Peter Stevens on the Zagato 5-95 Concept

Interesting to see that Zagato introduced a Lamborghini concept at Villa d’Este. It is impossible not to notice the similarity between this 2014 Gallardo and the 1995 Lamborghini Raptor concept, also by Zagato.

The new Huracán is probably the smallest step that Lamborghini has made in design terms when introducing a new model and undoubtedly Zagato feels something more dramatic is needed but the Raptor was 20 years ago, what has happened to new?

The 1990s was a period when Lamborghini was owned by an Indonesian group led by Tommy Soehato, son of the president of Indonesia at that time. The company had a plan to produce a smaller and less expensive car with a V10 engine derived from the V12 Countach/Diablo motor, project P140. It was to have a 110mm shorter wheelbase and was to be about 200mm narrower than the Diablo.

At that time I was based in Sant’Agata working on a number of Lamborghini projects. In 1991 Marcello Gandini had produced a design for this project called P140, it was very boxy looking and with his usual, signature, badly shaped, wheel openings taken to an extreme shape. Giugiaro had also been asked to present a proposal as had I.

The Lamborghini Cala from Ital Design was not one of their best pieces of work, it was a fat and not a particularly cohesive design. Quite awkward from some views. Zagato was also contacted to present some ideas, the company went further than that and produced a complete car, the Raptor, at their own expense! Nothing eventually came of the project so in 1996 Zagato decided to show their proposal at the Geneva salon.

I had made quite a few proposals for P140, some of which were a little more conservative than the direction I hoped to take Lamborghini Design at that time. The owners had problems with understanding the differences between Ferrari and Lamborghini and how important it was to have a different design language.

Lamborghini Huracan Ferrari LaFerrari

At that time some Italian journalists were asking how an English designer like me could design a Lamborghini. I explained to them that a designer’s job is to understand and interpret the culture of a company and then turn that understanding into a three dimensional object; that is what designers do, and that is what I still see myself doing.

About Peter Stevens
Peter Stevens is a world-renowned vehicle designer and Visiting Professor of Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Over the course of his career, he’s been chief designer at Lotus Cars, McLaren and Lamborghini and design director for MG, Mahindra and Mahindra and Rivian Automotive. He’s also worked as a design consultant for Prodrive, BMW, Williams and Toyota. You can catch up with his antics on his Facebook page and his new website, which launches this month.


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