Prior Convictions: Espada at 50


The Lamborghini Espada is 50. Don't see many, do you? Which is not surprising; the internet reckons only a little over 1200 of them were made during a 10 year life cycle - just 10 a month.

Today, 1200 cars wouldn't be enough to keep the Urus production line going for four months. And yet back then this four-seat GT car lasted Lamborghini a decade.

Here's a short video about it, featuring Lamborghini's Head of Design at Centro Stile ('an innovative studio for our talented designers'), Mitja Borkert.

 

Always fascinating to hear a designer talk about the proportions of a car, but, well, not a straightforward conversation to listen to if you have the Urus and the, er, more controversial aspects of its design, at back of your mind.

"You can really see what Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted to do," says Borkert. "He wanted to be innovative, and the Espada is standing for something, for innovation, because such a car did not exist."

Um, yeah. Urus: not so much.


"For me it's a forecast of all these GT coupes, or four-seat coupes." Yup. Agreed. Like, sadly, even Ferrari looks like they might abandon in favour of a more utility/activity kind of vehicle.

"What can we learn from the car? For me what is very important is the lightweight look of the car, the sleek lines, the proportions, you know? On the Espada you can study perfect proportions."

Mitja, are you trying to impy something about the 2.2 tonne, VW Touareg-based SUV you've just launched?

"You have a really long but sleek roofline..." Right..."I like very much because you can see the position of the v12 engine in the front but when you see the car, it is so sleek and slim and lightweight looking..."


OK! Christ mate, enough already, you'll get yourself fired.

But by gum he's right. Won't you just look at the Espada? It is like nothing else then, and not like too much else since, thanks, surely, to the fact that there aren't millions of people who want their passengers to have to scramble into rear seats.

And I suppose that's why, now that people seem to have the sheer nerve and temerity to be running businesses actually like profit-making businesses, that the introduction of an SUV seems as inevitable as the dawning of the sun, and that the days of cars like the Espada - quirky, beautiful, useless cars like the Espada - will forever be a thing of the past. But I'm glad today's designers still love it.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (29) Join the discussion on the forum

  • 80sMatchbox 12 May 2018


    Effortlessly cool..

    There's a sense of style and grace which is not usually there on such a big machine. Love them.

  • grumpy52 12 May 2018

    One of the very few cars that I drooled over as a teenager that I have never got to see in the flesh .
    I have seen and even driven most of the poster cars from my youth .
    Didn't one of the Beatles own one ? Probably George or Paul .
    Such a cool car .

  • Helicopter123 12 May 2018

    Love the Espada, but here is the truth

    The Lamborghini Espada is 50. Don't see many, do you? Which is not surprising; the internet reckons only a little over 1200 of them were made during a 10 year life cycle - just 10 a month.

    Today, 1200 cars wouldn't be enough to keep the Urus production line going for four months.

    Lamborghini will sell more of the Urus in 4 months than they did with the Espada in a decade.

    You can't blame them for building what people want.

  • CS Garth 12 May 2018

    Let's not forget Lamborghini was a very successful tractor company and that's what essentially paid for this car.


  • clarkey 12 May 2018

    I grew up in Maidenhead in the 70s. For many years there was a non-runner parked on the road in a local council estate. it looked amazing next to the Hillman Hunters and Escorts.

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