Lamborghini. The name alone evokes visions of exotic locales, luxury, automotive excess and an engine note that is like no other. Over the years, the brand evolved from a small volume offshoot of an Italian tractor manufacturer to a corporate subsidiary of Audi AG. Nevertheless, in the nearly fifty years since the foundation of the Lamborghini marque, there have been many models that define the term “supercar.” Below is a rundown of the top five Lamborghini models over the years.
5. Lamborghini Murciélago
The first car to be designed comletely under the corporate control of AUDI AG, the Murciélago was first released in 2001 and was the flagship of the lineup. Retaining the classic wedge shape and mid-engined V12 mainstays for which Lamborghini has become renowned, early examples with a 6.2L engine produced 572hp and completed the 0-60 run in 3.8s, while later models with 6.5L of displacement improved that to an estimated 3.2s. In all, approximately 4000 Murciélago have been produced.
4. Lamborghini Diablo
With an exterior design by Marcello Gandini and a 5.7L variant of the Lamborghini V12 providing motivation, the 492 hp Diablo was capable of completing the 0-60 sprint in just under 4 seconds, and is notably the first Lamborghini capable of besting the 200 mph mark driven flat-out. As of its release in 1991, it held the title of the world’s fastest production car, and during its eleven year production run, slightly over 2000 units were produced.
3. Lamborghini Espada
When compared to the other entrants on this list, the Espada may appear to be something of an anomoly. It featured a front engine, four-seat layout compared to the mid-engined two seaters that dominate the elite ranks of Lamborghini supercar-dom. However, the success of the Espada speaks for itself : over 1200 examples were produced, with the signature V12 producing 350 hp. The model was exponentially more successful than earlier offerings from Lamborghini and helped establish the brand as a main player in the elite grand touring arena at its debut in 1968.
2. Lamborghini Countach
Perhaps the first Lamborghini to be well-recognized in popular culture rather than by gearheads alone, the Countach served as an antidote to the “malaise era” that dominated car manufacturing during its production run from 1974 to 1990. Early models achieved 0-60 in just under 6 seconds by use of a 4.0L V12 , with later editions improving to just over 5 seconds for the same benchmark with displacement increasing up to 5.2L. Despite performance numbers that look unimpressive by modern standards, the iconic Gandini design was combined with performance that set supercar benchmarks for its era, resulting in a production run comparable to that of the Diablo. As a total package, the Countach has entered the realm of legend.
1. Lamborghini Miura
The Miura technically ranks as the slowest of the Lamborghini supercars. Considering the automotive landscape at its debut in 1965, the 2 seat, mid-engine design and the performance delivered by its 3.9L V12 was nothing short of revolutionary. The Gandini-designed exterior was no less a sensation than the underlying performance specifications. Fewer than 750 Miura were produced over its 6 year production run, with only 150 of the highest-performing 380hp Miura SV being included in this number.
It was clearly the Miura that established Lamborghini as a leader among the ranks of the elite supercar manufacturers. With the world thus on notice, the legendary evolution of the marque was well underway. The iconic designs and world-beating performances that followed continue to this day, with the enthusiasts the world over eagerly awaiting the debut of the next flagship in the Lamborghini line.