For most petrol heads in the 1980s, owning or driving the Lamborghini Countach LP400 S was a once-in-a-lifetime dream. The iconic car symbolized the beginning of a new era of high-performance vehicles and divided the loyalties of sports car enthusiasts worldwide. Like the LP400, the LP400 S is driven by a 3,929 cc V-12 petrol engine. The roaring powerhouse is enough to give the beast about 355 hp while zooming down any highway. But it is also worth noting that the price tag of the Lamborghini Countach LP400 S is a jaw-dropping $1 million. Since its introduction, enthusiasts and critics have had something to say about it. However, they all agree that this is no ordinary car; it was a benchmark for supercar engineering in the ‘80s.
The Lamborghini Countach LP400 S was made in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, between 1978 and 1981. As one of the original A-list supercars, the LP400 S was born as the second variation of the original predecessor, the Countach LP400. The ‘Lamborghini’ and the ‘LP400’ emblem stand tall at the car's rear, while the S slashes through the rear side. The LP stands for Longitudinale Posteriore, while the S stands for Sport. An upgrade was inevitable with the LP400's distinct design and performance revolutionizing the sports car industry. Marcello Gandini returned to work after successfully designing the Lamborghini Miura and Countach LP400. The LP400 S came as the perfect upgrade, improving on the LP400's conceptual look and features to improve performance with the ‘S’ added to indicate this improvement. Stantzani and Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted to address several flaws in the LP400, including air scoops and vents to cool the engine and high-speed stability that affected the car’s performance. However, not much changed underneath the surface, with the most noticeable differences seen in the car’s exterior look, but more on that later. During its production, three distinct LP400 S series were released. Lamborghini produced 50 units of the LP400 S Series One between 1978 and 1979. Between 1979 and 1980, Lamborghini produced 105 units of Series Two. Lastly, the Series Three had 82 units built between 1980 and 1981. Despite some noticeable differences between the three series, the model never lost its supercar status. The LP500 S then replaced the LP400 S.
The brilliance of the rear-wheel drive LP400 S is not just because it looks like a futuristic spaceship. Under the car’s hood lies its main calling card. As some Ferrari enthusiasts say, the car was manufactured for the ‘unparalleled symphony of speed and flare’. Compared to the LP400, the LP400 S’ engine is slightly detuned, generating 355 hp at 8,000 rpm down from 370 hp in the LP400. The torque figures remain relatively the same at 268 lb.-ft of torque. However, this slight slump in horsepower hardly affects the car’s performance because it can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, just like the LP400. Its quarter-mile sprint time is about 15.0 seconds at 96.2 mph, and its top speed is set at 180 mph, cementing it as one of the fastest sports cars of the ‘80s. This engine also has six carburetors that feed the engine a rich air-fuel mixture for improved performance. It sits longitudinally in front of the rear axle; as a result, the car has excellent front-to-rear weight distribution, which enhances handling, stability, and traction during acceleration. In terms of body structure, the LP400 S has an aluminum body and tubular space frame chassis like the LP400 but incorporates more carbon composite and fiberglass material in its body panels than you will get in the LP400. The Countach LP400 S’ weight is about 3,020 lbs. or 1370 Kg.
The Lamborghini Countach LP400 S interior design represents all things ‘80’s sports car. The sculpted gauges and magnificent Italian leather have a signature Lamborghini design, and the dashboard resembles that of a fighter jet. The car’s dashboard is covered by eight gauges, including a prominently centered tachometer for displaying the engine’s RPM, a speedometer, an oil pressure gauge, a water temperature gauge, a fuel gauge, a battery voltage gauge, and a Stewart Warner ampere gauge. The Series One had an unpadded steering wheel, giving it that spaceship futuristic feel. However, the Series Two and Three steering wheel was replaced with a padded style. The seats are soft and squishy, with an Italian leather cover that gives them a clean look. Though the seats have a fixed-angle backrest, drivers can still move them forward and back to improve their driving experience. Sadly, if you are about 5’9 or taller, the cabin space might be slightly constricted. But besides that, the overall clean look inside the LP400 S is great for concentrating on the driving experience.
The Lamborghini Countach LP400 S exterior design is a masterpiece on wheels. Marcello Gandini designed the car to command attention. The car's body has sleek, elegant lines with aggressive trapezoid shapes and angles. This razor-edge profile is complemented by the lightweight glass fiber and carbon fiber that comprise the LP400 S body for better performance. The car’s low profile makes it more aerodynamic, with air intakes next to the front bumper for more downforce, giving the Lamborghini more road grip. Likewise, the LP400 S has pop-up twin circle lights, giving it vintage ‘80s vibes. Each side of the door has a large duct and a pod near the rear that feeds air directly into the cooler to help cool the 4.0 L, V12 engine. Another iconic feature of the car is the scissor doors, which have become a Lamborghini signature. The LP400 S also has a signature fender arch that looks slashed instead of the simple semi-circle design, contributing to its personality. This Countach variant also has some of the fattest rear tires ever fitted in any production car, at 13.6 inches. However, the Series Two and Three have smooth concave wheels. This Countach has a fantastic engine cover with slates to help air rush into the engine. The cover has a slight bulge upwards to give the 6 carburetors more breathing room. The Lamborghini LP400 S came with two optional, one with the popular V-shaped rear wing over the rear deck and one without. In addition, Lamborghini offered various color combinations.
The LP400 S has a 5-speed manual transmission with just enough acceleration power to give drivers a smooth and precise driving experience. It was very fitting for the time. It has a clean center console with an open-gate manual gear shifter, giving it an elegant yet futuristic design. Another interesting feature of the LP400 S is that the console had air conditioning controls above the shifter. This was when supercar manufacturers were not overly concerned with the comfort features of the vehicle. So this feature was refreshing and futuristic and added a luxury appeal. The Series Three has a higher suspension ride height than Series One and Two.
The price of a Lamborghini Countach LP400 S is about 1 million dollars but it depends on the car's condition. When it was first introduced, the LP400 S had a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,000– a drastic difference from its current price. A well-maintained LP400 S will surely go for top dollar, with the price reaching about $1.1 million. However, some collectors have acquired the LP400 S for about $900,000. The LP400 S did not have any official trim levels. However, the price considerably increases depending on the series, with earlier Lamborghini Countach LP400 S models having a higher price tag.
The Lamborghini Countach LP400 S is an absolute legend whose heritage has inspired other car designs. The LP400 S's roaring 4.0 L-V12 engine, stylish razor-edge profile, and futuristic design were a great way to improve a predecessor already doing well. The LP400 S's lasting appeal and investment potential solidifies its blue-chip collection position. The LP400S is an extravagant but worthy addition if you are a collector. Ready to give up your car or buy one? Exotic Car Trader is the best car buying and selling platform. We strive to make these processes easier by handling all the work. So you do not have to worry about taking pictures, listing, or arranging private sales; we will handle it. If you are selling your car, we will list your car everywhere, and if you are buying, we will make sure you can access it from any location. Take advantage of our simplified online buying process for convenience. And if you are trading in, we have a great selection of modern Lamborghini cars. The Lamborghini Countach LP400 S will always be a car that makes a statement. The car’s elegance is only topped by its powerful engine and capabilities. These aspects make the LP400 S another one for the history books; in two words, visionary craftsmanship!
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