Supercar: it’s a name that we’re all familiar with, arguably coined for the Lamborghini Miura 57 years ago.
The Miura’s 174mph top speed was back then the highest achieved by any production road car. Proving that envelope-pushing V-maxes have never gone out of fashion, we’ve decided to chart their steady progress, decade by decade, ending in excess of 300mph.
It would be easy to dismiss each as a seldom-attained irrelevance, but the cars that achieved them were technological flag-bearers that improved the breed overall. They also serve as a potent epitaph to the mighty internal combustion engine, which might never again be allowed to raise the bar any higher.
Lamborghini Miura P400, 174mph
Inspired by the competition success of the Ford GT40, Lamborghini was persuaded to steal a march on Ferrari with a mid-engined production car, and by 1965 a rolling chassis was revealed with a Giotto Bizzarrini-designed 3929cc 60deg V12 mounted transversely behind the cabin. Marcello Gandini sculpted a body that would make Enzo Ferrari weep with envy while allowing the car to spear through the air quicker than anything else on the road.
Even now, the Miura is a radical shape to behold, with its ultra-low stance, sharply raked windscreen and standout features like the slatted rear screen and eyelashed pop-up headlights.