Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Lamborghini Countach

(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Lamborghini Countach

The Countach single handedly saved Lamborghini and it was also an Italian supercar. It was first launched at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, with the last one rolling out of the factory in 1990. 
 
The Countach revolutionised the wedge-shaped lookl, adopted today by supercar manufacturers alike.
The name of this Super car meaning 'an exclamation of astonishment' is pronounced Koon-tash is from Piedmontese dialect, Italian. It received this name after Nuccio Bertone saw the prototype.
 
Even today this car still wins awards in 2004 the Countach was named the 3rd best sports car of 1970 and was 10th of the 1980's.

The car

It was Marcello Gandini the Bertone studio designer who was the inspiration behind the Countach. He was seen as a rookie designer with a wreckless approach, no guides or idealistics, this approach gave Gandini waht he needed to radicalize auty design. The Lambo was made very low, it stands only 42.1" high & very wide, yet quite short. This unique design gained the label they were looking for, a desirable Italian supercar.
 
This car revolutionised 'scissors doors' later becoming known as gullwing doors, this pushed the car into the fashion arena, and it became an icon, however this design came at a cost you couldn't park it anywhere with a low roof or too close to another car.
 
The aerodynamics weren't as effective as first thought, but it was styling and power they were pioneering for which it achieved with its fast and cool look.
 
The cars skin was very similar to the aluminium used on aircraft, this was then placed over a tubular space frame, this meant for a strong yet light build quite expensive and basically racing car technology. However the Countach weighed only 1500kg due to it. The underbody of the car was fibreglass.
The running gear and engine
 
The legendary Lamborghini Countach ran a V12 engine long ways mounted in a mid-engined configuration with 6 Weber carburettors, with the exception of the 5000QV which featured Bosch K Jetronic fuel injection. The engine was fitted backwards to improve weight distribution. It's gearbox was fitted in front of the V12 , and the front also housed the drive shaft.
 
Initially the car came with a 4 litre Miura engine however this was upgraded to 5 litre with the exception of the Quattrovalvole model this was given a 5.2 litre engine with 4 valves per cylinder.
The Diablo put an end to the carburettor for Lamborghini.

Countach Models

LP500 Prototype

The LP500 first appeared at 1971 Geneva Motor show in sunflower yellow, this prototype design wowed the audience and press alike.
 
The car actually was technological nightmare, it had the looks, but there was no practicality. The air ducts didn't cool the engine ,which meant additioanl scoops and an airbox had to be fitted. NACA air intakes were assisted in the overheating. The LP500 was a one off and manufactured from aluminium honeycomb sheeting, this was never used again. The car was used in a controlled crash test to aid of European crash approval, a real shame.
 

LP400

The next production car to follow was the 4 litre LP400 Countach it was delivered to its first owner in 1974. It had looks similar to the LP500 prototype, but looked more sinister.
 
The auto was fitted narrow tires, due toi that being the only tires available however this aided the car to reach high speed due to reduced friction. This particular model is seen as a fresh original car, simple, with smooth lines and no extras. The emblems on the back simply read "Lamborghini Countach". This was seen as the cleanest of all models.

LP400s

 
 
The next car to be launched was the LP400S in 1978. The engine was modded slightly and the car was treated to Pirelli P7's, wider fibreglass wheel arches.
 
The V-shaped spoiler became an optional extra, however was highly recommended for high-speed stability, however this lost the supercar 10 mph. Most owners obviously feared fro their life and ordered the wing. This car was far better than its predecessors with better handling and looks incorporating smooth lines. 1982 saw the the engine uprated to a 5.0 Litre. and then again in 1985 to a 5.2 and the car was renamed the 5000QV.
25th Anniversary
 
