There aren’t many car manufacturers in the world that conjure up as many emotions as Lamborghini. The fabled Italian supercar manufacturer has been around since 1963 and has given some incredible cars such as the Miura, the legendary Countach, the Murcielago, and most recently, the Sian. The brand looks set to continue strong for many years to come, with the launch of the new Countach, its Urus SUV, and the obvious point at which the company will have to transition to EVs. But some of the very best products that Lamborghini has produced are past products, such as what we have mentioned above.
The Miura and Countach are two of the very best Lamborghini’s ever created. They are two groundbreaking cars that set the supercar standard for many years to come, creating styles all of their own. One Lamborghini that doesn’t seem to get spoken about, in the same way, is the Espada. This was a four-seater ground touring coupe that Lamborghini produced for ten years from 1968 to 1978, and is probably one of the company’s best-looking cars. But no one really talks about the Espada. This is despite this car being very special, and one of Lamborghini’s best ever creations.
The History Of The Lamborghini Espada
The Espada story begins back in 1967, with designer Marcello Gandini at the Bertone coachbuilding company. Gandini was tasked with creating a four-seat grand touring machine for the Italian company, and so he drew some inspiration from two show cars from Bertone that were created in 1967. These were the Lamborghini Marzal and the Bertone Piranna. The Aspada went on sale just a couple of years after the groundbreaking Miura went on sale, which at the time was the fastest production road car in the world and was Lamborghini’s flagship car.
The Espada was put on sale alongside both the Miura and the company’s other new grand tourer, the Islero. Both of these cars replaced the aging 400 GT 2+2 in Lamborghini’s range, and consumers noted how the Espada had a more radical and daring design than the Islero which was much more like your average GT car. The Espada was powered by a 3.9-liter Lamborghini V12 engine that produced 321 hp, which was mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Only 1,277 Espada’s were created in the ten-year period that the car was on sale, and they are now quite a rare sight.
Reception To The Espada And Its Variants
Generally speaking, the Espada was received very well by the consumers at the time. It was so well received that it was the company’s best-selling car through its ten-year production run, a fantastic achievement for a car that is quite different from pretty much every Lamborghini. Something else that was also unique about the Espada was, as you can probably tell from its long shape, is that the engine was mounted in the front, making this a rare non-mid-engine Lamborghini. The glass panel at the back of the Aspada lifts up, meaning that this is a hatchback.
Lamborghini would go on to create various versions of the Espada throughout its life. The Series I was what launched the car, and throughout its lifespan, in all Series, the Espada would use the V12 engine derived from the 400 GT 2+2. The Series I had a dashboard inspired by the Marzal concept car, with 186 being made before January 1970. In total, Lamborghini would create three Series of the Espada, with the final edition, the Series III, featuring more modern safety features such as larger impact bumpers. These were primarily to meet United States safety requirements.
A Potential Revival Would Be Great
Whilst the Espada was taken out of production in 1978, rumors would soon fly around as to a revival of the car. In 1999, there were rumors that Lamborghini was looking at creating a new version of the Espada. But these came to nothing as Lamborghini stayed focussed on a Diablo successor, even if a few drawings were conjured up. Rumors again were reported in 2006, with Edmunds stating that Lamborghini was hoping to revive the Espada in 2009 and indeed they produced the Estoque concept car, the successor to the Aspada. This though ultimately came to nothing.
It Was A Truly Special Lamborghini
The Espada is one of those cars that very much gets talked about in hush tones. No one seems to remember its creation, and it seems to have slipped under a lot of people’s radars for whatever reason. This is a great shame given how gorgeous the Espada looked and the draw of a four-seat, practical and comfortable Lamborghini. Given it went on to be the company’s best-selling vehicle throughout its whole production run, it’s not inconceivable to think that the Espada could well be a hit once again should Lamborghini decide to revive it. They have already revived the Countach. Now let’s see if the Espada one day follows suit.
Sources: Sports Car Market, Supercar Nostalgia, Classic Driver, Lambo CARS, Girardo & Co, Historics, Lamborghini Espada
A Countach popping up for sale on an auction always attract bidders, and this is one is no different.
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