Ask anyone what the world’s most extravagant, extreme, and fastest car is, and there is a significant chance the answer would be Lamborghini. In its 60th year of operation, Lamborghini’s legacy is adorned with innovative models that set standards for others to follow. While most of their cars could be mistaken for alien spaceships, their concept cars are even wilder.
This article delves into some of the Lamborghini concept cars that never saw the light of day.
In the early 2000s, Lamborghini shifted its focus to the sedan market, culminating in the creation of the Estoque. This four-door luxury vehicle was designed to rival the successful Porsche Cayenne SUV, but it remained more of a prototype, poised for serial production. Powered by the V10 engine from the Gallardo, the Estoque was anticipated to become part of the 2012 model lineup. However, for unclear, possibly financial reasons, the car never made it to production. Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged that the Estoque concept was both practical and more restrained in appearance than some of Lamborghini’s other public designs.
As of 2023, many believe that Lamborghini’s newly introduced Lanzador EV SUV Coupe concept draws inspiration from the Estoque and may see production in the year 2028.
1974, the Bertone-designed Bravo appeared, boasting a sleek, wedge-shaped design. The Bravo was planned as a more affordable two-seater below the Countach. However, financial constraints kept this futuristic car from ever hitting the production line. Today, one example remains, a testament to what Bertone and Lamborghini could achieve together.
A successor to the Bravo, the 1980 Athon showcases 1980s design at its best. More of an exercise in design than an actual prototype, the Athon’s angular concept, mid-mounted V8, and retro-inspired interior make it an iconic representation of the era. It was roughly sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2011 for approximately € 347,200.
The union between Chrysler and Lamborghini in 1987 gave birth to the Portofino concept car. Riding on Lamborghini rolling stock, powered by a 3.5-liter engine, this four-door sedan was a fusion of both companies’ strengths. Although it never made it to production, some of its styling influenced future Chrysler vehicles.
The 1996 Raptor, styled by Zagato, represents a transition in Lamborghini’s design philosophy. Built on a Diablo platform, its lightweight carbon fiber construction and modern, digital design made it a sight at the Geneva Auto Show. Though intended to be a special limited-production model, only one was ever made, eventually selling for just over $1 million in 2019.
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
Developed with MIT in 2017, the Terzo Millennio is an all-electric concept vehicle that symbolizes Lamborghini’s future thinking. Though Lamborghini’s V12 engine has been integral to its identity, the company continues to push the boundaries of electric vehicle (EV) technology.
The Terzo Millennio is an experiment in design, featuring outrageous curves, long-sloping windshields, illuminated wheels, and integrated spoilers that make it unmistakably Lamborghini. With genuine research into cutting-edge solutions such as supercapacitors, the Terzo Millennio provides a glimpse into a future where high power can be instantly available on demand.
Lamborghini introduced the Pregunta during the Megatech era, a striking concept inspired by the French Air Force’s Dassault Rafale fighter jet. Created in collaboration with Carrosserie Heuliez, the Pregunta was based on a Diablo VT chassis and housed a 530-horsepower V12 engine.
With an aviation-inspired design, cockpit-like seats, and digital display, the Lamborghini Concept cars Pregunta was a one-off project last listed for sale in 2013 at a staggering $2.1 million.
Before the well-known LM002 off-roader of the ’80s was the Cheetah, Lamborghini’s attempt to expand into military vehicles. The Cheetah was intended for the U.S. Army, built on a tubular steel cage chassis with a rear-mounted Chrysler V8 engine.
However, poor handling and an underpowered engine led to the Cheetah’s rejection, leaving Lamborghini to abandon the project. The concept later evolved into the consumer-oriented LM002, famous as the ‘Rambo Lambo.’
Unveiled at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show, the Marzal was a futuristic concept by Marcello Gandini. Built on a modified Miura chassis, the Marzal featured gullwing doors composed primarily of glass, making it a design marvel of its time.
The Marzal’s 6-cylinder engine, shiny silver leather interior, and hexagonal motifs attracted praise, and the car last sold at RM Sotheby’s in 2011 for €1,512,000.
During Volkswagen’s acquisition of Lamborghini, the Calà was developed as a potential entry-level model. Styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign, the Lamborghini Concept cars Calà showcased soft curves and was powered by a 400-horsepower V10 engine. Unfortunately, the project was canceled in favor of the Gallardo, but the Calà remains a symbol of what might have been had the ownership not changed.
The Lamborghini Chrysler Imperial Concept
Under Chrysler’s ownership, a bizarre concept emerged – the Chrysler Imperial Lamborghini Edition. Envisioned by Lee Iacocca, this fusion of a K-car with Lamborghini flair featured bright red paint, Countach-style wheels, and lavish leather. Thankfully, the concept was abandoned, preserving the integrity of the Lamborghini brand and ensuring that this unusual fusion never saw the light of day.
Lamborghini Concept cars Conclusion
Lamborghini concept cars are a fascinating insight into the innovative minds of designers, unrestricted by production considerations. From the four-door Estoque to the sci-fi-inspired Raptor, these concepts give us a glimpse of what could have been.
Though they never made it to the streets, they continue to fuel the imagination of car enthusiasts, inspiring the future of automotive design. Lamborghini’s willingness to push boundaries ensures its position as a leader in the world of supercars, leaving the Lamborghini fans eager to see what comes next.