A limited edition Countach model was released in 1988 to commemorate the 25th year anniversary, the car a 5000QV with a new look. The rear 'air boxes' were increased in size and restyled, the vents were moved from front to back. A new air dam, side skirts incorporating air intakes, restyled narrower rear lights were added. The chnages to the original concept didn't go down well, but the car ran better and the V12 stayed cooler.The Anniversary Countach stayed in production till the 1990's when the Diablo was released.
The Walter Wolf
 
The Wolf Countach still remain the rarest of the three cars which were the only ones ever made. 1975, Walter Wolf, a rich Canadian businessman who owned Wolf F1 Racing team bought an LP400, however he wasn't not impressed, he asked Dallara, Lamborghini's chief engineer and founder of Scuderia Italia 1990, to design a more higher-powered model. Dallara took up the challenge, the car was coded NO 1120148" and dubbed the 'The Walter Wolf special', it ran a countach engine but generated 447 hp @ 7900 rpm and 315 km/h Top speed (Approx) it came with the original additions, as well as new wheels, wider bumpers and arches.
The car was red, and cmae with black fenders. The first Walter Wolf Countach now resides in Japan, the second model was in blue, NO 1120202 and lives in Germany, the final version was a dark blue model, NO 1121210 Wolf owned this car, but eventually sold it to a undisclosed buyer.

Production Figures

  • 2,042 Lamborghini Countach cars were built during the cars 16 years of production.
  • 1 LP500 Prototype
  • 157 LP400
  • 237 LP400S
  • 321 LP500S
  • 676 LP5000QV
  • 650 25th Limited edition Anniversary models

 

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Lamborghini Murciélago LP640

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Lamborghini Murciélago LP640

This amazing car gets its name from its engine position being placed longitudinale posteriore - and the 640 refers to the horse power of the model.
 
 
The whole car been has been focused on reworking the classic. The engine, gearbox, suspension exhaust system, electronics & brakes have all been reworked, as well as the Murcielago interior being treated to a facelift even the exterior design has been treated to some improvements. All in all LP640 is the most extreme and quickest supercar in its class.
 
The Lamborghini appears even more aggressive than its predecessor it is equipped with new front and back bumpers, it has even more styling added to including new integrated lights and exhaust pipes moulded into the bumper. It has air intakes which is limited wheras the left one is left side with a vast space for cooling the oil radiator.
The engine
 
The new powerlump has 12 cylinders and a V60/6496 cc engine. The new LP640 has been given a completely re-worked engine and modified heavily. It has a far larger bore and longer stroke, inturn increasing the displacement far greater than the 60¡ V-engine from 6.2 litres to 6.5 litres.
 
The original Murcielago engine was capable of producing 580 hp, but now the technicians at Lamborghini have managed to get 640 hp (471 kW) at 8,000 min-1 out of the engine, hence the name.

Performance specs 

0 to 62mph in 3.4 seconds 
Top speed 200mph.
 
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Lamborghini timeline

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Lamborghini History from the Miura to the Revento, Aventador and Centenario

 

1960 : A tractor manufacturer in the early 1960's, Ferruccio Lamborghini with an interest in great sports cars, decided to start developing a range 
 
super cars. The love came from his past Osca's, Maserati's and Ferrari's, however these cars never completely satisfied him.
 
As the story goes there are various versions of what drove Ferrucio to launch his own super car company, The most accurate reason is due to a conflict 
 
between Enzo Ferrari & Ferruccio Lamborgini, driving the Italian tractor manufacturer to set up his own company to compete directly with his Enzo, this originates from Lamborghini's son:-
 
'Ferruccio Lamborghini went to discuss some problems regarding his 250 GT.
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Ferrari Enzo

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

The ultimate supercar, developed and manufactured in celebration of Ferrari Formula 1's achievement and in memory of the founder of the Italian Supercar manufacturer. This car is everything an Italian supercar should be, outstanding looks and styling, powerful engine and the image to carry it off - The ultimate modern day marque a real reflection of Enzo's passion for performance and great sports cars.

