You know that intake when you see it; that slab of after-thought on the fender which now resonates loudly in your mind screaming “COUNTACH! COUNTAAAAACCH!!!” as your eyes move over the flowing-yet-angular lines. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, It’s a Lamborghini Countach, in LP500 S flavor, courtesy of Kyosho and featured today in 1/18 scale. Fair warning though; Image Heavy Article.
The idea that someone could actually fit themselves into a Countach for any long period of time is almost inconceivable.
The world first really saw the imaginative lunacy of designer Marcello Gandini in the flowing curves of the Lamborghini Miura, one of the top contenders for the title of first ‘Supercar’ and quite possibly the most unconventional looking thing to grace any road in the 1960s. The follow-up act for such an icon of unconventional design could not, of course, simply be a face-lift and some new power as is usually prevalent in the marketplace today. No no no. It simply had to be nuts.
Enter the strikingly sharp lines of the Countach. First seen in 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show in so-called LP500 form with the intention of using a new, 5.0 liter V12 engine. Production saw very few changes to Gandini’s now-legendary design, with the exception of the massive vents on the flanks and the aforementioned intakes positioned with great care on the rear fenders. The production car, called Countach LP400, actually featured the old Miura’s 4.0 liter V12 engine. This was soon replaced by the LP400 “S” model, though this had the same engine and was actually slower due to an engine de-tune, albeit having better suspension and being a better and safer car all-around. The LP400 S was also the first car to wear the added-on fender flares that would carry over to all successive Countach’s.
The LP400 S model was soon replaced by the specific variant featured in this article; the LP5000 S.
The earliest cars built from 1982 onwards were actually known and badged just as LP500 S, to go inline with the naming scheme which Lamborghini used up until that point. After a while, presumably after messing up the decimal points on a lengthy and delicious dinner bill, Lamborghini top brass figured out that 5000 is more than 500, and the car became known as the LP5000 S, as seen on this diecast model. This naming scheme carried over to the later 5000 QV variant, which had an increased engine size of 5.2 liters, and four valves-per-cylinder. QV. Four valves. Quattrovalvole. Genius.
Ever realize that the Countach had a trunk under that
ironing board wing?
Not only was the Countach bequeathed with a trunk, here in all it’s flocked glory, it gained the ability to position it’s engine not transversely, but longitudinally. This means that the engine is able to fit in the car front-to-back as opposed to side-to-side as seen in the preceding Miura, with more than ample room for a transmission and associated hardware.
The transmission in the Countach is actually in front of the engine, essentially in between the driver and passenger seats and ending directly under the gear stick.. The driveshaft runs back straight through the oil sump to reach the rear differential. The LP500 S/LP5000S version of the Countach was the first to receive an increase in engine size over the original, from 4.0 liters to just under 5.0 liters, effectively realizing the dream Lamborghini originally had with the show car in 1971 to fit a 5.0 V12 engine. This gives the car a healthy ~365 horsepower to feed the massive rear tires.
Say it with me: “Six Sexy Weber Carbs”
Kyosho gave us a nicely detailed engine bay, though some mold lines are visible and the paint is not always 100% on-target. The engine of a Countach is fabulously intricate, and this representation is a very very nice ittiration with the limited space under that deceptively small hood. Lovely Lamborghini scripts adorn each cylinder bank as red plug wires run everywhere. Bonus points for the illegible under-hood sticker. I love under-hood stickers.
The rear of the car is finished off with a quartet of fantastic looking exhaust tips, set astride a cooling grille for the mufflers. Kysho again did a great job here, with real mesh placed precisely between the pipes, as with the mesh everywhere on the car. The body lines on the rear 3/4 view, where the fender meets the rear of the car, could be a lot better, and I believe it’s more a problem of finishing than design.
The detail in the emblems is stunning, and they are perfectly legible from a few feet away even!
It is busy back there.
Up front it isn’t any calmer. The Countach’s ‘wedge’ design pretty much requires pop up headlamps and a multitude of small air vents throughout rather than the simplicity of all-in-one design. The headlights on this model pop up easily and stay there with a remarkably solid and secure feel.
When closed, the lights sit flush and don’t require any insane levels of force or precision to close them safely.
There is also a tiny button to push the lights up just enough to open them fully by hand. The button is not spring loaded, as with some models of this intricacy level, so it will most likely never fail as those spring loaded ones tend to do.
A fantastically detailed emblem on the
front trunk bonnet frunk looks great all the way through the CSI:LaLD Super Zoom Mode, with minor placement errors and some missing detail only becoming noticeable when you are really pushing it beyond what human eyes can really appreciate.
Speaking of that front compartment, we get a lot of little details to behold in there.
Spare tire with real tie-downs, a little horn (!), a molding of a tool kit, and a washer fluid bottle is all you get, but that’s about as much as any lucky 1:1 Countach owner would get... so.. yeah...
Shut lines on the front are tremendous, as the wedge shape goes on, undisturbed.
Those iconic doors are now a trademark of V12 engined Lamborghinis, but the Countach was their first application on a production car.
The interior on this car is great. Absolutely fantastic to look at and drool over. There are tiny little details throughout that, again, seem inconceivable on a model of even this size. There are also tiny speaker holes in the door sill, just like the drilled-through leather panels on the 1:1 cars. Seatbelts are meticulously recreated as are the tiny vents on the roof above the seats. It is just a shame that when you get this close to the model, you notice the famous NACA ducts on the side of the car are not really open -or even convincing really.
The doors stay up with great solidity as they sit on little metal struts. The model comes with a nice little plastic tool to open the doors so as not to disturb the mechanism, and that tool fits in the trunk of the car!
From here we can also see the exceptionally recreated wheels and tires, with nice brake discs and calipers hidden behind the large surface area of those OZ rims. Great little logo detail as well. The tires could use some side wall lettering, but the thread and sizing is spot-on.
In the rear we see the same wheels, just a lot wiiiiddddeeeerrrr, complete with great logo. Additional shot of the legendary ‘Disegno Bertone’ badge on the flank, the design studio where Marcello Gandini was employed.
That just about sums it up on the Kyosho 1/18 Lamborghini Countach LP5000S. Personally it is my favorite itiration of the production Countach range, combining my love of these fender flares with my dislike of the later Countach’s bigger and more extravagant flares. I adore this model, and with the price I paid for it being about 60% of what they currently go for, I’m not selling this one. As I type this is sits beside a Murcielago and a Diablo Roadster, and the Countach is not going anywhere. Now I just have to get that Kyosho Miura SV!
Kyosho may have some areas that could use improvement, such as the under-hood detailing regarding mold lines and paint over/under spray. The side grilles should be open, as they are in true gaping fashion on the 1:1 car, as they are one of the unforgettable details on this iconic automobile if you are lucky enough to see one.
All-in all, Kyosho did a fantastic job of recreating this venerated car, whose name apparently translates to some type of exclamation of amazement in the Italian Turinese dialect, akin to gasping the word “Heavenly!” as you see it fly through your local road.