Lamborghini is famed for its crazy production cars, so it’s no surprise to learn that the company has some equally wild concepts stashed away in its archives. There are several famous Lambo concepts like the recent Terzo Millennio, which is a great example of how the brand is always looking to the future, pushing the boundaries of what a performance car can be. Likewise, the infamous Egoista proves just how weird Lambo’s designers can get when they’re given complete freedom. These famous concepts aside, there’s plenty of lesser-known Raging Bull prototypes that have been forgotten about over time.
Whether it’s a futuristic hybrid supercar or a V12-powered minivan, there’s plenty of crazy concept Lambos that deserve more recognition than they get. The company has produced concept versions of a much wider range of cars than many enthusiasts would expect, even though most of the time, these cars never made it anywhere near production. Let’s take a look at ten of Lambo’s coolest forgotten concepts.
10 Concept S
The Concept S will look instantly familiar to most fans, as it’s heavily based on the production Gallardo. It’s a chopped-down speedster version of the car, with two separate cabins for the driver and passenger.
The brainchild of former design director Luc Donckerwolke, the Concept S was originally intended for a limited production run, with 100 units set to be made. That never happened, and the sole remaining prototype was put up for auction twice in 2017 and 2019 but failed to sell each time.
9 P147 Canto
In the late Nineties, Lamborghini had been just brought under VW Group ownership and was looking for a replacement for the aging Diablo. The P147 Canto was Zagato’s proposal for the successor, and Lambo reportedly got very close to putting the car into production.
It was only a last-minute intervention from Audi chairman Ferdinand Piëch that stopped the Canto from becoming Lamborghini’s new flagship supercar. He apparently wasn’t happy with the design and so scrapped it altogether.
Back in 1974 when the Bravo was first unveiled, Lamborghini was a much smaller company, hot off the success of the iconic Miura. It enlisted Marcello Gandini, the Miura’s designer, to create a successor to the Urraco, the brand’s 2+2 sports car at the time.
The result was this, a streamlined concept that has more than a few hints of Countach design language. A fully working prototype was built and it reportedly underwent around 40,000 miles of pre-production testing before eventually being scrapped thanks to Lambo’s restrictive budget.
By the time the Estoque was unveiled in 2008, Lamborghini hadn’t made a four-seater model for decades. That was set to change, however, as the Estoque was tipped for production, although the company always refused to officially confirm or deny this.
The car would have been powered by the 5.2L V10 engine that was shared with the Gallardo, making it a seriously quick saloon. Eventually, Lamborghini decided not to pursue production of the Estoque, although they later entered the four-door performance car market with the Urus SUV.
Lamborghini and design house Bertone had a very close relationship for many decades, and to celebrate that relationship Bertone designed the Athon as a one-off concept in 1980. The car was never meant for production, rather as a way to generate positive press at a time when Lambo badly needed it.
When the Athon was first shown off, Lamborghini was in the middle of a cash crisis that nearly shuttered the whole company for good. The aim of the Athon was to drum up publicity, and it worked. It couldn’t stop the brand from going bankrupt, but it did play a part in helping attract new investors who brought the company back to financial health.
The LM002 might be the best-known Lamborghini off-roader, but it wasn’t the first. That honor goes to the Cheetah, a basic-but-tough prototype that was built in the hopes of securing a manufacturing deal with the US Military.
That deal never happened, and as a result the Cheetah never made it past the concept stage. However, the car eventually went on to form the basis of the LM002, so the design wasn’t lost altogether.
4 Bertone Genesis
Probably one of Lamborghini’s most wild concepts ever is the Bertone Genesis, a streamlined minivan that featured a 5.2L V12. It was built with parts from a Countach Quattrovalvole, and it made an unbelievable 455 hp.
The car was only ever meant as a show car and a design study, but it’s still a shame it didn’t reach production. A V12-powered luxury Lambo minivan would certainly be a collector’s item if it was made available to customers. But, in reality, the only prototype now resides in the collection of the Automotoclub Storico Italiano, a members-only collectors club.
Following the dismal sales flop that was the Jalpa, Lamborghini needed a way to bring back spark into its entry-level offering. The 1995 Calà was nearly the Jalpa’s successor, as Lambo’s owners at the time, Megatech, were quite keen to get back into the smaller supercar segment.
A working prototype was produced with a 4.0L V10 engine, but when Megatech sold Lamborghini to the VW Group in 1998, the idea was shelved. The eventual replacement to the Jalpa didn’t come along until 2003 with the arrival of the Gallardo.
2 Zagato Raptor
The transition period through the Nineties when Lamborghini underwent several ownership changes brought about another now-forgotten concept, the Zagato Raptor. It debuted in 1996 at the Geneva Motor Show, and there were rumors that it would be the interim successor to the Diablo, while the P147 Canto was still under development.
The Zagato Raptor used the chassis and engine from the production Diablo, but it was lighter thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber. Despite those production rumors, nothing ever came of the Raptor, and the only working prototype was sold to a private collector in 2000.
Today, a hybrid supercar is nothing out of the ordinary, but back when the Asterion was unveiled in 2014 the idea was still somewhat an unusual one. The LaFerrari that debuted the year before had proved that using hybrid technology could be brutally fast, but it hadn’t been adopted by many other manufacturers yet.
The Asterion previewed an age where Lamborghini’s best-selling products came with hybrid powertrains, an age that even today has yet to arrive. Development of the car was eventually shelved in favor of the Urus SUV, which was presumably a much more lucrative proposition for the company. Even so, there’s still a chance that the technology and the design from the Asterion could go on to influence future Lamborghini models.
Lamborghinis are incredible on their own, but these ridiculous limited edition Raging Bulls show just what this supercar company is really capable of.
About The Author