The Lamborghini Legacy: From Inception to Huracán
Lamborghini – a supercar brand that needs little introduction. With over 50 years of outstanding design and performance, it’s hard to think of a time when this luxury car wasn’t considered the epitome of automotive excellence. But how did it begin, and why is it such an icon? We took a closer look at the history behind our favourite supercar, and the inspiration for two of our favourite scale models.
Ferruccio Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Name
Born to viticulturist parents in Italy, 1916, Ferruccio showed significant mechanical skill and a knack for automobile engineering at an early age. His expertise was developed during his early days of fixing broken engines during the First World War, and he put it to good use post-war by opening his own motorcycle and repair shop in his hometown near Modena.
He expanded his business into tractor manufacturing to meet Italy’s demand, and by 1960 he introduced heating and air conditioning into his business scope. With a continual growth in wealth, and a significant amount of expertise in all things mechanical, it was only a matter of time before Ferruccio’s passion for automobiles would bear legendary fruit.
The Lamborghini Countach packed more Italian punch than Rocky Balboa
Ferrari’s Folly: The Rivalry that Created a Legend
There are a couple of well-regarded stories behind Ferruccio Lamborghini’s step into the high-end automobile business. The first involves a supposed argument between Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio over who could build the best car. While a rivalry has certainly developed over the years, another origin story paints a more realistic picture.
The legend goes that Ferruccio had mounting frustrations over the reliability and performance of his Ferrari. Ferruccio took these frustrations to Ferrari, but was subsequently snubbed by Enzo and sent on his way. As a result of this poor behaviour, and his desire to build his own great sports car, the Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A was born.
350 GTV Prototype: The First Lamborghini
After launching his new automotive venture in April 1963, Ferruccio made a commitment to delivering a concept car in time for the Turin Auto Show in November of the same year. Within only seven months, Ferruccio built a factory, employed engineers, mechanics and designers, researched and developed engineering concepts and designs, and built the final car. The first Lamborghini had arrived, with the 350 GTV prototype proving a dignified success at the Turin Auto Show.
Despite being compared to the Batmobile and being labelled as “over designed” by critics, it was widely recognised as not only a superb debut, but an excellent car overall. Its 360 HP V12 engine, designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, garnered wide attention, and would prove influential in Lamborghini’s future.
Game Changer: The Birth of the Countach
After only eight years in charge, mounting pressures, including a failed tractor deal, caused Ferruccio to sell a 51 per cent stake in the company to Georges-Henri Rossetti, a Swiss customer and businessman. A year later, Ferruccio sold his remaining stake to a close friend, René Leimer, removing himself completely from the empire he had so swiftly built.
With its namesake no longer on board, the company could very well have slipped into obscurity. However, with the guidance of its new owners, Lamborghini produced a car that would fast become the envy of every car-obsessed boy and man the world over. With a futuristic and overtly masculine design, scissor doors, 375 HP V12, and a top speed of 192 MPH (309 KM/H), the Lamborghini Countach packed more Italian punch than Rocky Balboa.
21st Century Reinvention: Murciélago to Gallardo
Lamborghini saw out the remaining years of the 20th century with a mix of success and failure, regularly releasing new and modified models including the 1974 Bravo, 1980 Athon, and 1990 Diablo. But it was the 2001 introduction of the Murciélago that paved the way for its most successful model ever.
With an angular, low-slung design and a 6.2 litre V12 572HP engine, the first generation Murciélago could hit 100KM/H in 3.8 seconds. Its production ran from 2001 through 2010, but in 2003 Lamborghini released a new model that would launch its sales into the stratosphere – the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Smaller than the Murciélago, the Gallardo boasts a 5.0 litre V10 520 HP engine, all-wheel-drive, a 0-100KM/H time of four seconds and a top speed of 309KM/H. But the real benefit of the Gallardo was its relative affordability, giving it worldwide accessibility. To put it in perspective – Lamborghini had produced approximately 30,000 cars by the time they ended the Gallardo’s production. Of those 30,000, the Gallardo made up 14,022, well and truly cementing it as Lamborghini’s greatest triumph.
Next Generation: Lamborghini Huracán Takes Centre Stage
Debuting at the Geneva Auto Show in 2014, the Huracán replaced the Gallardo as the best selling, and most widely produced Lamborghini in history. Although Huracán is Spanish for Hurricane, the car drew its name from a famed Spanish fighting bull, as is the legacy of other Lamborghinis.
The Huracán’s top speed is over 325 KM/H, and it can accelerate from 0 to 100 KM/H in 3.2 seconds and from 0 to 200 KM/H in 9.9 seconds. It has a mid-engine layout to maintain its weight distribution and improve performance, and the V10 engine uses a combined direct and multi-point fuel injection system.
With an increasingly competitive marketplace of supercars including the Ferrari 458, McLaren’s 12C, and the Audi R8, the Huracán more than holds its own. While time will tell if it reaches the dizzying heights of the Gallardo, Lamborghini has once again delivered a master class of design, technology, and performance.
The Lamborghini story is a long and illustrious one, and we have given you just a taste of the incredible new Huracán. All our scale model subscriptions come with an in-depth monthly magazine, so get your hands on our exclusive 1:10 scale replica of the Lamborghini Huracán and immerse yourself in the Lamborghini legend: http://www.model-space.com/gb/build-the-lamborghini-huracan.html
And if you’re looking for a slightly more classic model, you can also pick up our 1:8 scale replica of the Lamborghini Countach LP 500S here: http://www.model-space.com/gb/build-the-lamborghini-countach.html