Date posted : January 1. 2010
Before the design of the Piranha was modified to become the new Lamborghini Espada four-seater, Bertone had a more challenging design ready for this all-new Lamborghini. Using gull-wing doors like on their Marzal, the first Espada prototype looked very futuristic, since Ferruccio Lamborghini really disliked the glass panels in the lower parts of the Marzal doors, they were removed on this Espada, a small front part of the side windows could be wound down for fresh air, because of the sheer size of these doors, special struts were mounted to keep them open with the weight of the glass panels not helping to reduce the mass of them. But because they were so big, entry to the rear seats was very easy.
Big air holes appeared on the front fenders, later on the Espada production car they were still there but luckily became a little smaller, also the Naca ducts in the engine hood were used on the production units as where the four big round headlamps,a trademark for the successful Espada series.
This prototype was completely finished and was driven by the Lamborghini test drivers, but Ferruccio deemed this design to be just a little over the edge, he saw the Piranha based on Jaguar mechanics at the Bertone Design Studio and demanded his Espada to be loosely based on this design instead of the daring prototype he received.
Bertone complied with his demands and the Espada was created, a very good looking slow slung car that really holds four people in all comforts and at very high speeds thanks to the fabulous four-Liter V-12 mounted up front driving the rear wheels, the Espada became one of Automobili Lamborghini SpA most successful cars, selling over 1200 units.
The prototype still sits at the factory at this time, completely stripped of everything useful, the entire interior was removed and the wheels and engine were taken too, unfortunately the car isn't restored yet and no buyers were found to date.
On the image below you can see one of the two Urraco prototypes that were stored together the Espada prototype.
Text © Mark Smeyers - www.lambocars.com
Printed from www.lambocars.com/classic_gt/espada_prototype.html on April 26. 2018