Come with us as we explore the history of one of the world’s most famous luxury brands: The Evolution of the Prestigious Lamborghini brand!
A close look at the Evolution of Lamborghini Brand quickly reveals how the whole idea of the brand and its clan of models are perfectly nestled in the realm of what I call “Intentional Luxury and Excellence”.
The idea was given birth by a founder who was widely known as a man of luxury, and one who strived towards unparalleled excellence in every endeavor. His brand’s clan of models were built to the highest possible standard, and were designed to upstage an already established international luxury brand, and also one with solid Italian root “The Ferrari”.
Only 14 Lamborghini Veveno were ever built
How it all began
Ferruccio Lamborghini a wealthy Italian businessman and an enthusiast of luxury sports cars established the Automobili Lamborghini S.P.A in 1963, 15 years after he founded his tractor manufacturing company “The Lamborghini Trattori”. So clearly, Ferruccio Lamborghini had a background in the production of automobiles and this served him well with his luxury car production project.
Money was never a problem for Ferruccio Lamborghini, all he needed was a team of similarly motivated guys. And this he found in an engine designer and elite production engineers who along with him and other production hands made up a team of exceptionally motivated and dedicated people. Ferruccio Lamborghini’s choice of team is similar to what you see in the world of football these days, where the best guys are brought together to build a formidable team.
Giotto Bizzarrini’s Società Autostar was the apt choice of engine designer brought in by Ferruccio Lamborghini to help actualize his dream of a luxury car that will dethrone Enzo Ferrari’s formidable dynasty. Giotto Bizzarrini himself has had considerable experience in the automobile industry, taking in times at Alfa Romeo and Ferrari where he was involved in extensive engine design and aerodynamics manipulation of the famous GT. This knowledge base and wealth of experience fit perfectly into Ferruccio Lamborghini’s plan who desired the best to help build his idea of a thunderous V12 engine.
By 1964, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Giotto Bizzarrini, along with the technical expertise and spirited efforts of Giampaolo Dallara and his assistant Giampaolo Stanzani completed work on Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini’s first luxury offering, the 350 GT at the company’s production facility located in Sant’Agata, Bologna. And this car will take the industry by storm, becoming a major success.
Lamborghini Assembly facility in Sant’Agata, Bolognese
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The Birth of the 350 GT
The 350 GT came with Giotto Bizzarrini designed 3.5 Liter V12 engine that had its valves operated by a dual overhead cam DOHC which was a diversion from Ferrari’s single overhead cam SOHC operated engine. The V12 generated a solid 280 hp while its 5-speed manual transmission utilized the engine power to deliver 240 lb-ft torque to the wheel, enabling the system to attain a top speed of 158 mph, as well as an acceleration of 0-62 mph in just 6.8 seconds.
The 1964 Lamborghini 350 GT was Lamborghini’s first luxury car
The Luxury supercar was built on a 100.4-inch wheelbase
Thus the Lamborghini 350 GT marked the beginning of a very successful automobile brand that will span several decades to what we have today.
Top models after the 350 GT
1. Lamborghini Miura
The Lamborghini Miura arrived in 1966 and would make its first presentation to an expectant public at the prestigious Geneva motor show of 1966. The Miura was a defining piece that served as a crown for all that energy and ingenious effort of Lamborghini’s technical team led by the hardworking and innovative Giampaolo Dallara and his assistant Giampaolo Stanzani. Giampaolo Dallara and his team were responsible for the design of the all-new chassis on which the Miura was built on.
Interestingly, the styling and coach design of the Lamborghini Miura was delegated by Ferruccio Lamborghini to automobile styling firm Gruppo Bertone. Marcello Gandini, a top designer, with the company did his best at interpreting Nuccio Bertone’s idea of the perfect sports car, and he surely did a solid job, as the first car to come out of the collaboration between Lamborghini and Nuccio Bertone owned Gruppo Bertone, was an industry hit.
The Miura came with a Lamborghini built 4.0 Liter V12 engine that delivered about 345 hp which was sufficient to propel this super sports car to a top speed of about 174 mph a good 16 mph more than that offered by the 350 GT.
The 4.0 Liter V12 engine was perfectly mated with a 5-speed manual transmission, with the later and the vehicle’s differential housed in a single casing. However, the single case design for the transmission and the differential will be later abandoned for separate case design to allow for the use of the designated lubrication oils appropriate for each component.
The Miura will have several variants starting with the initial design which was designated the P400. Models of the P400 were built from 1966 through to 1969, before several other variants were introduced. The other variants of the Miura to be built include the P400S, P400SV, P400 Jota, P400 SV/J, Roadster, and the P400 SVJ Spider.
The Miura remains one of the most popular Lamborghini model ever
The Miura could clear the 0-62 mph lap in just 6.7 seconds
2. Lamborghini Espada
After several outstanding prototype designs and other production models of Lamborghini cars that didn’t hit, the Lamborghini Espada was the next big hit to come from the Lamborghini clan after the success of the Miura. Every model built after the Miura was always going to struggle in meeting the standard set by the Miura, but the Espada came in strong and would even outsell the Miura. We reason that the Espada could easily outsell the Miura possibly because it was cheaper than the Miura which sold for an astonishing $20000 at that time (equivalent to over $150,000 now).
