What’s Your Favorite Prototype?
Prototypes are awesome. It doesn’t really matter if we’re talking about the Ferrari Enzo prototype—you know, the one that looked like a stretched 348—or one of the engineering mules for what would eventually become the Citroën 2CV. The stories from testing eventually seem to leak out, and we get to lust after vehicles that serve no purpose once the production car is released.
Sometimes, like in the case of the Jaguar X-C75, a prototype car is pulled to and from in a sort of “Will they?” or “Won’t they?” limbo, a process which serves only to make enthusiasts jittery. I prefer finding out a company made the coolest car ever after it’s crushed into a million tiny pieces—it’s easier that way.
Such is the tale of my favorite prototype, the Lamborghini Countach Evoluzione. Horacio Pagani worked there at the time, so the car was packed with composite parts to bring the weight down. It may look like the cash-strapped company just relied on wheel covers and small tweaks to make the ageing Countach more efficient, but even in 1986, engineers had recast the car with a composite structure, active suspension, ABS, (rumored) four-wheel-drive, and a 490 horsepower V12 to send it screaming through the countryside.
Fast? Definitely: at just 2,160 lbs., it weighed 1,102 lbs. less than a normal Countach and even 180 lbs. less than a McLaren F1. As a rolling test bed, it was sacrificed in a crash test: nobody really knew how composites would hold up in a supercar.
Do you have a prototype that tugs at your heartstrings?