At face value, the 2022 Countach LPI 800-4 is an 803-hp 50th anniversary tribute Cyan FKP37 (itself a revamped and hybridized Aventador) to the world’s most definitive supercar. Lambo is building 112 of them, as the internal code name for the original concept Countach project was LP112. Logical, no? So what’s the controversy?
There is no room for argument when it comes to Lamborghini Countach. Simply put, the new car isn’t bonkers at all.
“Countach” means something akin to astonishment, only dirty. Almost every other Lamborghini is named after a bull or the man who killed a bull. not here. I’m going to say something controversial: the original Countach, neither the LP500 concept nor the much-anticipated LP 400 Periscope, isn’t even a Countach. Countach didn’t become NS The Countach until the LP400S was displayed in 1978, seven years after Gandini’s original Bertone design sat on the 1971 Lamborghini Geneva show stan
The LP400 S had flared fenders, phone-dial wheels, thick Pirelli tires and most importantly, that amazing wing. Don’t take my word for it; An incredible Series III (82 built) Verde Metallicato-colored 1981 LP400s won the special Countach class at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Talk about sure.
This new Countach is, sadly, not the car (the one you see above). Much pasty as an homage, the LPI 800-4 draws from several Countach iterations, although the bigger influence seems to be the unfortunate prototype, the LP500. The brightest detail is the shark-gill vents that sit atop the large faux-naca ducts on the sides of the body. Not a single production car ever had those gills – just the prototype, which was later destroyed in crash testing. Seems like an odd feature to single out, no?
The effect is that from behind the B-pillar, the design references another V-12 Lamborghini, the more recent Murciélago, with the popups in the bottom position. It also has a bit of Diablo mixed in. If the posterior intakes of the gills had been raised in rectangles, at least the posterior half would have read countaches.
I could go on attacking the big triangles that are clearly not NACA tubules. They lift the entire door and take all the stress off the side profile. These huge negative spaces look like part of the door has been cut, almost like a wound. Why are they so massive? Because the design team was constrained by Aventador Mechanical. The mighty 6.5-liter V-12 needs fresh air. The back of the triangle—which, of course, is the same size as every Aventador side scoop—is proof.
Speaking of obstacles, the taillights are raised just above the cyan. This bothers me for two reasons. One, the OG Countach probably has the most distinctive taillights ever. And second, how many lakhs is Lambo charging for this new one? Turn off the lights, man. I could continue picking up nits this way, but it’s not the central problem.
The LP500 prototype that Lamborghini design head Mitja Borkert decided to emulate isn’t the Countach that an entire generation of car-crazy teens have been hanging on their walls. It didn’t even have a NACA duct. I had a short discussion with Borkert about the new Countach on Pebble Beach. I posted a smaller version of these ideas on Instagram, and when I walked into the Lamborghini house, Borkert raised his fist at me. Playfully, I hope. He first explained to me how he, unlike most Countach fans, grew up in East Germany. Not only did he not have one of those posters on his bedroom wall, but he also never saw as much of a Countach as it did then. I don’t mean to pick Borkert; He is a prolific designer responsible for the drop-dead gorgeous Porsche Mission E concept car. But he missed the mark here.
There is an undeniable irony that the man tasked with reimagining the literal poster child for Reagan-era excesses grew up under communism. During Gordon Gecko’s cocked-out days, the word “countache” was essentially a synonym for never having too much. there is a reason why The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio fought drug-fueled wrestling with the Countach and not with any other car. Remember, Countach, is the expression itself, when some people, seeing a beautiful woman, clearly shouted in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Were you to blindfold someone in front of the new Countach, there are many words they might say, but “Countach” isn’t one of them. Now, the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider? Holy Countach!