“These are busy times at Lamborghini” is how we opened this Dec. 14, 1987 Autoweek feature, but we could just as easily say the same thing today. Lamborghini just unveiled its 641-hp Urus
grocery getter super-SUV, and it’s expected to double the Italian automaker’s annual sales volume.
Thirty years ago, Lamborghini had its hands full for different reasons. The company, then owned by Chrysler, was working on a successor to the Countach. But how do you follow up the Countach? It’s hard to be more ridiculous than the king of ridiculous, V12-powered exotics.
This Super-Countach, as it was dubbed, was a pretty good start. This was not the earlier LP500 Quattrovalvole, sometimes called the “super Countach.” Instead, it was a development test bed for Lamborghini’s new V12-powered wedge — a supercar ready to take on the ’90s with “a brand-new, ultra-exotic design.” It was the precursor to the Diablo, and we put it through its paces three years before the real thing went into production.
Styling aside, much of what we saw here carried over to the production car. The 5.7-liter V12, for example (punched up to 6.0 liters later in the production run). Or the option of an all-wheel-drive system, which head to production on 1993’s Diablo VT. Other things, like the lack of speedometer — totally rad — did not.
We always try to give you more here at Autoweek, which is why we tacked on an extra feature about a Lamborghini LM002 (yeah, the Rambo Lambo) that a Saudi prince decided wasn’t quite over-the-top enough. So he had it custom-bodied by Italian coachbuilder Diomante to include all of the features of a private jet. Which sort of made sense, because the prince was the director of an airport.
Read it all below.
Autoweek December 14, 1987 — We test the Super-Countach, Lamborghini’s Diablo test mule