Why Is Everyone Talking About Top Gear Italian Supercars? | top gear italian supercars

The Lamborghini Urraco was conceived at a time aback Lamborghini’s acquirement breeze was starting to dry out. At the time, the aggregation based in Sant’Agata Bolognese offered a cardinal of V-12-powered behemoths that could abandoned absolutely fit the pockets of a flush clientele. But Ferruccio Lamborghini, who originally financed his chance into car architecture with the profits of Lamborghini Trattori, the truck-building business, saw the charge for a account archetypal in the range.

Top Gear - The Great Adventures 20 Supercars Across Italy DVD Postage ..

Top Gear – The Great Adventures 20 Supercars Across Italy DVD Postage .. | top gear italian supercars

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Lamborghini commissioned Bertone, the aforementioned architecture abode abaft the allegorical Miura aback it came to the administration of the Urraco.

Two full-size alive prototypes were congenital and beatific for approval to Lamborghini. One of them had four teardrop-shaped headlights congenital in the wedge-shaped adenoids of the car. The added ancestor aggregate the aforementioned teardrop-shape headlights but they were, this time around, pop-ups.

These aboriginal prototypes had an edgier contour with the rear caster wells agnate in architecture with those on the Countach LP400. There were additionally two air vents that opened up aft of the rear ancillary windows for bigger cooling of the V-8 engine. But Lamborghini awful these propositions and, as such, Bertone’s Marcello Gandini came with a third full-size ancestor that congenital abounding of the architecture touches that were kept on the accumulation model. For instance, this third car, which was apparent at both the Lamborghini and the Bertone stands during the 1970 copy of the Turin Auto Show, had two pop-up headlights confused afterpiece to the arch bend of the nose. It additionally had smoother curve with angled caster wells and a ducktail-style rear accession congenital in the rear bodywork. One of the key elements of the accumulation car that wasn’t yet present were the arced louvers on the amateur of the car as Lamborghini accomplished that the openings present on the aboriginal two prototypes were abundant needed.

According to Paulo Stanzani, who was acting as Arch Technical Officer at Lamborghini at the time, that sole ancestor lived a active life. Afterwards the Torino Auto Show, it was additionally displayed at the Geneva Auto Show and a cardinal of added shows to abound chump absorption in a archetypal that should’ve been to Lamborghini what the Boxster absolutely was for Porsche in the ’90s. The Italian architect planned to body 2,000 Urracos a year but that never happened. Instead, above the car’s 6-year accumulation cycle, beneath than a 1,000 were congenital in altered guises.

After it was done touring Europe’s auto shows, the ancestor was acclimated for all-encompassing alley testing, Stanzani pointing out that Lamborghini capital to alarm over 62,000 afar with it to analysis its reliability. Afterwards alley testing was done, abundant of which was agitated out by American Bob Wallace, the car was acclimated for the blast testing procedures. Afterwards on, Wallace, who was the arch analysis disciplinarian at the time, acclimated one of the beforehand prototypes to body his race-going Urraco that was never absolutely homologated for GT antagonism due to Lamborghini’s low accumulation output.

Ultimately, what can be said is that Lamborghini capital the Urraco to be two things at the aforementioned time, two things that were arctic opposites:

Firstly, the Urraco was a awful avant-garde car for its time and, also, it was declared to be accessible to accomplish and bargain to sell. Achievement agnate to added Lamborghini models was additionally a prerequisite although that was never absolutely achieved.

Still, the production-ready Urraco accustomed in 1972 for the 1973 archetypal year and it looked good, not as acceptable as the Merak, but counterbalanced abundant for a car that apparently could bank four adults. Up front, the adenoids opens up to accomplish allowance for a chromed bonanza which incorporates both the orange indicators, at the bumper’s extremities, and the able-bodied ellipsoidal fog lights. This bonanza was afterwards replaced by a artificial that followed the adamant contour of the avant-garde end and congenital ellipsoidal indicators instead of the connected annular ones on the beforehand models. The U.S.-specific P111 archetypal came with an alike above bonanza in-line with American low-speed assurance regulations.

Below the bumper, the Urraco appearance a ellipsoidal air aperture in the middle, that acts as a assiduity of the attenuated basin amid the two fog lights. The bifold headlights are placed hardly appear the bend of the avant-garde bodywork. The aboveboard avant-garde awning is placed afterpiece appear the windshield and appearance two backward-facing inlets on the beforehand models, while best P300 cars appear with a louvered avant-garde awning with atramentous strips. While the chromed avant-garde bonanza was replaced absolutely quickly, the chromed window frames were kept a bit longer.

From the side, you’ll apprehension the ashen block administration of the Urraco. The window is angled absolutely aggressively and the roofline does camber at the aback as you’d expect, but annihilation is absolutely as anxious as on the Countach or the afterwards Silhouette. The miniature fender flares are additionally abundant added attenuate than the boxlike ones on the Silhouette.

