Imagine if a Delorean and a Lagonda had a more beautiful baby, this concept would be it, except it was made almost a decade before both. In 1967 Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted to make a proper 4 seat sports car and today we’re going to talk about a car that sadly was never put into production.
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In the 1960’s, Lamborghini was going strong with its 400GT and the Miura, Ferruccio was looking for a 4 seater car to make sales and also to finalise his lineup. However being the marketing genius that he was, he didn’t really car if it ever made production, instead he viewed it in the same light as he initially viewed the Miura, as a marketing piece.
“The Marzal was not developed as a production car. If you present a car like the Marzal at automobile shows such as Geneva, Turin, and Frankfurt all the magazines report on the first page about it. You would rather spend 100 million lire for building such an automobile which is still less expensive than paying for all the advertising. That would cost almost a billion lire. So it compensates in any case to build such a throwaway car.” - Ferruccio Lamborghini, quoted in “Lamborghini: The Quest for Perfection”. Automobile Quarterly.
Who better to commission that Marcello Gandini of Bertone to design the car and in 1967 he began sculpting what would become a glorious concept vehicle. The car was unveiled at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show and sadly, never put into production, instead the car was morphed into what would become the Espada.
The general shape of the car is basically the same as the Lamborghini Espada which would follow in a few years but this car had some very interesting features, including glass Gulwing doors. At the time, Road and Track magazine said that it was “A Bertone design so fresh that everything else looks old fashioned.” It featured an interesting array of 6 Hexagonal headlamps and a hexagonal theme throughout which was seen also in the Huracan, surely as a way to pay homage to this incredible car.
The interior was upholstered in a silver fabric that looked like something out of the Jetsons and even a small feature such as the wheels were futuristic, made out of a magnesium alloy.
The chassis was taken directly from the Miura and lengthened, along with steering, suspension and brakes, although the suspension had less travel because of the bodies design.
The engine was a 2 liter inline 6 that was originally a Lamborghini V12 just split in half, designed by motorsports engineer Gian Paolo Dallara, featuring 3 Weber carbs and air intakes set directly behind the passenger. The trans axle was taken from the Miura and mated with a 5 speed transition with the ratio changed to increase acceleration.
The engine in theory could produce 175 bhp and 132 lb-ft of torque which would give it a top speed of 118 mph, although these figures were never confirmed outside of Lamborghini.
It’s always a shame when an incredible concept car gets put on display and impresses the car world but never makes it to production, this car is no exception and I for one, hope at some point we see more ludicrous creations from Lamborghini like this again in the future.