Three versions were available – the entry-level P200 with a 180bhp 2.0-litre V8, P250 powered by a 217bhp 2.5-litre V8 and the range-topping 3.0-litre V8 P300 kicking out 247bhp. Top speeds ranged from 134mph to 162mph. From 1972 until 1979, 791 examples rolled off the production line
With the 1973 oil crisis taking a sledgehammer to sales of high performance cars, Lamborghini hit hard times and Ferruccio sold 51 per cent of his company to long-time friend and Swiss businessman Georges-Henri Rossetti for $600,000.
A year later Ferruccio Lamborghini sold his remaining 49 per cent stake in Lamborghini Automobili to Rene Leimer, a friend of Georges-Henri Rossetti. Having severed all connections with the cars and tractors that bore his name, Lamborghini retired to an estate in the province of Perugia in central Italy, where he would remain until his death.
In 1974 the Italian car manufacturer unleashed the eye-popping Lamborghini Countach. Yet another Marcello Gandini design, the Countach was initially powered by the traditional 3929cc Lamborghini engine kicking out 370bhp, which remained until 1982 when the Countach LP500S was launched. Equipped with a 4.8-litre V12 providing the fireworks, yet with the same power output of 370bhp, torque was up to 308lb ft at 4500rpm.
Three years later, the engine was improved again – bored and stroked to 5.2 litres and given four valves per cylinder (quattrovalvole in Italian), this edition badged 5000QV. Power was now up to 449bhp with 0-62mph taken care of in 4.9sec and onto a top speed of 183mph. A 25th anniversary Countach was launched in 1988 named to celebrate the company’s 25th birthday. Mechanically, it was very similar to the 5000QV but sported much-changed styling.
Carrying on where the Urraco left off, the Lamborghini Jalpa was launched in 1981. Being much less expensive than the Countach and still designed by Bertone, the Jalpa was powered by a 3.5-litre V8 pumping out 255bhp at 7000rpm and covering the 0-60mph dash in 6.0sec. In 1988, after falling sales, new owners Chrysler pulled the plug on Jalpa production.
In 1986, Lamborghini took a punt – launching their first four-wheel-drive vehicle – the hefty LM002 SUV. Dubbed the “Rambo Lambo”, its aggressive styling and powerful engine made it a success for the Italian car maker. Equipped with a 290-litre fuel tank and a 5.2-litre V12 from the Countach, production ceased in 1993 with 328 examples made.
In January 1990, the Diablo was launched. Once again penned by Marcello Gandini, the Diablo was powered by a mid-mounted 5.7-litre 48-valve V12 producing 492bhp, accelerating the car from 0-62mph in 4.5sec and not letting up until 202mph.
The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993, with the addition of four-wheel drive. The special-edition Diablo SE30 followed in 1994 to commemorate Lamborghini’s 30th anniversary giving the SE30 a power hike to 523bhp. A facelifted Diablo arrived in 1999 after Audi AG took over the reins of Lamborghini the previous year, culminating in the VT 6.0 which pumped out a hefty 550bhp.
Lamborghini’s new German parent company played an important role in the creation of the Diablo’s replacement - the Murciélago. The new flagship car being styled by Lamborghini’s head of design, Belgian Luc Donckerwolke, the first-generation 6.2-litre V12 produced 572bhp which was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
A Murciélago roadster open-top car was introduced in 2004 with the second-generation LP 640 launched in 2006, peaking with the ultimate version of the Murciélago, the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce in 2009 – with 661bhp on tap and rocketing the car from 0-60mph in 2.8sec and onto 214mph. Limited to just 350 examples, it cost £270,000.