More Retro Lamborghinis Unlikely as CEO Says Brand Has to ‘Look Forward’
Stephan Winkelmann says there are “surprising” and “unexpected” things to come from the Italian automaker.
The new Lamborghini Countach debuted last August to a mixed reception; as much as the world loves 800 horsepower hybrid hypercars, the retro reimagining failed to connect with the passion felt for the original 70s icon. Now, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has come out to say that the company will be turning away from more throwback projects, as reported by Autocar.
Winkelmann has plenty of history with Lamborghini, having served as President and CEO from 2005 to 2016, overseeing the launch of vaunted models including the Gallardo, Murciélago, Aventador, and Huracán. The in-demand auto executive returned to Lamborghini in December 2020, having spent some time at Audi and Bugatti in the intervening years.
In a discussion around future models for the brand, Winklemann noted that the company's focus has to be on the new rather than the old. "Retro cars are good from time to time. I think the Countach was a great thing. But our brand has to look forward. We have to have a big windscreen and small rear-view mirrors," Winkelmann told Autocar.
Expanding on the thought, Winkelmann stated "It's important to understand the history, to look into what happened in the past, but the projection has to be that we have to be innovative; we have to be disruptive and always unexpected."
It's an ethos that Winkelmann has long maintained throughout his career. As covered by Carscoops, Winkelmann's first stint at Lamborghini saw the development of the rehashed Miura concept, which never progressed to production. Similarly, after the new Countach was unveiled in 2021, the CEO noted to Autocar that he had "left the company [in 2016] with the idea that we were never going to make a retro car, never ever." On returning, the Countach project was already in progress, and Winklemann questioned the move, but admitted "when we looked at the car and talked about it, I was happy to do it."
Lamborghini has some exciting products in the pipeline, supporting the statements from Winkelmann himself. Something along the lines of the off-road Sterrato concept shown off in 2019 seems likely to come to market, with test mules recently spotted doing winter testing in the Arctic. The company also has plans to hybridize its whole lineup by 2025, with an all-electric model also on the way before 2030.
Regarding the test mules, Winkelmann explained to Autocar that breaking the mould is exactly the plan for Lamborghini. is very much on the cards for the brand. "Lamborghini is always unexpected," said Winkelmann, adding that "We have to play out of the normal field, and I think we have a great opportunity to do something special in the super-sports car business which hasn't been seen so far."
Those that found the reimagined Countach to be disappointing will be spurred by the news. Lamborghini taking the brand in new directions will likely win it more fans than simply trying to trade on th successes of yesteryear.
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