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Ferrari 512 Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach: quartet of heroes of the 80s

Hardy Mutschler
Ferrari 512 Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach
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Vrooooooooaaam. Two flat, bright red sports cars race past, level, close together. A Lamborghini Countach 5000 S has a F errari 512 Testarossa created. The bloodcurdling roar of their twelve-cylinder engines makes the fir trees on the edge of the road tremble, and the observer suddenly feels like at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But wait, no trophies will be given out today. The two Italian supercars did not show up for a test of strength, but for a photo opportunity.

Lamborghini design causes a stir

Both embody something unique, downright revolutionary in their own way Design. But who wants it for the drivers of Lamborghini Countach 5000 S and Ferrari 512 Testarossa blame them for briefly slipping on the accelerator in view of the inviting straights at the airfield near Meinerzhagen. If you actually let the two cars compete against each other, that would be a generation comparison. Whereby the grandpa among the opponents comes up with the wildest outfit.

The original model of the Lamborghini Countach caused a sensation at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971. Not because half-naked girls were doing gymnastics on him. No, its smooth, wedge-shaped shape was so exciting and so daring for a street sports car that many reacted at the sight of it as if they were seeing a UFO.

So his name says it all, because Lamborghini Countach means something like whow, wow or cool in Piedmont - or all together. In any case, Bertone's star designer Marcello Gandini had achieved his goal. 'I wanted the Lamborghini Countach to be as expressive as possible through its architecture and shape,' he says. In fact, no other sports car embodied the concept of speed more impressively than the Lamborghini Countach. And when it finally went into series production three years later, the enthusiasm persisted. He was admired, admired and coveted, that was something they had tooThe necessary changes made under Ingegnere Paolo Stanzani on the way to series production have not changed. On the contrary, the stylistic corrections such as the ducts with air inlets behind the side windows or the NACA air vents in the flanks underlined the character of this car, which testers at the time described as a wild beast.

Good contact pressure was the requirement for the design of the Ferrari

Not quite as spectacular, but the Pininfarina design of the Ferrari Testarossa presented in 1984 was similarly radical and unique . But the Bertone competitor had to orient itself to certain specifications, more precisely to a technical concept that was closely based on the development in racing car construction - a profession that Ferrari, unlike Lamborghini, has mastered inside out. Inspired by the ground effect in the wing cars in Formula 1 at the end of the 1970s, the goal of the design team led by Leonardo Fioravanti was: 'Good contact pressure at high speed that improves driving stability.' The drag coefficient, which at 0.36 was not that bad, only played second fiddle.

Pininfarina wind tunnel contributed to the Ferrari Testarossa design

Particularly helpful The design of the Ferrari Testarossa body trimmed for downforce was of course Pininfarina's own wind tunnel. The ribs running along the flanks, which looked like war paint, were extremely striking. The wind blows through this and a wing profile at the level of the B-pillar of the Ferrari 51 Testarossa directs it directly to the radiators on the left and right of the mid-engine. This is also the case with the successor Ferrari Testarossa 512, which was first presented to selected press representatives in November 1991.

In a direct comparison of the Lamborghini Countach 5000 S and Ferrari 512 Testarossa, the first thing you notice is the changed front with the front apron in body color and a small spoiler lip underneath, then the 18-inch rims and the newly designed tailgate. But supposedly the Ferrari Testarossa 512 should consist of 80 percent new parts compared to its predecessor. The thoroughbred has therefore undergone intensive training.

Ride with the Ferrari Testarossa

Let's start at one Ride out. The door opener of the Ferrari 512 Testarossa is hidden in the side ribs. After entering the 1.13 meter flat vehicle, you end up in the care of the corrugated bucket seats covered with Connolly leather. For a mid-engine car, the passenger compartment looks quite spacious and bright. A cheeky ray of sun falls through the rear window, the curved glass of which is reminiscent of the dinosaur. The Cavallino rampante is emblazoned on the steering wheel hub and the Veglia instruments with their signal orange digits. As if to forgetcould sit in a Ferrari.

At that time Testa Rossa was still written in two words

But that The true fascination of the Ferrari 512 Testarossa only reveals itself when the 25.6 kilogram, sevenfold bearing crankshaft of the magnificent twelve-cylinder engine begins to rotate. The flat 180-degree V-engine, which, including the gearbox, takes up the massive rear area for itself, is a work of art with four overhead camshafts, 48 ​​valves and red-colored cylinder head covers. Ferrari fans know: Testa Rossa, i.e. red head, was the name of the successful Ferrari racing cars of the 1950s with two-liter, four-cylinder and three-liter, twelve-cylinder engines. At that time, Testa Rossa was still written in two words. Whether the 512 TR is his glorious ancestors is aware?

