Let’s get this straight … no, this isn’t the official release of the new V12 model Lamborghini will be presenting at Pebble Beach in August 2021 as their Countach Homage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Countach, the car that introduced the upward-opening doors on the Lamborghini flagship, a feature that’s still being used to this date, and will most likely be found on the Aventador successor when unveiled in 2023, this has become a Lamborghini trademark over the years, often imitated too.
These are renders created by ARC Design, and I was rather impressed by them when I found these online, the vision of this designer was to create a modern, current-day interpretation of the original Lamborghini Countach prototype as seen at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, the interest in this futuristic-looking supercar, which initially showed a digital dashboard, was so big, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to halt production of the beautiful Miura SV soon after and concentrated on getting the Countach production-ready.
That proved to be more difficult than expected, and it would take until 1974 before the first Lamborghini Countach LP400 would be delivered to customers, between the 1971 prototype and the 1974 production version a lot was changed, not only did the dashboard become a regular one with analog dials, but the bodywork had to be considerably modified for cooling purpose, large NACA ducts were cut into the side starting in the door and continuing into the rear fender, but on top of that rear fender a ‘box’ had to be fitted to draw even more cool air into the engine compartment, also the side windows were modified, now with a separation between a fixed upper part and an openable lower part.
This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Countach, but it should be mentioned the original prototype would be turning 50 this year, the actual production version will have to wait until 2024, so ARC Design took inspiration from that unique, yellow Countach prototype shown in 1971 to create this 2021 edition called the ‘Countach 50’, and if you look closely ARC design did use the Aventador base for this Countach homage, something we will probably be seeing from the factory itself too in a few weeks, so their vision might not be so far fetched as it looks.
ARC Design wanted to bring the duality of the original Countach prototype into the 21st century, if you admire the original car standing still you’ll notice an uninterrupted line from the front all the way to the back, no deep chin spoiler, wide wheel arches, massive intakes, and a tall rear wing, the original prototype was an extremely clean design with pop-up headlights, sadly this proved to be insufficient to keep the V12 engine cool, but ARC Design wanted to keep that clean look … in 2021.
So this 2021 Countach 50 stays true to that clean design philosophy, with the latest developments in LED and laser headlights, the front remains very sleek, with exposed headlights this time, no more pop-up headlight pods in 2021, even the angular design on the front bumper could be retained, finished in brushed aluminum on this yellow car, but with the necessary air intakes integrated behind those thin vertical fins.
This Countach 50 concept design clearly reminds us of the angular but clean lines of the original 1971 prototype, no rearview mirrors on the doors or front fender, instead, there are small LCD displays integrated into the door panels that show the view from a pair of cameras, this avoids interrupting the exterior design, and behind the side windows, we recognize the intakes from the prototype again, very nice slats that draw air into the engine compartment. But even with modern cooling technology, this would probably not be enough to keep that 6.5-Liter V12 engine cool enough.
So when required a pair of intakes rise up from the shoulders to pull additional air onto the engine, this look reminds us of the production version of the Lamborghini Countach that had large ‘boxes’ fitted in that position to have enough airflow, the can from the Seventies also had air vents above the taillights on top of the fenders, but this 2021 Countach 50 found another solution, if you take a closer look at the taillights, you’ll notice the pods are in fact air vents, and the actual taillights are just that thin strip of LED lights in the center … an absolutely beautiful design, especially with the inside of the vents being illuminated by a red LED too.
This ARC Design Countach 50 even has a rear wing, you can’t have a Lamborghini Countach homage without that typical rear wing, right? Well, it’s not always a good idea, as we all know on the Countach itself that impressive rear wing actually slowed down the car and provided no extra downforce whatsoever, the Countach had enough downforce from her own design, a rear wing wasn’t needed … but it looked way too cool not to have it fitted. So this Countach 50 still has a rear wing, but it sits flush with the bodywork until raised into the air, for extra downforce, but also to influence the airflow at the rear of this supercar … with the rear wing raised and those shoulder air intakes in their ‘up’ position, the Countach 50 does look like the Countach S from the Eighties, without the wider wheel arches, those are no longer required today.
I especially like how ARC Design configured the rear of this Countach 50 concept, with a design so reminiscent of the Lamborghini Countach, but still very modern, and functional, the trapezoid design of the taillights is there, but as already mentioned, these are air vents, and the lights themselves are inside the small horizontal strip, but by using indirect light inside these vents you still get the impression of the taillights as seen on the Countach prototype, without breaking any laws to take this car on the road, there is even a third brake light as required to be street-legal, it’s just integrated on the edges of the glass louvers over the V12 engine … and it all looks amazing as seen on this animation:
To keep the design on this Countach 50 as clean as possible ARC Design ditched the idea of twin or quad exhaust pipes and they came up with a very wide exhaust completely integrated into the rear diffuser, it’s part of the design now and might even have a positive impact on airflow below the car, which I guess will be as flat as possible, one small detail I do miss on this concept … the periscope. I know it would probably be totally useless today, but that periscope rearview mirror is just so iconic, and so early Countach, it really should be there on an homage design if you ask me.
On the interior we see actual evidence this Countach 50 concept is based on the current Aventador ‘tub’, the entire dashboard is straight out of the Aventador, so is the steering wheel, but the central console is heavily modified, for one there is a massive, vertical touchscreen fitted, and the controls and start button have been moved further down, between the seats, the door panels are modified too, especially to hold those ‘rearview camera’ displays and while the ‘ICON’ version seems to get brown leather comfort seats, the ‘UNIQUE’ version boasts black lightweight carbon fiber sport seats it seems.
ARC Design came up with three different styles for their Countach 50 concept, for the real purists they have the ‘ICON’, finished in bright yellow with brushed aluminum accents to really commemorate the original 1971 Countach prototype or the ‘UNIQUE’ variant that boasts a satin gold bodywork combined with Forged Carbon details to create a modern interpretation of the beautiful Countach while using the latest technologies, but my personal favorite is the ‘IDOL’ edition, finished in a deep black metallic with brown flakes that bring out the bronze details even better.
My guess is that the car Automobili Lamborghini SpA will unveil in August as their Countach Homage might not be as extremely angular as this ARC Design Countach 50, and perhaps this Countach 50 just doesn’t have enough air intakes to cool the engine, but I do think it’s an amazing looking design anyway, it instantly reminds me of the Countach yet it looks modern … and feasible. If the $3,000,000 rumor and 112 units limited production is real, I sure wouldn’t mind if the car looked close to this Countach 50 … I would possibly go for a different wheel design however, I’m not really a fan of these, sorry.