7 Lamborghinis You’ve Probably Not Seen or Heard Of
Updated May 21, 2018
Lamborghini develops concept cars to test new ideas and gather feedback. Here are 7 designs that didn’t reach production but influenced future models.
There have been a number of concept cars built on Lamborghini mechanicals that had no connection with the Lamborghini (the company). One prime example is the oddly unattractive Sogna or the French-built Pregunta that likewise had no participation by Lamborghini. This list contain only cars in which Lamborghini had direct involvement.
We also steered clear of concept cars from recent years so we could dig deep into the archives to present some truly unique designs.
1997 Lamborghini P147 Canto
The Lamborghini Canto was a prototype designed by the automotive styling firm Carrozzeria Zagato and built by Lamborghini to study potential designs for the Diablo‘s replacement. However the project was canned as it was deemed not suitable for the company’s image. Lamborghini engineers apparently had problems with cooling the 600 hp 6.0 L V12 engine, resulting in the large radiator pods sitting atop on the rear fenders. After the project was dropped development began on the Murciélago, which took the Diablo’s place in the line-up.
1980 Lamborghini Athon
The Lamborghini Athon is a concept car designed by Bertone for Lamborghini and was first displayed at the 1980 Turin Motor Show. Widely praised, the design was based on the Urraco chassis, which was being replaced by the Jalpa. It was a sleek topless roadster, with a finely detailed, futuristic interior – it looked for all the world as a prop from a science fiction movie. The Athon was powered by Lamborghini’s 3. 0 L, 260 hp V8 engine. Strictly a styling exercise there were never any production plans for the Athon.
1974 Lamborghini Bravo
The Lamborghini Bravo was both a concept car and a test mule. It was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone and constructed by Lamborghini, and first show at the 1974 Turin Auto Show. The Bravo was designed to showcase ideas for a replacement to the Urraco. The Bravo was a completely functional prototype powered by 3.0 L 300 hp Lamborghini V8 which underwent nearly 168,000 miles of testing. Despite its very finished-appearing exterior, the interior nothing more than what was barely necessary to operate the vehicle.
1989 Lamborghini P140
Know only by its code name P140 was a study conducted in 1989 to complete the Lamborghini product line with a more affordable model. The body was designed by Marcello Gandini of Gruppo Bertone. The engine was the new 370 hp 90 degree 3.9 L V10 engine. While so scale models had been shown to the Lamborghini sales force in 1989, no one outside the inner circle had seen the P140 until it was display at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours.
1995 Lamborghini Calà
Lamborghini Calà was a concept car designed for Lamborghini by Italdesign Giugiaro, first shown at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show. It was a completely functional prototype (based on the stillborn P140) that never made it into production. The Calà was powered by a mid-mounted V10 engine, which produced 400 hp, mated to a 6-speed transmission that drove the rear wheels, with an aluminum chassis and a hand-built carbon fiber body. Despite being Lamborghini’s most successful V8 model, the Jalpa was cancelled by then-owner Chrysler. In 1994 Chrysler sold Lamborghini to Megatech, and under Megatech work on the Calà began. However, when Megatech sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group in 1998, the concept was shelved (got all that?). There would be no Jalpa replacement until the Lamborghini Gallardo.
1967 Lamborghini Marzal
The Lamborghini Marzal is a concept car unveiled at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, it was created to supply Lamborghini with a true four-seater car for his lineup which already included the 400GT 2+2 and the Miura. It featured glass gullwing-doors and an amply louvered rear window. The engine was a Lamborghini V12 split in half to create a 2.0 L 175 hp in-line six cylinder engine, mated to a five speed transmission. Though the Marzal remained a one-off, the general shape and many of the ideas would later be used in the 1968 – 1978 Lamborghini Espada.
2000 Lamborghini Nouva Espada Concept
Little is known about the L149 concept from the late 1990s, beyond that it was the styled by Italdesign Giugiaro. Since 1978 when the original Espada went out of production, Lamborghini had been without a 2+2 Grand Tourer. Clearly the Nouva Espada 2000 design (as it was called) breaks with what had been recent Lamborghini tradition in that the engine (most likely a V12, though an Audi V8 was a possibility, either as a base engine or the only engine) was mounted in the front, driving the rear wheels. From the roofline and position of the rear seats it appears that two adults would fit comfortably, as was the case in the original Espada. Apparently the decision was made to focus resources on the Diablo instead and Project L149 was dropped.
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