 
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Ferrari Maranello 575M

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

When Ferrari first released the 575M Maranello it hailed a new level of engineering achievement and their extremely successful V12 front-engined Berlinetta Sports concept.

This car was considered to be one of the most popular supercars ever produced. Like all Ferrari cars, and this is no exception it is based round its engine, a '575' this is an abbreviation of the cars displacement, increased to 5,750 cc. The 'M' Maranello is not only a direct predecessor of the 550 , the 'M' also stands for 'modificata', thus symbolising the car has been tweaked throughout, this truly demonstrated with the addition of the Ferrari F1 gearchange in a road-going V12 as a first.
 
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Ferrari history, Italy - Modena

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Enzo Ferrari was born near Modena Italy in 1898 on February 18th. Since being 10 years old he'd been inspired by cars and racing, and seeing his 1st car race in Bologna, Italy, watching avidly, this race gave the young Italian car enthusiast an idea. After viewing more car races, Enzo declared he wanted to drive racing cars.

While being employed by a car maker converting surplus war vehicles, It was decided it was the right time to start racing.
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Bugatti history

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Bugatti History

The history of the famous Italian Supercars

One of Italy's most famed car manufacturers, around since the dawn of Ferrari & Lamborghini.
 
 
Ettore Bugatti, the Italian Supercar manufacturer, was born in Italy in 1881. The car legacy that bears his name 'Bugatti' was founded in the Alsace region in a place called Molsheim, which was then a part of Germany (but was restored to France in 1919). The company, now owned by Volkswagen,was best known for it's advanced engineering knowlegde and the production of premium road cars. A successful Grand Prix racing history came through winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. Successful drivers included Jean-Pierre Wimille, who won the Le Mans twice (in 1937 Robert Benoist and 1939 Pierre Veyron).
 
Bugatti cars are seen as works of art as well as mechanical creations, with all models featuring hand turned finishing on the engine blocks. Also, in an aid to make the cars better for racing, lightening holes were added in every location possible.
 
Ettore regarded his arch competitor as Bentley, he referred to these as "the world's fastest trucks" as they focussed on durability. He always believed and spoke that ' weight was the enemy'. Bugatti really didn't care too much for his customers though, and complaints regarding his Supercars were ignored. He is remembered as saying his devotion was to his creations, not to his customers...
 
For example, in one meeting with an unhappy customer returning to the factory he responded with:-
 
"What, you again?", after the customer had spoke he would complete the conversation with
"Well, see that it does not happen again!".
 
Ettore was renowned throughout automotive history as The Cubist. Many of Bugatti's engine designs were small in size but extremely powerful, adopting three valves per cylinder, sometimes utilising superchargers to gain additional power. The Double overhead cam shaft design from US race cars from Miller, was used as a fundemental design attribute and applied to all future cars.
In 1991 one of the most well known cars was born - The Bugatti EB110 Supercar.
 
Then 1998 brought possibly one the most technologically advanced cars ever - The Bugatti Veyron, under the design of VW. The car cost a record £50,000,000 to make, and in true artistic fashion, was made purely to see if it could be done. The car is completely astounding, as it dons a 16 Cyclinder engine with quad turbos capable of pulling 0-60 in around 2.5 seconds and a Top Speed of 254 MPH! Wow! It is available now as the Pur Sang, a Carbon Fibre and aluminium constructed model, available as a limited edition of only 25 models.
 
According to Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear who drove the Veyron from Italy to London, "We may never see a car as technologically advanced in our lifetime, than this car".
First recorded crash of the Bugatti Veyron in the UK
 
The most expensive car crash in the world involved the infamous Bugatti Veyron, an £830,000 Supercar. This was one of the twelve dozen living in the UK — the collison happened in driving rain.
 
The insurance assessors are painstakingly working out if the VW owned car was repairable - one dreads to think of the worlds most costly & exclusive write-off in history.
 
