Mitja Borkert catches up with Marcello Gandini.
There are few greater automotive design icons than the original Lamborghini Countach, so it was a brave move on the Italian automaker's part to revive the nameplate with an all-new model. It didn't take long for the new Countach LPI 800-4 to sell out, which is no surprise since only 112 examples will be produced.
Like the original, the new Countach is all about its breathtaking design and who better to discuss this than Marcello Gandini, the designer of the original Countach, and Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini's current Head of Design and designer of the all-new Countach. Designers from vastly different generations, the two met up to break down the design of these two cars.
"It was the car that, for me, started the design DNA of Lamborghini," said Borkert when describing the original Countach. Gandini wanted to do something entirely different from what had been done before and this was achieved with the unique wedge design. Borkert then explained that aspects like the centerline, the silhouette, and the slim headlights were distinctive elements of the original that he wanted to retain in the all-new model. Interestingly, besides a polite nod of approval(?), Gandini doesn't explicitly say what he thinks of Borkert's modern LPI 800-4.
"Usually, many years later, you no longer like a car you liked then, or you like it much less," said Gandini. "For better or worse, the Countach is still pleasing to the eye even 50 years later." We couldn't have said it any better than that.
The new Countach is, to our eyes at least, a sensational reincarnation of what made the original so special. From the NACA air intakes to the theatrical scissor doors, all the important elements present in the classic supercar have been included in the modern one.
Under the skin, the game has moved on in a big way, however. The naturally-aspirated V12 and 48-volt e-motor system deliver 802 horsepower and a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds.
It's tempting to leave the past in the past and to preserve the untarnished legacy of a truly iconic car, but with the new Countach, Lamborghini has only added to the allure of arguably its most famous nameplate.