The Espada body was also styled by Marcello Gandini, who delivered another masterpiece of a design. The Espada was built on a 104-inch wheelbase semi-monocoque unibody chassis. The Lamborghini Espada which was unveiled at the 1968 Geneva Motor show was assembled with a 3.9 Liter V12 engine that had a 5-speed manual transmission accompany it as standard while a 3-speed Chrysler built transmission was optional.
The Lamborghini Espada was introduced in 1968
The Espada enjoyed so much success and would have its production spread across 3 series that span a decade starting from 1968 to 1978, with over 1220 units built during this period.
Production of the Espada spanned 10 years
About 1227 units of the Espada were built across 3 series
3. Lamborghini Countach
The Lamborghini Countach was another masterpiece offering from the Lamborghini clan, and was unveiled at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. This supercar was Ferruccio Lamborghini’s favored successor of the very successful Lamborghini Miura. The Countach was the one car that revolutionized the wedge shape cars and laid the foundation for several wedge shape car design variations we find in modern-day supercars.
As you would expect, the styling of the Countach was done by the now-famous designer from the Bertone design house, Marcello Gandini. Technical and engineering design aspects of the Countach were handled by Lamborghini’s Chief Engineer Giampaolo Stanzani who favored a rear mid-engine design that was to allow for a bigger 5.0 Liter V12 engine proposed for use in the Countach. The expected new engine influenced the interior cabin styling of the Countach, resulting in a forward cabin design for the Countach.
The Lamborghini Countach will arrive in 1971 as a successor to the Miura
Unfortunately, the 5.0 Liter V12 would not be ready on time and the Countach will have to make do with the 3.9 Liter V12 for the first production models but later improvements saw the engine displacement increase to 4.8 Liter and finally to 5.2 Liter in the LP5000 Quattrovalvole variant of 1985. The Engines were mated with a 5-speed manual transmission and was built on a 96.46-inch wheelbase. Production of the Countach and its variants spanned a period of 16 years from 1974 to 1990.
The Countach was built on a 96.46-inch wheelbase partial space frame chassis
The supercar could reach a top speed of 309 km/h
Period of Turbulence and Change of Ownership
Just like most early-day car production companies, the Lamborghini brand would also endure its fair share of times of uncertainty and conflicts which ultimately resulted in an unexpected and early change in ownership of the brand. It began in 1972 with Ferruccio Lamborghini selling his majority stake in his company to Georges-Henri Rossetti and by 1973 he completely sold off all his stake in the company he founded, selling his remaining stake to René Leimer. Thus Ferruccio Lamborghini only had full control of the company he founded for just 9 years from 1963 to 1972.
This event marked the beginning of really uncertain and turbulent times for the brand, who’s ownership will change hands several times before landing in the hands of its current majority stakeholder. The reign of Rossetti and René Leimer was really eventful but will, unfortunately, end with the once vibrant auto manufacturer crawling down into bankruptcy, a situation that didn’t get any help from the crippling oil crisis of 1973.
By 1980 the ownership of the company will change hands once again after an Italian court placed control of the Auto racing brand in the hands of sugar manufacturers, the Mimran Brothers. The Mimran Brothers will bring back some of the glory of the brand but will hand-over ownership of the company to American Sports car manufacturer, the Chrysler Corporation in a deal worth about $25.2 million in 1987. However, sales of models of the Lamborghini will suffer considerably leading the American company to divest its interest in the Lamborghini project and will then surprisingly sell the auto firm to an Indonesian conglomerate in 1994.
However, the ownership of the Lamborghini brand was soon to change hands due largely to the 1997 Asian financial crisis. By 1998, Lamborghini will finally be purchased by German auto manufacturing giant Volkswagen AG. Subsequently, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group the Audi AG will take control of the Italian firm from its parent company for a reported fee of about $110 million.
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Resurgence of the Lamborghini Brand
The acquisition of Lamborghini by Audi signaled a new dawn for the slumbering company. The first Lamborghini model to arrive after the acquisition was the Murciélago which was introduced in 2001 and production will continue till 2010 with at least 4 variants produced during that period. Lamborghini Murcielago first came with a 6.2 Liter V12 which generating a serious 580 hp while later variants will come with a larger displacement engine, the 6.5 Liter V12 with both engines mated with a 6-speed manual transmission. The resurgence of the Italian brand led by Vittorio Di Capua will lead to the introduction of yet another supercar, the Lamborghini Gallardo.
1. Lamborghini Gallardo
By all standards, the Lamborghini Gallardo remains the Bull racing company’s best selling model to date, with Lamborghini shipping out an impressive 14,022 units of the Gallardo through its two generations of the production spanning about 10 years. The Gallardo first arrived on the scene in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show, and was one of the few Lamborghini models to not use the favored V12 but came with a more vibrant V10 engine.
