The Countach was the quintessential Italian supercar for almost two decades. Its name, says jmpz, is roughly the equivalent of "holy shit!" in a certain dialect of Italian. To describe its styling as "aggressive" would be an understatement. Automobili Lamborghini SpA had given it aluminum body work and a mid-mounted V12 engine. It was the first model to feature the trademark scissor doors. It was low, wide, and fast.
The 1971 Geneva motor show was the Countach's first public appearance. The concept, dubbed the LP 500 (Longitudinale Posteriore 5-liter), would pass only its good looks on to the road-going models. The 5.0 V12 was abandoned for a modest 4-liter after an explosion during testing. With four camshafts and six double-barrel carburettors, the new V12 made 375 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. The LP 400 sprinted from zero to sixty in less than six seconds, but could not pass 170 miles per hour. Despite the concept's claims of over 200 mph, the Countach would always be limited by an abnormally high coefficient of drag.
In 1982 the second LP 500 was produced. The new model, however, boasted only a 4.8 liter engine. Power remained unchanged, but was paired with increased torque. In addition, the new models boasted the widest tires ever fitted to a production car: Pirelli P7s measuring almost 14 inches wide.
1984 saw the release of the Ferrari Testarossa. To combat it, Lamborghini unveiled the ultimate Countach. The 5000 QV (Quattro Valvole) boasted a 5.2 liter engine with more than 450 horsepower. It went from zero to sixty in just 5.9 seconds, and could reach more than 180 miles per hour. The Anniversary edition, released in 1988, was mechanically identical to the QV. Chrysler, which had recently purchased Lamborghini, saw fit to weigh down the Anniversary edition with various new creature comforts, leaving the QV as the fastest (but not best-selling) Countach. By the end of 1990, around 2000 Countachs had been sold. Production ceased to make way for the Lamborghini Diablo.