Beforehand Urracos had annular indicators aloof afore the avant-garde caster wells while American models, as able-bodied as afterwards European ones, came with bigger ellipsoidal ancillary indicators.

A distinct appearance band runs from the bend of the nose, all the way appear the straight-cut aback of the car. The windows assume ample abundant but they’re positioned at an bend which agency afterimage from the central is minimal. What is more, aboriginal models appear with abandoned one aerodynamic exoteric rear-view mirror on the driver’s side, abandoned afterwards Lamborghini abacus a mirror on the passenger’s side. The Urraco rides on 14-inch Campagnolo rims that are basically identical to those apparent on aboriginal Countach LP400 models.

At the back, you’re greeted by a vertical fascia with two ellipsoidal taillights in either of the top corners. The orange indicators are afar from the anchor lights by a bar. The two-piece chromed (on the aboriginal models) bonanza snakes its way in between, basal a C-shape to bundle the advancement lights. Bigger, added protruding, atramentous bumpers replaced these slimmer ones on American models and P300 European models.

The bifold tailpipes with four tips avenue from beneath the bumper, partially accoutrement two of the six openings present at the back.

The louvered hood, completed by the louvered ancillary air vents, is a architecture aspect taken from the Miura. But, clashing with the Miura, the louvers don’t go all the way down. Instead, there’s additionally a block that’s afar from the agent lid.

The padded, leather-wrapped autogenous of the Urraco seems affable abundant at aboriginal until you apprehend this is a supercar from the ’70s and it’s not decidedly comfortable. Indeed, the seats action some bulk of crabbed abutment but the active position is lackluster. Again there’s additionally the four-spoke council caster that lacks a council column, the arbor actuality absorbed anon to the firewall placed beneath the windshield. That’s why it’s deep-dished like that.

The council caster sits in avant-garde of a antipodal U-shaped centermost animate accent in silver.

On either ancillary of the wheel, there are two big dials, one actuality the tachometer and the added the odometer. Again there are the six added abate dials in the middle. Added admonishing lights are placed anon abaft the council wheel. The alien abandon of the recessed centermost animate are absolutely agee appear the inside, allegedly for bigger ergonomics.

Below the birr itself, there’s a aloof centermost animate which is aloof avant-garde abundant for two annular air vents. The blast controls sit in the widened top allotment of the animate while a few added buttons are placed on a collapsed apparent of the dash. The radio is placed added to the appropriate (on LHD cars) on the driver’s ancillary area the cuff box is additionally located.

The stick about-face for the 5-speed gearbox sits in a abeyant allotment of the centermost animate that continues in amid the seats area the handbrake is to be found. The animate absolutely goes up and connects with the aback bank that offers abundant arch allowance and leg allowance for two kids, although Lamborghini advertised it as a 2 2 supercar, suggesting that adults could fit in there which is a bit of a stretch.

The Urraco rode on a animate unibody architecture with a rear subframe for the engine, gearbox, and suspension.

The engine, a 2.5-liter OHV, 16-valve, water-cooled V-8 had a ablaze admixture block with the gearbox and cogwheel congenital in the aforementioned block and with pressed-in liners. It was army above and had collapsed butt active with the agitation accommodation placed central the piston.

With a compression arrangement of 10.5:1 and fed by four twin-barrel down-draught Weber 40IDF carburetors, the 2.5-liter Urraco – appropriately the P250 moniker – put out 220 application at 7,500 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 3,750 rpm. Again there was the 2.0-liter adaptation which was congenital for the Italian bazaar alone. It came at a time aback the Government was arty prohibitive taxes on cars with engines bigger than 2.0-liters. The bargain accommodation was accomplished by abbreviating the bore from 3.46 inches to aloof 3 inches. The achievement remained the aforementioned at 2 inches.

While the abate agent flew beneath the alarm in Italy, it additionally offered afflictive performance. Abandoned 182 application at 7,500 rpm and 130 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm came out from the P200 aback it was new. That’s why Lamborghini abandoned anytime congenital 66 of these cars that couldn’t beat 135 mph.

At the 1974 Turin Auto Show, Lamborghini alien the Urraco P300. It came with banausic administration from the S – which was the bigger archetypal afterwards bodies complained about the poor body affection of the aboriginal accumulation of cars that were partially accumulated at Bertone in mid-1972.

The P300 came with a 3.0-liter alternative of the aforementioned V-8.

It had a bigger bore and aerated out 250 application at 7,500 rpm and 195 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. With a weight of about 2,500 pounds, the P300 accelerated from 0 to 62 mph in six abnormal and accomplished a top acceleration of 162 mph, faster than both the Dino 308 and the Merak SS. Sadly; the V-8 remained belt-driven until the end which is generally the antecedent of the Urraco’s believability woes.

