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Recreating motoring icons: the Ford GT40 and Lamborghini Countach

 Published 14th September 2021
General Guides 

Before we start there's something that needs to be made absolutely clear. In the interests of honesty and transparency: if you're looking to lease a new car next year there's zero chance of you driving either of these. Don't even bother asking us for help because it's out of our hands too.

What we have here are two pieces of automotive history reimagined for 2022. One is a slab of pure American muscle, the other a slice of Italian flair. Both are completely out of reach for us mere mortals. But that doesn't stop us from thinking about them. A lot.

In 1964 the prototype of the Ford GT was debuted at the New York Auto Show. Conceived with the sole objective of beating Ferrari and winning Le Mans – apparently Mr Ford really didn't like the fact Mr Ferrari changed his mind about selling the company to him - Ford began development of the car in 1963, and less than a year later, Ford GT prototype (chassis GT/101) was revealed at the Auto Show.

The five GT prototypes were the first built by Ford using modern aerodynamic analysis to optimise high-speed performance. It worked almost immediately. In 1965 a Ford GT placed first and third at Daytona, and in 1966 Mr Ford wiped the smile off Mr Ferrari's face when Ford took all three podium places at Le Mans. The Ford GT went on to win the race four years on the trot.

The Ford GT40 Prototype Heritage Edition

The Ford GT40 Prototype Heritage Edition

Now, as a tribute to the prototype vehicle that gave life to the programme more than a half-century ago, Ford is introducing the 2022 Ford GT '64 Prototype Heritage Edition.

“This is the first Ford GT Heritage Edition that goes beyond celebrating race wins – this one goes deep, and honours the earliest of Ford supercar heritage,” said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. “The Ford GT '64 Prototype Heritage Edition is a modern interpretation of the original, with no mistaking what this car is paying tribute to.”

Underneath it's still a regular Ford GT so don't expect some stripped out, superlight track version though. The limited-edition run honouring the five original GT prototypes is more about recreating the look in a car that will turn heads at 20mph, not 200mph.

The Ford GT '64 Prototype Heritage Edition features Wimbledon White paint with Antimatter Blue graphics, including an over-the-roof triple racing stripe. Exposed carbon fibre components are everywhere, including 20-inch Antimatter Blue-painted carbon fibre wheels, an exposed carbon fibre front splitter, side sills, mirror stalks, engine louvres and rear diffuser finished in gloss.

The carbon flows into the cabin as well, with carbon fibre door sills, lower A-pillars, and console. Lightspeed Blue Alcantara seats (carbon fibre, obviously) feature silver stitching, while seating surfaces and head restraints are embossed with the GT logo. The instrument panel is wrapped in Ebony leather and Lightspeed Blue Alcantara, while pillars and headliner are wrapped in Ebony Alcantara. The steering wheel is finished in Ebony Alcantara with black stitching, while dual-clutch paddle shifters are clear and polished.

And if that sounds like a nice place to sit you'll just have to keep dreaming. Ford hasn't said how many of these particular limited editions it's making, but of the previous six special editions only once has it built more than 50 cars. So, as we said at the top of the page…. you've got no chance really.

The Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini reimagined

Which is about the same amount of chance you've got of driving another reimagined version of an icon. This one doesn't boast the racing heritage, but it undoubtedly holds the record for being the most bedroomy-posterish car in the history of cars, and bedrooms.

The Lamborghini Countach is back! And this isn't a copy of an old car either. Lamborghini has taken everything they've learned over the years to build a thoroughly 21st century car.

It only takes a glance to see the Countach DNA shining through. The original Countach's distinctive silhouette, sharp angles, and dramatic wedge shape innovated modern supercar design. The latest Countach LPI 800-4 develops these characteristic lines of the Countach's into a pure and uncluttered version for the modern world.

You get the long front bonnet with low rectangular grille and headlights, air scoops and gills, the traditional four exhaust pipes of the Countach family, and access for the driver and passenger is of course via scissor doors. The Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 is instantly recognisable as the descendant of the original Countach design that became the poster car of the 1980s.

Underneath it's a different story though. This is, after all, a modern car.

The monocoque chassis and all the body panels are made from carbon fibre, as are the front splitter, front window trim and wing mirrors, engine bonnet cover air intakes and rocker panel. The V12 engine is paired with a 48v e-motor and supercapacitor technology to make this Countach a hybrid. It even boasts a photochromatic roof that changes from solid to transparent at the push of a button. No, we don't know how it works either, but how cool is that? And with its V12 engine the Countach LPI 800-4 still sounds like a Lamborghini. More importantly, it still goes like one too. The hybrid system delivers around 800bhp, which in English means you'll hit 62mph in 2.8 seconds, and if you keep your right foot buried you'll eventually be travelling at a licence-shredding 220mph.

The interior also takes design cues from Countach history. The luxurious leather features geometric stitching on the specially designed comfort seats and dashboard, sporting a square motif referencing the original 1970s design, and the wheels are inspired by the ‘telephone' style of the 1980s, although this time fitted with carbon ceramic brakes.

Drivers of the limited edition Countach LPI 800-4 can choose from a range of heritage paint options such as the iconic Impact White, Giallo Countach and Verde Medio. Otherwise, the contemporary palette offers modern paintings, mostly metallic colours, such as Viola Pasifae or Blu Uranus. An 8.4 inch HDMI centre touchscreen unique to the LPI 800-4 manages car controls including Connectivity and Apple CarPlay. It also includes a unique button entitled ‘Stile' (Design) which, when pressed, explains the Countach design philosophy to its privileged audience.

And privileged is about right. We told you there was no chance, and when Lamborghini is only making 112 of them it's clear: no really does mean no.

Maybe we should apologise for wasting your time reading about something you're never going to drive. But then again, now you've seen the pictures you'll probably forgive us. A bit of motor car dreaming does no one any harm. And when you're back down on earth, maybe we could help with something less exotic, but at least car leasing will help keep you motorised...if not quite in the car of your dreams!

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