Heritage since 1963

The history of Lamborghini started in the 1960s. Tractor manufacturer, Feruccio Lamborghini, had a love for fast cars and owned several Ferrari's. On one occasion he brought his Ferrari 250 GT for maintenance at Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello, where he discovered that his sports car had the same clutch as the tractors he produced. He pointed this out to Enzo Ferrari and asked for another clutch. Ferrari was not amused replying, "You are a simple tractor manufacturer, what do you know about sports cars?".

After a heated discussion, Lamborghini made a decision to build his own car and an even better one than Ferrari. Ferrari laughed at this, until Lamborghini emerged four months later with his first two models: the 350GT and 400GT. The models had a V12 engine with four overhead camshafts, independent suspension and brakes on all four wheels. It was immediately clear: Lamborghini was serious. The horn of the Lamborghini bull poked the horse from Ferrari in its neck. The only difference was that Ferrari dominated the F1 and F2, whereas Lamborghini focused purely on the sale of street models and had no F1 ambitions.

“Lamborghini made a decision to build his own car and an even better one than Ferrari”

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Unprecedented growth

After the introduction of the first two models, everything advanced at a very fast pace. Lamborghini introduced the Miura, Espada and Islero in succession. The models bore the name of a bull or a bullfighting family. The Miura in particular made headlines at the Geneva motor show: even though the car was not ready for production, Ferruccio Lamborghini responded to the hype by parking a bright orange Miura in front of the famous Hotel de Paris in Monaco during Monaco’s grand prix. Orders came pouring in and to this day the Miura is almost unanimously seen as one of the best and most beautiful sports cars ever.

Set back

In spite of Lamborghini’s success, there was a downside. Shortly after the launch of the hyper-exclusive and expensive Countach, the global oil crisis began. In 1980 Lamborghini went bankrupt, even though the highlight with the Countach had not happened yet. Lamborghini was acquired by Chrysler and introduced the Silhouette, which was an attempt to conquer the American market again. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful. The company launched the Jalpa, as a cheaper version of the Countach and slowly things started to change. With the introduction of the Diablo, and the Diablo VT – an even faster, wilder variant with all-wheel drive in 1993, Lamborghini was put back on the map.

Stronger than ever

Lamborghini has been with the Volkswagen Group since 1998, under the wings of Audi. It was this move which brought Lamborghini to where it wanted to be for so long: the know-how of Audi combined with the powerful engines of Lamborghini ensures, among other things, the development of the Murciélago and the Gallardo. Lamborghini is back, and stronger than ever.

 

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