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Lamborghini Urraco

1973 - 1979 Lamborghini Urraco

1973 - 1979 Lamborghini Urraco
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The underrated baby mid-engined Lamborghini of the ’70s

The Urraco heralded Lamborghini’s entry in the budget supercar niche. It was available in a number of guises, the P200, P250, and P300. Less than 800 units of this sleek V-8 mid-engined Italian beauty were sold before production ceased back in 1979. In spite of its rarity, the Urraco still fails to command the kind of prices you’ll see early Dinos being sold for.

Presented at the 1970 Turin Auto Show, the Urraco hit the market two years later as an affordable 2+2 supercar that wasn’t really a supercar and stood in either the Miura’s or the Countach’s shadow throughout its lifespan. Its design, penned by Marcello Gandini during his stint at Bertone, leaves something to be desired as far as dramatism goes with the more dedicated 2-seater Merak from Maserati being clearly the best-looking budget supercar at the time.

For all its shortcomings, many of which were mocked during a Top Gear episode which centered around the Merak, the Dino 308 GT4 and the Urraco, the Urraco was considered a brilliant car by Lamborghini engineers as it incorporated a number of industry firsts and other novel ideas for the early ’70s, many of which have been forgotten as time wore on and the scissor doors of the Countach turned the heads of just about any automotive aficionado.

 

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1973 - 1979 Lamborghini Urraco

1973 - 1979 Lamborghini Urraco

The underrated baby mid-engined Lamborghini of the ’70s

The Urraco heralded Lamborghini’s entry in the budget supercar niche. It was available in a number of guises, the P200, P250, and P300. Less than 800 units of this sleek V-8 mid-engined Italian beauty were sold before production ceased back in 1979. In spite of its rarity, the Urraco still fails to command the kind of prices you’ll see early Dinos being sold for.

Presented at the 1970 Turin Auto Show, the Urraco hit the market two years later as an affordable 2+2 supercar that wasn’t really a supercar and stood in either the Miura’s or the Countach’s shadow throughout its lifespan. Its design, penned by Marcello Gandini during his stint at Bertone, leaves something to be desired as far as dramatism goes with the more dedicated 2-seater Merak from Maserati being clearly the best-looking budget supercar at the time.

For all its shortcomings, many of which were mocked during a Top Gear episode which centered around the Merak, the Dino 308 GT4 and the Urraco, the Urraco was considered a brilliant car by Lamborghini engineers as it incorporated a number of industry firsts and other novel ideas for the early ’70s, many of which have been forgotten as time wore on and the scissor doors of the Countach turned the heads of just about any automotive aficionado.

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Video: Tribute to Lamborghini Urraco

Video: Tribute to Lamborghini Urraco

The Miura and the Countach might be the first supercars that come to mind when talking about classic Lamborghinis, but the Italians have built many other enticing automobiles throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Sure, none are as iconic as the Miura and the Countach, but there’s at least one nameplate that has become increasingly popular with collectors nowadays: the Urraco. Manufactured between 1973 and 1979, the Urraco was Lamborghini’s answer to the Ferrari Dino, Maserati Merak and the Porsche 911, and an entry-level proposition to the more powerful Countach. In short, it had a similar status to the Gallardo and its newly launched replacement, the Huracan.

Unlike the Countach, which carried a V-12 engine under its rear bonnet, the Urraco was motivated by a V-8 unit. At first displacing 2.0 liters, the mill was later enlarged to 2.5 and 3.0 liters for the faster P300 version. In its most powerful version, the Urraco had 247 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque traveling to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual. Of the 791 Urracos ever built, only 21 were produced for the American market. The U.S. spec featured larger bumpers, different taillights and emission control devices that decreased the 2.5-liter V-8’s power from 217 to 177 ponies.

While not as impressive as the Miura, the Urraco became Bob Wallace’s vehicle of choice to develop a successor to the radical, one-off Jota. Dubbed Rallye, the beefed-up Urraco featured a 3.0-liter V-8 uprated to 310 horsepower, a race-spec front bumper, a massive rear wing and a full roll cage. The project was eventually abandoned.

Production of the Urraco ceased in 1979, but the its platform lived on with the Silhouette and the Jalpa models throughout 1988. Because its production was affected by the oil crisis and the numerous worker strikes in Italy at the time, the Urraco is fairly rare nowadays, with well-maintained model able to fetch up to $100,000 at auctions. Not exactly impressive when compared to the amounts Miuras and Countachs change hands in the 21st century, but that doesn’t stop Gene Ondrusek from being a proud Urraco owner. Watch him drive and talk about his prized classic exotic in the video above.

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