When I think about Lamborghini, I think of their most well known creations: the Countach, the Diablo, the Gallardo, and the Murcielago. But it was Lamborghini’s early cars such as the Miura and the Espada that really earned the company its stripes.
The Miura was unveiled in 1966 to great praise, largely due to its beautiful styling. Two years later, Lamborghini had another hit on its hands with the Espada. This was the company’s first 4-seater, and it went on to become their most popular car up until that time. Just over 1,200 Espadas were built during their 10-year production run.
Designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, the Espada has a long, wide shape with a low, sloping roofline. I particularly love the curve of the side windows on these cars – I think it looks great! The car also features twin NACA ducts on the hood, quad round headlamps, and a unique glass hatch in the rear.
All Lamborghinis built today are mid-engine cars, but during the 1960s they were still using a traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout. Under its hood, the Espada packs a 4.0L V12 engine making 350 horsepower. Other features included a fully independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes.
In 1968, there weren’t many choices for sports cars with room for four. Jaguar introduced a 2+2 version of the E-type coupe in 1966, and the Espada absolutely destroys it. The Jag used a 4.2L Inline 6 that made 265 horsepower compared to the Espada’s 350hp. The Jag took about 7.0 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, the Espada could do it in 5.9 seconds. All in all, it’s everything you could have wanted in a 4-seater sports car at the time.
It’s interesting that Lamborghini has not seriously revisited the idea of a 4-seater since then. Sure, they made the Estoque concept car a few years ago, but that was just a concept and it had four doors. Will we ever see another 4-seater from Lamborghini? Who knows, but I think this one is pretty cool.