The New Lamborghini Countach Is a Cynical Cash Grab – RoadandTrack.com

By now, if you’re remotely interested in cars, you’ve seen it: Lamborghini’s 2022 Countach, released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original, legendary supercar. And you’ve probably seen the specs: 769 horsepower from the company’s familiar 6.5-liter V-12 engine, paired with all-wheel drive and a small, 33-hp, capacitor-fed electric motor for some torque-filling duties. Sound familiar? The powertrain is the same as we saw in the limited-production Sian last year. Lamborghini is going to make 112 of these cars at a retail price of somewhere between $2.5 million and $3 million each, depending on your particular spec.

Did you stop to do the math? A hundred and twelve cars at a conservative $2.5 million each is $280 million. For a limited-edition, coach-built car whose principal engineering goes back to the Aventador, which debuted a decade ago.

Now, I don’t know what it’s like to have three million bucks to blow on a car. If you pay taxes, you have to earn six million to spend three. But because of how the systems have been intentionally shaped to funnel money upwards over the last 30 years, the people who buy these cars basically do not pay taxes, and have all kinds of money to blow on stupid stuff. Hence, the new normal of seven-figure, limited production cars for the 0.0001 percent, who just buy every single one no matter what it is. This formula is working for almost every high-end automaker right now, proving that it’s far, far easier to sell a couple dozen cars at seven figures than it is to sell a few thousand cars at six figures. The average Bugatti customer, as is widely reported, owns over 80 cars. When it comes to “which hypercar should I buy,” internet jockeys may debate the answer incessantly, but at the atelier, the answer is simply “yes, all of them.”

I’ve spent the last paragraph describing people I know. Here’s me: Three years ago, I scraped together every single penny I could and bought a 1988 Lamborghini Countach, just like the one on the poster on my wall. It is everything I ever hoped it could be and more: Overwhelmingly reliable by vintage Italian standards, fast, and comfortable. It is reasonably usable, it costs less than you’d expect to maintain, and wherever I go with it, I win. I’ve parked next to McLaren Sennas, Ferrari LaFerraris, and all sorts of Paganis—nothing stops folks dead in their tracks like a Countach. Even though my car is 33 years old, every time I drive it, someone tells me it’s their first time seeing one in person. The car lives up to its name, which, depending on who you ask, is an Italian exclamation that translates to something between “wow” and “fuuuuuuck.” I think I count as a qualified judge of Lambo’s attempt to revive this legendary model.

Despite the fact that my personal Countach is a later 5000QV model, with fender flares and a big wing, in my opinion, Lamborghini’s best work has always come in the form of clean-sheet supercars. The first Miura, the 1971 Countach concept, the 1991 Diablo, 2002 Murcielago, 2004 Gallardo, 2011 Aventador, and 2014 Huracan—all of these, in their “base” forms, were clean, sexy, aggressive machines that moved the Lamborghini design ethos forward while never giving up what it means to be a Lamborghini sports car. Each was a completely new product, not based on any previous architecture.

Conversely, Lamborghini’s biggest design failures have been attempts to turn one model into another. Evolutions of the Murcielago and Aventador may have improved performance, dynamics, and lap times, but they didn’t make the cars any prettier. Same goes for the original Countach—an Anniversary car isn’t nearly as pretty as my QV, which isn’t nearly as pretty as a 1974 Periscopo. Auction prices back me up.

And now we have this new Countach, where Lamborghini attempted to graft its classic supercar’s styling cues onto an Aventador—while apparently leaving all the window glass unchanged. Honestly, who are they kidding? This is no clean-sheet design; you can tell right away what they’ve done. The proportions aren’t right. The “NACA ducts” on the doors look tacked-on. There are “elements” of Countach, just like the Urus has “elements” of LM002 design (like the black triangles behind the front wheels). But an Urus looks nothing like an LM002, and this isn’t a Countach.

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. It’s almost certain that all 112 examples of the “new” Countach have already been sold out. Which means there’s never been a better time than right now to go out and buy an original Countach—a car that, for a fraction of the price, is guaranteed to turn every head. Because it’s not a throwback; it’s the original, and an example of Lamborghini at its trailblazing best.

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