Lamborghini Concepts: The Favourites Photo:
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Peter Anderson | May, 17 2013 | 3 Comments

The release this week of Lamborghini's bonkers Egoista concept has got us all nostalgic about the marque's past madnesses.

And, while concepts are often little more than a headline-grabbing indulgence, Lamborghini's production cars can be so out-there that it's hard to tell the difference.

But, in the name of suffering for our art, we've compiled a list of the best Lambo concepts over the last 50 years.


10. Flying Star II (1966)

Carozzeria Touring created this one-off for the 1966 Turin Auto Show.

It reminds us a lot of the Ferrari FF with its shooting-brake style hatchback and V12 engine. It was also the last design from Carozzeria until the brand's revival in 2006.


9. Calà (1995)

The Calà, designed by Italdesign under Giorgetto Giugaro, was shown at the 1995 Motor Show.

The company was just emerging from Chrysler's chaotic rule and this concept was intended to replace the Jalpa, which had been axed by the American company.

The Calà's slightly bug-eyed design had a lot of Diablo about it but with the marque's sale to the VW Group, the design went nowhere. However, the 2003 Gallardo shared one key idea - the V10 engine.


8. Cheetah (1977)

More a prototype than a concept car, the Cheetah was Lamborghini's first go at an off-roader. It ended up looking like an over-grown Mini Moke.

Powered by a Chrysler V8, the vehicle was a half-hearted effort as Santa'Agata outsourced the work to US defence contractor MTI. The Cheetah was intended for the US military but its fame was restricted mostly to its Geneva showing in 1977.

The company doesn't even mention it, preferring to think of the LM002 as its first true off-roader.


7. Genesis (1988)

The Turin Motor Show of 1988 was home to one of the company's strangest concepts - the Bertone designed Genesis.

There's no easy way to describe it - the Genesis was an 1800kg gull-wing door equipped, V12-powered, front-engined, three-speed automatic people-carrier. Or the fastest Tarago in the west, perhaps.

Needless to say, nothing happened with this one.


6. 3500 GTZ (1965)

The 3500 GTZ was from the pen of design house Zagato, famous for some of the more challenging designs of Aston Martins, Lancias and Alfa Romeos (remember the SZ?).

True to form, the design was a little weird and oddly-proportioned, with just two being made. The second of the two, chassis 320, was apparently destroyed in a substantial crash.


5. Marzal (1967)

Marcello Gandini designed this sci-fi special while at Bertone. The idea was to give Lambo founder Ferruccio a proper four-seater instead of the compromised 400GT 2+2.

The all-glass gull-wing doors and what looked like aluminium foil-wrapped seats never took off, however. Powered by one half of the Lamborghini V12, it had a meagre 130kW.

Some of the design cues did live on, however, in the Espada.


4. Estoque (2008)

Just as the global financial crisis hit, Lamborghini dropped a bomb in the form of the four-door Estoque.

Perhaps responding to the Aston Martin Rapide, the wild-looking sedan was aimed at the expanding Chinese market.

Powered by the Gallardo LP 560-4's V10, this sedan would have been a monster. But, after much speculation, it was killed in favour of the upcoming Urus.


3. Sesto Elemento (2010)

The Sesto Elemento wowed the crowds at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and set the scene for cars like the Reventon and Veneno.

The concept also brought back the cartoonish styling that the company is famous for, with the tame, Audi-influenced Gallardo and Murcielago disappointing some fans.

The Sesto Elemento fixed that and set the direction for Lambo's styling, evident in the Aventador.


2. Bravo (1974)

Turin was once again Lamborghini's stage for a dramatic concept car - the Bravo.

Set to be an entry-level car to replace the Urraco and sell alongside the Countach, the wedgy Bertone masterpiece had a long life on the show circuit but never went into production.

Instead, it lives in Bertone's own museum. And, some might argue, in the sheetmetal of the Lotus Esprit.


1. Miura (1966)

This is the car commonly referred to as the world's first supercar, and what an amazing looking machine it was - and still is.

The car was designed and developed by Lamborghini engineers on the quiet, in their spare time - Ferruccio preferred grand tourers to sports cars, wanting to differentiate himself from bitter rival Enzo Ferrari, who had dismissed him as a mere tractor maker.

He had to be talked around and, even when it was first shown as a naked rolling chassis, Ferruccio considered it a marketing tool rather than a production possibility.

The naked chassis was rolled out at Turin in 1965. It drew rapturous acclaim, leaving the company with no option but to produce the car, codenamed P400 - posteriore 4 litre - a reference to its mid-engine layout, the first of its kind for a production car.

Many showgoers and press thought it was a racing car chassis and not a road-going, mid-engined sports car.

Marcello Gandini of Bertone was charged with creating the P400 prototype's bodywork. Lamborghini had taken orders for the car at the 1965 Turin show without a single line drawn.

The show car was completed just days from its debut at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show.

So slap-dash was the process that the engineering team had forgotten to check if the engine would fit. It didn't. So, the P400 was filled with ballast and the engine bay locked shut.

After solving the small problem of the engine bay, the Miura appeared with the V12 from the 400GT but producing 260kW and mounted across the car. The Miura S debuted at Turin in 1968 with some upgrades to trim and specification, the V12 adding 15kW.

The final edition, the SV, gained a further 11kW and slightly revised styling, while some had a split pump limited slip differential.

The SV also spawned the SV/J (J for Jota), an upgraded model based on a one-off produced to comply with the FIA's Appendix J rules. One of the six SV/J's produced went to the Shah of Iran.

The car found fame in other areas, most notably as the car in the opening sequence of 1969's The Italian Job. More recently, in April, a Miura SV caught fire in a London street, costing the owner almost $1.6m.

So successful was the Miura that in 2006, a near identical concept was introduced at the Detroit Show, designed by Walter de'Silva to commemorate the Miura's 40th anniversary.

The Miura was replaced in 1972 by a car that, arguably, became even more famous, the Countach. But it was the Miura concept car, developed by the seat of the pants, against the company owner's wishes, that set Lamborghini on the path to greatness.

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