The original Lamborghini Countach was a shocking, industry-altering car that became a legend, singlehandedly sustained Lamborghini for more than a decade, and remains an icon today. The new Countach LPI 800-4 is none of those things, and people seem to be getting mad. I don’t get why.
Here is a clear and succinct explanation of why the new Countach can never be the old Countach, from top-tier old car snob Phil Toledano’s Instagram:
When Lamborghini debuted the original in 1974, the gandini design was total and utter genius -the lp 400 looked like nothing else on the road and spawned a 1000 equally glorious concept cars that sadly never made it to reality-but what that original countach did was deliver the FUTURE in 1974😍.
the NEW version looks like they took a normal lambo to the gas station and someone bought a bunch of those fake stick on chrome vents and air intakes 😂🤪 I get that we’re having a moment of restomod nostalgia but really, this is no way to honor the original -it’s peak snoromotive!
Again, this is all true! Phil is saying nothing wrong here. The original Countach looked like nothing else on the road. The new Countach looks like a Countach. And that’s the most charitable way of saying it. Less charitably you could say that the new Countach looks like a somewhat cheap fan rendering made real.
In a similar vein to Phil is Matt Farah’s article on Road and Track. Both of these guys are vintage supercar owners. Phil is working on replacing his collection of Group B homologation specials with ‘90s icons like the Ford Escort Cosworth and the Jaguar XJ220, Farah has an actual 1988 Countach himself. Farah argues that while the new Countach will run you between $2.5 and $3 million, getting Lamborghini a couple hundred mill for a car that shares its hybrid drive with the Lamborghini Sian and shares its whole chassis with the decade-old Aventador. It’s a “cynical cash grab,” as Farah puts it, which doesn’t offer great value to the buyer:
I knew about this new Countach more than six weeks ago. Lamborghini called its most loyal collectors first, wisely, before showing the car, and one of those collectors called me. But with a sticker price between six and seven times that of the Aventador on which it’s based—not to mention, six to seven times the cost of a great Countach in today’s market—I simply don’t see the value, from a design, historical, or performance standpoint.
Lamborghini is attempting to squeeze every drop of value out of the Countach name, 30 years after the last one was built.
The news flash here is that Lamborghini’s whole job is to “squeeze every drop of value” out of all of its models. That’s its business model! It is not a charity. Hell, it’s even consistent with Lamborghini’s history. Squeeze every drop of value out of a model is what it did with the original Countach, which was an angular wedge long after other car companies switched to curvaceous designs. Dodge had already shown the original Viper concept before the boxy, pointy Countach was out of production.
Now, I have no objection to any knocks against the new Countach’s looks. It’s lazy as hell. It doesn’t forward car design, even Lamborghini design, one bit. It brings nothing new to the table.
Moreover, to be mad that the new Countach isn’t as daring as the old Countach is just barking up the wrong tree. Any car that is really groundbreaking won’t even share its name with a classic of the past. Something new is going to be named something new.
And indeed, Lamborghini already makes cars that look like nothing else on the road that don’t share a name with anything out there. The Sian is coming for anyone who wants this same basic car, but wrapped in an all-new skin.
So the Countach isn’t hurting anybody, it’s as true to Lamborghini’s identity as anything else, and it puts more hybrid supercars on the road. I don’t see the problem here.