The poor man’s Lamborghini is celebrating its golden anniversary.

Unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in late October 1970, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Lamborghini Urraco,

Rather than another supercar, like the Lamborghini Miura, the Urraco was designed as a more affordable alternative to the Ferrari Dino and Maserati Merak.

It stood out for its innovative technical solutions, thanks to the contribution of engineer Paolo Stanzani — technical father of the Urraco and Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer at the time.

Urraco’s styling was entrusted to renowned designer Marcello Gandini, who was head designer for Carrozzeria Bertone.

In keeping with then tradition, the car took its name from a breed of Miura fighting bulls. The name translates to “little bull”.

Urraco is a fast 2+2 coupé, with mid-mounted V8 and independent suspension.

It had MacPherson struts on both front and rear, a first for a production car.

At launch the car was powered by a small 2.5-litre, SOHC  V8 that produced 162kW at 7800 rpm and a top speed of 245 km/h.

It had a Heron cylinder head with flat inner part, with a combustion chamber that contained a depression in the piston head.

This combo made it possible to use a higher compression ratio, without an increase in cost.

Induction was courtesy of four Weber double-body 40 IDF1 type carbies.

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1970 Lamborghini Urraco.

It’s said the idea for the Urraco came Ferruccio Lamborghini himself, who wanted to create a model that was more accessible to a wider, albeit limited, public.

Only 4.25 metres long, the interior was highly innovative in terms of the dashboard shape, position of the instruments and dished steering wheel.

Introduced as the P250 Urraco, where the “P” stood for the rear (posteriore) position of the engine, and 250 for the engine capacity (2.5 litres), the car was produced from 1970 to 1976.

But in 1974 its successor the P200, was shown at the Turin Motor Show with a tiny, downsized 2.0-litre engine designed to meet tax requirements, that delivered 134kW and was produced from 1975 to 1977.

The third and final version, the P300 was produced from 1975 to 1979 with a DOHC 3.0-litre V8 that puped out 184kW.

Both the Lamborghini Silhouette, with its detachable roof panel, and its successor Lamborghini Jalpa, with a 3.5 litre V-8 engine, were based on the Urraco.

Model Engine Displacement Max power Max torque 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) Top speed Units
P200 V8 ohc 1,994 cc 182 PS (134 kW; 180 hp) at 7,500 rpm 176 N⋅m (130 lb⋅ft) at 3,800 rpm 7.2 s 215 km/h (134 mph) 66
P250 V8 ohc 2,463 cc 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp) at 7,500 rpm 220 N⋅m (162 lb⋅ft) at 3,750 rpm 6.9 s 240 km/h (149 mph) 520
P300 V8 dohc 2,996 cc 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) at 7,500 rpm 265 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm 5.6 s 260 km/h (162 mph) 190

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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