The Lamborghini Gallardo designed by Luc Donckerwolke bore a strong resemblance to the Lamborghini Cala which was a prototype model released in 1995 but didn’t make it to the production phase.
The design of the Gallardo was taken from Lamborghini Cala’
The first models of the Gallardo were fitted with a 90° angled 5.0 Liter V10 engine that could deliver as much as 493hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. This car will go on to enjoy unprecedented success in the market, Rolling out well over 17 Special and Limited editions, as well as 9 different variants of the car through its 2 production generation.
About 17 special and Limited edition models of the Gallardo were built
The Gallardo went through just two production generations
2. Lamborghini Aventador
In February of 2011, the racing bull automaker will introduce the Lamborghini Aventador at its favored motor show, the Geneva Motor Show to an expectant audience of Lamborghini fans. The Lamborghini Aventador got so much attention and patronage that by 2016, the model has already exceeded its production target by a solid 1000 units.
About 5000 units of the Aventador have been sold
Filippo Perini will keep the design of the Aventador within the wedge shape design family, and a true successor to the lovely Lamborghini Murciélago. The Aventador was built extensively using carbon-fiber and came on a monocoque frame formed with the same carbon-fiber. With the Aventador, Lamborghini will revert to its favored V12 engine, fitting the Lamborghini Aventador with a 6.5 Liter displacement V12 engine that delivered a good 690 hp. The vehicles 7-speed automated manual transmission would use that much power generated by the engine to supply about 509 lb-ft of torque to the vehicle’s electronically controlled All-Wheel-Drivetrain. With these power and drivetrain combinations, the Aventador clears the 0-62 mph lap in just 2.9 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of about 217 mph.
The Lamborghini Aventador nameplate has enjoyed tremendous success in its 10 years of existence, rolling out several variants with the most recent of these being the fierce and elegant Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster which was introduced in 2019. 2020 Lamborghini Aventador Price starts at about ₦163 million.
The Lamborghini Aventador will first appear in 2011
The Aventador was built with a 6.5 Liter V12 engine
3. Lamborghini Huracan
Lamborghini will unveil its newest model the Lamborghini Huracan in 2014 at the Geneva Auto Show, as a direct successor to the best selling Lamborghini model, the Lamborghini Gallardo. As a sibling of the Gallardo, the Huracan shared some elements with the model, one of such being the engine option of a V10 configuration. The Huracan will come with a 5.2 Liter V10 engine that was accompanied by a 7-speed automatic transmission. Both component units will combine to deliver a solid 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, along with a vehicle acceleration of 0-60 mph in about 2.5 seconds. The Huracan has been track tested to a top speed of about 212 mph.
Lamborghini has tweaked the Huracan into several variants, while the latest facelift of the supercar the Huracan Evo was introduced in 2019. The Lamborghini latest variant of the Huracan Evo, the Huracan Evo RWD Spyder was only presented last month (May, 2020). 2020 Lamborghini Huracan price starts at about ₦103 million
Lamborghini Huracan was first introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show
The Supercar reaches a Top speed of 212 mph
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4. Lamborghini Urus SUV
Lamborghini has always flirted with the idea of an SUV, considering its effort with the Lamborghini Truck and the failed Lamborghini Cheetah project. But the latest Lamborghini SUV, the Lamborghini Urus has been a real success and delivering solid market feedback since its introduction in 2017. The Urus was built for comfort and was to serve as an everyday SUV.
The Urus was built on a Volkswagen owned MLB platform with a front-mounted engine, a diversion from the failed Cheetah project which had a rear-mounted engine design. In terms of engine option, the Urus will take its own path with a 4.0 Liter V8 engine, a wide diversion from the company’s preference for the V10 and V12 engines. This shift in engine choice could not be separated from the influence of the German owners of the Italian brand, Audi AG, who are the owners of the original 4.0 Liter V8 engine.
Production models of the Urus were introduced to the market in 2017
The Lamborghini Urus is built on an MLB platform
The Lamborghini brand is so proud of its SUV creation that it refers to it as the first Super SUV in the world, a claim that could be contested by the other Auto brands. The latest version of Urus’s twin-turbo V8 delivers a solid 650 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, reaching a top speed of 305 km/h while clearing the 0-62 mph lap in just 3.6 seconds. 2020 Lamborghini Urus price starts at about ₦82 million.
That the much we can take on the Evolution of the Lamborghini brand, not forgetting the Lamborghini Veneno which has just 14 units produced between 2013 and 2014. You can always look at for hot news on Lamborghini 2020 latest models and you can be sure we will give up-to-date details of the Lamborghini price in Nigeria. You should also check out our latest article on the Evolution of transportation in Nigeria, and all you don’t want to miss about it!
We are sure you enjoyed this piece but before we go, why not check out interesting facts you hardly know about Lamborghini and others in the following video for more.