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 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.
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.
Jalpa was offered in seven exterior colors: white, silver, black, metallic blue, red, gun metal and metallic gold, while on the interior the dashboard featured a new kind of box-shaped instrumentation, new seats and fully adjustable backrests.
It saw a small facelift in 1984, when, at the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini presented the car with the black plastic body parts finished in the body color and circular tail lights as on a Ferrari.
Jalpa was discontinued in 1987 when Lamborghini was under Chrysler ownership. Jack Stavana fitted a Jalpa V8 into a Dodge Daytona, linked to an AWD system designed by Carroll Shelby and called it the "Decepzione". The car never saw production.
In 1989 Lamborghini unveiled the P140 concept - considered a successor for the Jalpa. It was powered by an all-new V-10 QuattroValvole engine with an electronic fuel-injection system. The concept was designed by Carrozzeria Bertone, Chrysler Design Center and Marcello Gandini.