The Lamborghini Urraco is a 2+2 sports car available from 1972 to 1979 model years. Fitting the usual naming moniker of Lamborghini, the Urraco name refers to a line of Miura-bred fighting bulls. When translated directly from Spanish to English, it means little bull.
Lamborghini Urraco: Oil Crisis and Environmental Concerns
Like many vehicles produced in the midst of the energy crisis, the Urraco was Lamborghini’s attempt to bring a more efficient car to market. While many of their vehicles were no-holds-barred ultra high-performance machines, the time had come to put other concerns into the design. The result was a somewhat restrained version of the Lamborghini brand that had evolved. While the founder actually preferred larger and more comfortable grand touring vehicles, Lamborghini began to become associated with 2-seater sports cars featuring mind-blowing V12 engines. Practicality was not in the scope of their usual builds. But when the energy crisis rolled around, along with the accompanying concerns about the environment as a whole and increased fuel efficiency, the time had come for a change. More practical concerns were brought into the design of the Lamborghini Urraco in an attempt to provide a more affordable and eco-conscious vehicle. Lamborghini turned to the famed Bertone fashion house and Marcello Gandini to design the body for the Urraco. It was intended to compete with more affordable luxury vehicles like the Ferrari Dino.
The usual V12 was replaced with a smaller displacement V8 engine, and two-seater capacity was increased to four people. While it was a much more reasonable product than the others they had brought, it still focused on trying to maintain luxury and high performance. 791 total units of the Lamborghini Urraco were produced. They featured a transverse mid-engine with rear-wheel drive and weighed in around 2,500 pounds. The engines used was a 2.5-liter for the P250 model with maximum horsepower of 223 PS (220 horsepower) at 7,500 RPMs and 165 lb ft of torque at 3,500 RPMs. It was paired with a manual 5-speed gearbox. In 1974, a 3-liter V8 engine was introduced in the P300 with 250 PS (247 horsepower) and 195 lb ft of torque. It is also reported that some 2.0L P200s were produced, with 180 horsepower and 130 lb ft of torque. The engines featured four Weber carbs to provide accurate air fuel mixture to provide the best fuel efficiency possible. For old-school Lamborghini owners, these numbers surely wouldn’t provide the speed they had been used to. But then again, in a world that had face a serious fuel shortage, people were willing to travel that excessive power for a more responsible vehicle that led to fewer trips to the gas station. 21 of the Lamborghini Urracos, known as P250 Tipo 111s, were fitted with larger front bumpers and emissions controls to meet the US regulatory requirements, resulting in slightly decreased horsepower.
Styling and Features
The exterior styling of the Urraco was still fitting of the Lamborghini name. Although the design was not quite as aggressive as other models, there were a lot of angular designs, a prominent front nose, and the overall height was kept to a minimum. Constructed to seat four people, the interior cabin is roomy yet compact as expected from most low-roof Lamborghini models. The width adds to an open feel, yet ergonomics likely weren’t a top priority. Rather than the usual expensive materials lining the interior and trim around the vehicle, brushed aluminum trim meets large black and white simple dials scattered around the dashboard. Rocker switches handle most of the accessory controls, fitting the time period well. Thanks to McPherson struts, coil springs, and sway-bars, the road feel has been described as light and full of feel. The deep bellowing soundtrack of the V8 still fills your ears with a tone of the reasonable power that sits under the rear engine cover.