A local police source explained that the Veyron supercar (capable of a staggering 253mph) driven by a young driver was travelling at approx 100mph in a 40mph area of B375 close to Chertsey in the county of Surrey.
 
The Supercar careered out of control and spun 3 times, collided with an Astra which had aboard a seven-month pregnant female, then continued its slide and finished up in trees on top of a 3ft high bank. The pregant lady is fine.
 
However the driver has been charged with driving without due care and attention.
 
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Barabus TKR

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Barabus TKR

 
Fastest car in the world, maybe in 2006
 
Where it all began
 
The TKR is fully engineered, developed, certified and even marketed by Barabus Sportscars Limited, they successfully created a 1005 BHP SuperCar which runs 0-60 in unheard of times. The idea was merge lightning acceleration like a Formula 1 car with raw power with the added extra of the everyday drivability, luxury & in a road car.
 
The TKR has been researched and engineered by the world’s most talented engineers, combine that with the use of cutting edge technologies and race tuned parts, and you have a serious piece of kit. It looks a cross between a Koenigsegg CCX and a Saleen S7. The supercar itself is driven by an all aluminum V8 engine, rebuilt with racing components and re-tuned, basically re-engineered by Barabus, and then modded with twin turbo's and twin intercoolers to keep her cool.
 
This type of development and race engineering is capable of creaing 1005BHP at 6800 rpm.
Barabus claim the TKR will travel 270 miles per hour and reach 0-60 mph time of 1.67s and hit the redline @ 7500 rpm.
 
When you look at this car one thing screams out at you, that of Italian Supercar, however there is one difference such as Ascari and thats, that the V8 engine is British engineered and TKR supercar itself is to be built in Colonella, Italy, therefore demonstrating a "best-in-practice" philosophy, using worldwide parts and expertise. 
 
The auto needs some pretty impressive stopping power, this is solved by the addition ceramic brakes.
 
As for getting your hands on this motor, well the car is available globally through a pre selected range of Barabus certified dealers specialists in exotics & supercars. It is thought that 300-400 models will be made and sold over a 3 year period, at a price of around 660,000 USD or £360,000. Can this challenge the Bugatti Veyron.
 
The official Barabus website quotes 'The TKR is designed to compete with the world's fastest, quickest, best handling, most luxurious grand touring cars in the world'.
 
Lets see how it fairs.
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Ascari history

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Ascari history

 
The name Ascari links back to its racing routes, inspired by Alberto Ascari (1918 - 1955) its founder, one of the Three Musketeers and the first to win a Formula 1 World championship, twice.
A supercar in the making
 
Alberto was born on the outskirts of Milan, Italy. Like Enzo Ferrari he had racing in his veins, Antonio his father was a talented and well known Grand Prix racing driver famed through his races in the 1920's driving various Alfa Romeo cars.
 
The Ascari supercar heritage heads to Dorset in England. In1995, a racing team started to develop a limited edition super car, the Ecosse this was then launched in 1998.
 
two years later in the year 2000 Ascari built their first facility in Banbury, the reason behind this was to create a place where development could start on the 2nd Ascari car, the KZ1, and also to give their racing Team, aptly name The Ascari team a base to work from. This brought road-and-race side of the Ascari group together for the first time in one place. The Banbury development centre, demonstrates the Italian car founders history and accomplishments and outlines their racing philosophy,. the factory itsself demonstrates modern production techniques. The new centre still seemed to lack the energy needed to push it further, later in 2000 the first Ascari world Race Resort was founded.
Ascari Race Resort
 
A new concept in racing and seeing where it all began, the resort is located in a beautiful area in Southern Spain a relaxed, yet exhilerating experience redefining the term 'race and relax'. The chance to live an Italian racing car drivers life, the Ascari race resort combines luxury and adrenalin with a modern race circuit.
A10
 
Watch out for our review on the Ascari A10 as test driven by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. The car that now holds the record by the stig on the BBc programs test track.
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