Short-lived Lamborghini Urraco celebrates its 50th anniversary

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

The Lamborghini Urraco celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

It’s been 50 years since Lamborghini made the first Urraco. You’re excused if you don’t remember it. The car’s nine-year run moved the brand forward, starting out as a technologically advanced model and eventually making way for the Gallardo and, ultimately, the Huracán.

The model was originally created at the request of Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was eager to expand the company’s production and make a Lamborghini that would be accessible to a wider audience.

Lamborghini says that the car’s innovative place in the market was thanks in large part of the car’s engineer Paolo Stanzani who was Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer at the time.

The 2+2 coupe featured a mid-mounted 2.5-liter V8 rear engine and independent suspension. Rhe Urraco featured the double novelty of an eight-cylinder engine and distribution with a single overhead camshaft per bank. According to the automaker, the technical refinement was “completed by the use of a ‘Heron chamber’ engine head with flat inner part and the combustion chamber contained in a depression in the top of the piston”. This engineering solution made it possible to achieve a higher compression ratio without increasing the costs.

Initially, the Urraco was rated to achieve 220 horsepower and have a top speed of 152 mph.

It had a MacPherson strut system on the front and rear – a first for a production car. It also uniquely had four Weber double-body 40 IDF1 type carburetors.

The Urraco interior measures 167 inches long, about as long as the 2020 Nissan Kicks. Positioning the instrument cluster and dished steering wheel was a particular challenge because of the tight squeeze.

Lamborghini introduced the car to the market as the P250 Urraco, where the “P” stood for the rear (posterior) position of the engine, and 250 for the engine capacity (2.5 liters). That version was produced from 1970 to 1976. The automaker sold 520 Urracos during that stretch.

At the 1974 Turin Motor Show, the P200 debuted as a model focused on the Italian market. It sold from 1975-1977 with 66 models being produced.

The last version of the Urraco, the P300, was produced from 1975 to 1979. Lamborghini sold 190 of them during that time.

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