Sold from 1981 to 1988, it competed against the Ferrari 308 and the Mondial – neither of which are remembered as shining examples of Maranello’s best work.
The Jalpa did not have extreme, fighter-jet styling like the Countach or the Diablo. It had a V8 engine instead of the usual V10 or V12 engine. The engine was in the front instead of mid-mounted. It was a complete departure from all of the design and engineering standards Lamborghini was known for.
It was marketed as an “affordable” car, a tactic which has historically not worked well for exotic car manufacturers. Price was $58,000 back in 1988 ($117,000 in 2015 dollars).
They sold just 410 of them, which makes this car pretty uncommon.
0 to 62 in 6 seconds
15.4 @ 92 mph quarter mile
145 mph top speed
This car occupies a weird space in the automotive world. It’s not old enough to be classic but not new enough to be very good. The subtle styling would not appeal to most Lamborghini enthusiasts, who embrace the “fighter jet” styling of their other models. It has less horsepower than a new Kia Optima with the 2.0L Turbo engine, a car that costs just $27,700.
As in baseball, not every at-bat will result in a home run, and this is one of those rare and forgotten times when Lamborghini struck out.