1970s: Lamborghini Countach

Many would point to the Lamborghini Miura as the forefather of the modern supercar thanks to its mid-engined layout. The Countach bridges the gap between supercars of yesterday and today. Designed by Marcello Gandini, the Countach’s profile was wedge-shaped, in keeping with the supercar design paradigm of the era. While that has clearly become dated, the Countach popularised features that can be seen today. As with all modern mid-engined supercars, the Countach’s big V12 engine was mounted longitudinally, so the passenger cell had to be pushed forward, leading to its cab-forward, ready-to-pounce stance.

The dramatic ducts on its doors and above its rear fenders provided adequate cooling for the engine. And thanks to its prodigious width (swelling to 2,000mm in its later models) scissor doors were a necessity because conventional outward-swinging doors would be impossible to use in smaller spaces. The Countach lives up to its name, which is an expression of shock or surprise in the Piedmontese dialect.

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