The Urraco was the aboriginal accumulation car of any affectionate to appear with all-independent MacPherson struts all around, with braid springs and scope dampers. Council was by bastard & roller while Girling aerial disc brakes with bifold hydraulic ambit brought the car to a arrest quickly.

Although beneath than 800 Urracos were anytime built, 791 to be precise, they aren’t yet advised to be full-on abstract like the Jarama, Espada or the 3500 GT.

Instead, they lay somewhat abandoned with prices alignment amid $35,000 and $70,000 depending on the car’s state.

Indeed, you won’t acquisition an Urraco nowadays for the affectionate of money James May paid for his atramentous archetype during the ’Budget Supercar’ Top Gear episode. That’s because May was able to acquisition a (broken) Urraco for about $13,000 all the way aback in 2005. Alike Lamborghini’s aboriginal account supercar accepted back then.

One of the affidavit why bodies don’t bend their way to buy Urracos is because they’re tediously adamantine to advance on the road. In fact, abounding Urraco owners accumulate their cars for beheld amusement abandoned as they’re burst about above repair. In fact, the bulk of ’avant-garde’ technology that went into the Urraco is the car’s Achilles heel with added basal supercars from the era, like the 911 that Ferruccio targeted, activity able afterwards all these years.

The Merak was alien one year afterwards the Bora, in 1972. It aggregate the avant-garde end with its added alien brother but, from the B-pillar onwards, the Merak is its own thing. Giorgetto Giugiaro was tasked with morphing the Bora into the Merak, and he did that by deleting the Bora’s bright bottle greenhouse and, in its place, abacus two accessible aerial buttresses on either ancillary and extending the roofline to not ruin the car’s line.

Since it was congenital during Citroen’s buying of Maserati, the Merak came with a hydraulic anchor arrangement and hydraulically-operated pop-up headlights. It additionally arranged a baby V-6 in the middle, clashing the Lamborghini and Ferrari that sported V-8s. The agent sat aural the borders of a tubular subframe that was absorbed to the capital animate monocoque. It had absolute abeyance all about with diff A-arms with coaxial braid springs and scope shock absorbers.

The V-6 was an change of the advised by Giulio Alfieri-designed 2.7-liter assemblage that begin its way beneath the awning of the Citroen SM. But, in the Merak, the agent had a accommodation of 3.0-liters and put out 220 application at 6,500 rpm and 199 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Actuality added than the Urraco at 2,976 pounds, the Merak was additionally added of a cruiser than the Urraco which handled blithely for the standards of the day. About 2,000 Meraks were congenital in absolute amid 1972 and 1983 which agency they’re easier to acquisition and, if you go for a afterwards archetypal produced beneath De Tomaso ownership, easier to accumulate on the road.

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Introduced in 1973 beneath the Dino badge, it abandoned accustomed the Ferrari logo three years later, by which time the 208 GT4 had additionally been introduced. It was a beneath affected aftereffect to the 206/246 GT and sat on a tubular spaceframe anatomy based on that of the aboriginal Dino but connected so that the wheelbase abstinent 100.4 inches.

The 308 GT4, as the name suggests, came with a 3.0-liter, transversally-mounted, V-8 in-unit with the 5-speed transaxle gearbox. 255 application was the ability achievement on the European-spec archetypal while the U.S. bazaar got a afraid Dino that abandoned produced 240 application although it featured the aforementioned cloister Weber 40 DCNF carburetors.

While Niki Lauda, the 3-time Formula 1 Apple Driver’s Champion from Austria, helped absolute the car’s address by tweaking with the chassis, the Urraco’s MacPherson bureaucracy makes it the bigger driver’s car amid the two. The Dino was additionally advised by Gandini and enjoyed bound success with 2,860 308 GT4s actuality congenital in seven years. You can now buy one from anywhere amid $40,000 and $75,000.

Read our abounding analysis on the 1973 – 1980 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4.

The Urraco charcoal an underrated car in Lamborghini’s history. It was Lamborghini’s aboriginal ache at architecture a account supercar. While it didn’t ability the heights of success that Lamborghini was aiming for, the attitude of added affordable cars remained accordant at Lamborghini and that’s how the apple concluded up with the massively accepted Gallardo.

The bodies that apperceive the ins and outs of Lamborghini’s beforehand exploits, like above Arch Engineer Paolo Stanzani, allocution of an avant-garde car that arranged “innumerable abstruse innovations.” It was bedeviled by the ammunition crisis, abundant strikes, poor believability and poor body affection on beforehand models – that beat absolutely a few abeyant audience – and the actuality that the apple connected to focus on Lamborghini’s bigger V-12 models.

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Read our abounding analysis on the 1973 – 1990 Lamborghini Countach.

Source: Images Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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