched the Countach 25th Anniversary Edition. It was the first car in the world to be equipped with Pirelli's new P Zero range, also still in production. At most, the Countach delivered around 420 horsepower.
The all-new Countach has 802 hp, making it an entirely different animal. It wears the modern equivalent of the P Zero. The front tires are 255/30/R20, while the rears are 355/25/R21, giving the modern Lambo that glorious broad tire look from the back, made famous by the original. And, customers who want to track their modern Countaches can also opt for the now-famous P Zero Corsa rubber. Both are capable of withstanding 200 mph+ speeds where the originals only targeted 150 mph.
Whether it's the modern Pirelli Scorpions on the Urus or P Zero and P Zero Corsa rubber on the rest of Lamborghini's range, the Lamborghini and Pirelli names have become synonymous with each other, and synonymous with high performance. Here's to the next 50 years!