Lamborghini Jalpa

Lamborghini Jalpa

What we have here, my friends, is a highly-modified Lamborghini Jalpa — a car that in its day, wasn’t all that quick — but now easily lays down 10-second quarter-mile runs like it was a Sunday drive. It’s all thanks to a General Motors LS1 V-8 (350-cubic inches/5.7-liters) with a Magnuson supercharger bolted on. There’s no word on what this Lambo’s American heart pumps out, but it has to be significantly more than the 255 horsepower from the car’s original mill.

Yes, back in 1981 through 1988, Lamborghini produced the Jalpa with a double-overhead-cam, 3.5-liter (210-ci) V-8 that only laid down minimal power. The car was marketed beneath the Countach in price, performance and size. While it wasn’t very stout, its smaller size gave it better outward visibility and better slow-speed handling. Its 0-to-62 time was said to be six seconds flat on its way to a 15.4-second quarter-mile time. Its top speed was rated at 145 mph.

Sadly, 1988 was the Jalpa’s final year in production, as Chrysler bought the Italian automaker and axed the model. Only 412 were made.

Fast forward to the present, Jalpa number 387 makes it’s way down the quarter-mile strip at Calder Park Raceway in Australia. Its supercharged 350 small block is backed by a Toyota automatic transaxle and power is sent to the massive slicks mounted at the rear. Those boys down under sure know how to make a gnarly beast.

When the Mimram brothers took over the company in July 1980, establishing the “Nuova Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini”, the new owners did not only start production of the LM 002 off-road, but the evolution of the Silhouette as well, whose main points were: restyling the Bertone Bertone designed body, an 8-cylinder engine, expanded to 3.5 liters, with power still at 250 HP, but with far superior driving comfort. With 420 cars built, Jalpa is among the best-sellers – since production stopped in 1988 there were no other 8-cylinders from Lamborghini.

Lamborghini Jalpa

Jalpa - or Baby-Lambo as it was known at the time - made its world debut at the 1981 Geneva Auto Show as a prototype version featuring a rear spoiler that never got into production. The sports car was named after famous breed of fighting bulls. Even if it was a very easy car to drive, it never got the attention it deserve; however it was the best sold Lamborghini V8 model.

A successor for the Silhouette sports car, the Jalpa used the same 3.0-Liter V8 engine (that was also used in the Urraco P300), but enlarged to a 75mm stroke resulting in a 3485 cc displacement. The engine delivered 255 bhp at 7000 rpm and 231 ft-lb torque at 3500 rpm. The sports car made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 7,3 seconds and was capable of a top speed of 146 mph.

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