Top Ten Lamborghini Design Elements

Below are my personal top ten favourite design elements found on Lamborghinis. The design of any Lamborghini is one of its major features and is counted as one of the major ingredients of what Lamborghini refers to as its DNA. There are small items, large shapes and everything in-between, and hopefully something to make you nod in recognition (or shake your head in disbelief). Please comment if you observe any obvious omissions.

10. Reventón Rear Fender

The Reventón has become part of modern day supercar folklore, with its angular, jet fighter inspired body and very limited production number. It took me a while to appreciate this car, and only recently I saw a fabulous photo of the Reventón where the rear fender was very prominent. Never before had I seen how well the fender was shaped, the angled planes corresponding just right. And voilà, there it was.

9. Aventador Roadster Engine Cover

I first got to spend quality time with the Aventador Roadster at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, where an Ad Personam customized specimen was on display inside the Lamborghini lounge. Standing directly behind it, the engine cover fell into view, showing off its hexagonally shaped glass louvres and its angled main structure.

8. Flying Star II / Islero “Shoulder” Plane

Another one that took years to find its way into appreciation. The slanting planes running the entire length of the Flying Star II prototype and the Islero, giving them “shoulders” of sorts, have in recent years spoken to me as an expression of lean and politely restrained power. It’s a continuous reminder of Ferruccio’s original desire; to build the perfect GT car, potent, yet elegant.

7. Sesto Elemento Exhaust And Wing

I was sold on this one at first glance — the ingenuity of the design! The massive exhaust pipes emerge directly beneath the wing, helping shape the wing’s arms. In fact, the entire rear section of the Sesto Elemento would have been right at home on this list.

6. Countach Rear Panel

Unmistakably Countach, the rear panel incorporates the uniquely shaped rear lights and the rectangle in-between. It underwent a few revisions from the 1971 prototype to the last Countach to leave the line in 1990, but the contour remained virtually unaltered. Here it is in a 1981 Countach LP400 S brochure.

5. Miura Headlights

You don’t have to spend much time admiring a Miura to recognize the female shapes translated into curvaceous metal. One of its most obvious assets are the headlights and their “eyelash” surroundings. Black, full lashes accentuate those innocent eyes, adding to the enigma that is the Miura.

4. Countach Rear-Wheel Arch

Bertone had a weakness for irregularly shaped rear wheel arches, and no-one did it better than Marcello Gandini, the man behind many of Lamborghini’s creations. The rear wheel arch of the Countach is nothing short of spectacular – its importance for the look of the entire car can not be exaggerated.

3. Countach Doors

From the rear wheel arch, I move one metre forward, reaching the door. Here, Gandini drew inspiration from the Alfa Romeo Carabo, which he had designed a few years prior, and its upwards opening “scissor” doors. This unorthodox door opening concept allowed for out-of-the-box thinking when shaping the doors, an opportunity Gandini seized, as he further nurtured the idea from the Carabo. The sensation of seeing a Countach door being raised is a mighty one.

2. Miura Side Window And Air Intake

The task of creating a body for Lamborghini’s innovative new chassis, with its mid-mounted, transversally mounted engine, just so happened to end up at Gandini’s drawing board. Mid-engined cars all face the same challenge; with the engine placed behind the cabin, keeping it cool requires more work than on a front-engined car. Air intakes can make or break the lines of a car, but what Gandini did on the Miura was a stroke of pure genius. The side window curves up (female shapes, remember?), being in itself a thing of beauty. Along the upwards curve, the air intake emerges from behind, ending in louvres worthy of the Louvre itself. The bottom louvre doubles as door handle – form meets function has seldom been more true.

1. Countach LP500 / Bravo Hips

The Countach is often seen as the epitome of the “razor edge” design that ruled the world of car design throughout the 1970’s. Although it was the perfect successor of the Miura, it conveyed a very different visual expression, apparently substituting the curves with space-age angles. However, Bertone’s press photos of the first Countach prototype reveal the organic side of the multifaceted Countach. Especially one viewpoint leaves me wanting for words. Crouched down behind one of the rear lights, the hips of the Countach would become apparent, and what a curve! Sadly, the Countach prototype was sacrificed in a crash test, but the Bravo prototype lives on to show its almost identical curves. Thus, Gandini secures the top six entries in this list, and rightfully so.

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