Ever since the starting gun fired in 1963, Italian sports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini has run its own race. Every aspect of the company, from management style to design philosophy, has served to drive Lamborghini into a class above the competition and made it the icon of luxury speedsters it is today.
For Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann, it’s a race without a finish line.
”Lamborghini is a brave, authentic and unexpected brand,” he tells The CEO Magazine. “Brave because we’ve explored unconventional routes with courage, yet always remain faithful to our DNA; authentic because we never follow trends; and unexpected because we break the rules and go beyond conventions as it’s the only way to change perspectives, to set new standards, to evolve.
“In fact,” he adds, “we’re just getting started.”
But there is another race the world’s car manufacturers have found themselves in, and the stakes are incredibly high. Auto makers are rushing to meet new emissions targets and introduce electronic vehicles; the prize is a cleaner world and a share of the next market.
Fast-forward to late 2020, when Stephan returned to steer the company into an electric future. In May 2021, Lamborghini announced its “Direzione Cor Tauri” transformation plan and path to sustainability.
“We’re currently in the first phase of the plan,” Stephan explains. That phase, celebrating the combustion engine, is a nod to everything that has come before. Phase two sees the company begin the transition to hybrid engines, a process it hopes to complete by the end of 2024.
Further down the line is phase three – the first fully electric Lamborghini – which is set to debut in the latter half of the decade. “There’s definitely work to be done, but from product electrification to the Sant’Agata Bolognese site, we’ll always remain faithful to Lamborghini’s values and DNA.”
“When it was introduced in 1974, the Countach redefined the high-performance car sector and set the bar in terms of style and features. Even today, that style guides the creation of contemporary Lamborghinis.”
It’s not all future thinking, however, and Stephan isn’t the only Lamborghini legend to make a triumphant return to the brand. The Lamborghini Countach, one of the iconic sports cars of the 1970s, is coming back.
“When it was introduced in 1974, the Countach redefined the high-performance car sector and set the bar in terms of style and features,” Stephan says. “Even today, that style guides the creation of contemporary Lamborghinis.”
That would include the new Countach LPI800-4, a futuristic limited edition that pays homage to its famous predecessor’s revolutionary design and rule-breaking feature set. “It’s a pure celebration of the 50th anniversary of the car that gave birth to Lamborghini’s design DNA,” Stephan says. Despite the nods to the past, the new Countach is very much in line with Lamborghini’s current strategy. “We’re always looking at the future, and we’ll continue to do so.”