The performance boost of the Ferrari 512 Testarossa is enormous

In any case, the engine of the jumps Ferrari 512 Testarossa immediately, but when you step on the accelerator nothing happens. No wonder, because it was the brake. Because of the wheel arch, the pedals are so unusually far to the right that you first have to orientate yourself. But then. How nice that a sports exhaust system delivers pure, intoxicating Formula 1 sound on this specimen. The clutch demands mediocre leg strength. First gear back left and go.

It is amazing how light-footed the not exactly petite Ferrari 512 Testarossa looks when it is moving, and with what force it storms towards the horizon when the accelerator is depressed. The 428 hp engine with sequential Bosch injection spontaneously responds to every twitch of the right foot with a power boost. And of the enormous 491 Nm at 5,500 rpm, there is so much steam left even at low engine speeds that you rarely have to shift down when accelerating even in fifth gear.

Unless you want to go fast. Then it's time to vigorously chase the gear stick through the open backdrop, the inner edges of which are hard chrome-plated for extra quick gear changes. If necessary, the Ferrari 512 Testarossa hisses to 200 km /h in 16.5 seconds and even cracks the 300 km /h mark. The enthusiasm for properties such as the background noise and the well-kept power delivery - paired with exemplary steering precision for the time, cornering stability and spontaneity of handling - culminates in two words: drive a Ferrari. But this also means that fast driving degenerates into work. In principle, all driving maneuvers that require a large steering angle make the Ferrari Testarossa driver sweat.

Lamborghini Countach is in Literally hot

That applies even more to the Lamborghini Countach 5000 S. First you have tobut get into the flounder, which is incredibly low at 1.07 meters. The door swings spectacularly upwards and reveals an opening, when you look at it the question arises: should you get in there with your feet first or on all fours? The 'right foot first' version is the better one. You slide over the wide Lamborghini Countach sill into the deep seat shell and, with the right half of your body, hugs the transmission, so to speak. Stanzani had the idea of ​​placing the light metal monument made of twelve cylinders lengthways in the middle of the car and the gearbox in front of it.

This improves the axle load distribution, but on the other hand the power has to be conducted to the differential via a shaft running through the oil pan. This technical trick impresses the Lamborghini Countach 5000 S driver less than the high temperatures that set in the interior when the sun is shining because of the large windshield - reinforced by the heating up technology. But it's not a poor sausage that is grilled here in his fly chair. After all, you can feel like you're in a racing car.

5.2 seconds from zero to 100 km /h with the Lamborghini Countach

The poor visibility to the rear or those close together, which are best operated with ballet shoes, are also popular Pedals in a dark shaft accepted. And how exciting is driving a Lamborghini Countach 5000 S? In short, if you irritate the beast, you can easily get a pulse of 180 - a number that can also be read on the speedometer in third gear. But to do this, the animal has to be brought to life. After a few leisurely turns of the crankshaft, the power pack awaiting in the Lamborghini Countach 5000 S with a displacement of 4,754 cm3 comes to the point in the driver's back.

The Lamborghini Countach machine, which gives off a full and dark rumble, with its six Weber double carburettors is a celebration for fans of the classic mixture preparation. With 375 hp, it is significantly weaker than the Ferrari Testarossa Engine, but thanks to 280 kilos less weight, the Lamborghini Countach even dives a touch faster than the Ferrari Testarossa to 100 km /h - in exactly 5.2 seconds. Acceleration orgies almost require a telescopic leg because of the long gas pedal travel. But the little contortion is worth it, creates lasting memories.

The top speed of the Lamborghini Countach is 293 km /h

The monstrous Lamborghini Countach rear wing is supposed to defuse the situation. It was available as an extra - in the 1980s the Americans called it the Hyundai Wing, because at 5,000 dollars it cost as much as the Hyundai Excel. Another way to experience a sweaty thrill is to explore possible cornering speeds. The wide, low-profile tires of the Lamborghini Countach 5000 S allow gastric upset lateral accelerations. Incidentally, this also works with the Ferrari 512 Testarossa. Two design milestones, two super cars from different decades. But they have one thing in common: Vrooooaam.


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