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Countach and Miura both stand their ground as two household Lamborghini names. While both of these vehicles are winners in their own right—which vehicle would you choose if you could only park one in your garage?
We’re here to provide a side-by-side comparison of these two legendary Lamborghini’s to settle the debate on which vehicle is better.
Lamborghinis are world-renowned for their innovative performance. We thought it’d be best to dive into the heart of this car debate by looking at how these vehicle’s engine performances stack up against each other.
Let’s begin with the Miura that started it all. Lamborghini’s production of the first Miura ran through 1966-1973. The Miura was recognized as the fastest street sports car at the start of its production. This highly sought-after status led to the public crowning Lamborghini’s Miura as the first supercar.
The Lamborghini Miura was designed with a centrally mounted engine. The P400 was the Miura prototype released in 1965. The public first laid eyes on the Miura in March 1966. A 3.9-liter V12 engine with a 5-speed manual transmission helped the Miura make a name for itself. Lamborghini previously used this same engine on their sleek 350GT and 400GT models.
So, how much torque and horsepower did this 3.9-liter V12 Miura engine produce? The initial Miura offered an impressive 350 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. 1966 Miura drivers could launch themselves from 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds on average. These stunning engineering and performance specs led to Lamborghini selling 275 Miura models in three years. Sales statistics like these are significant considering Miura’s costly price tag.
The original Miura’s most impressive engine was the P400 SV V12 5MT that provided 385 horsepower @ 7850 RPM and 295 lb-ft of torque @ 5750 RPM. Drivers opting for the P400 SV V12 5MT Miura engine could catapult their vehicle from 0-62 mph in a lightning-fast 4.5-second timeframe.
We can’t cover Miura’s 1966-1773 timeframe without mentioning the 1968 Miura Roadster’s engine capabilities. This 1968 Miura was a concept car shown by Lamborghini at Brussel’s 1968 motor show. The Miura Roadster utilized a 4.0-liter V12 engine—Lamborghini’s most powerful engine at the time. This 4.0-liter V12 awarded drivers with 350 horsepower @ 7000 RPM and 271 lb-ft of torque @ 5100 RPM.
Fast forward to 1971 for the entrance of Lamborghini’s SV/J Miura. Engine enthusiasts far and wide can appreciate the SV/J Miura’s exceptional performance. A 3.9L V12 5MT engine led to the SV/J Miura supplying a heart-racing 415 horsepower @ 7900 RPM and 310 lb-ft of torque at 5700 RPM. These engine specs more than stand the test of time. 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds is the icing on the cake for the adrenaline-inducing 3.9L V12 5MT engine. The SV/J Miura held a long manufacturing run that spanned from 1971-1987.
Are you curious to see how the Lamborghini Countach’s engine stacks up against the first modern supercar?
Winning comes easy with the Lamborghini Countach’s engines. The Countach was one of the final Lamborghini’s designed under the company’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini. Engineers strived to have the Countach exceed the Miura’s performance and visual appeal. The exterior design debate will come later. For now, we’ll focus on pure engine performance.
Initial plans for the Lamborghini Countach began in 1970. It wasn’t until 1974 that the first Countach LP400 was released. The 70s were a grim time for Lamborghini. New owners entered the picture for Lamborghini in 1982, which led to the Countach being federalized for American sales. It wouldn’t take long for the Countach to become a smash hit in the U.S.
Early 1974 Countach models had a 3.9-liter V-12 engine that produced around 375 horsepower. This V12 engine was mounted longitudinally. Later Countach models would point the engine backward to improve the car’s weight distribution. Initial Countach models could reach max speeds of 179 mph and go from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds on average.
1982 led to Countach performance enhancements with the LP5000S’ 4.8-liter engine. The Countach’s final years are where its engine begins to shine. Lamborghini’s Countach LP5000 QV made a splash in 1985 with a 5.2-liter V-12 that boasted 455 horsepower when paired with six downdraft Weber carburetors. U.S. LP5000 QV Countach’s had to have Bosch fuel injection to meet Federal emissions protocols. A Bosch fuel injected LP5000 QV still made an impression with 415 horsepower.
5-speed manual transmissions were included in every Countach model from 1974-1990. Lamborghini’s decision to include a 5-speed manual transmission is a popular choice among car enthusiasts that enjoy a hands-on driving experience. Drivers can feel the Countach’s roaring power through each gear shift. One of the most unique Countach components is the transmission’s output shaft design that runs through the engine’s oil pan. The Countach’s engine and differential use the same oil.
The fastest Countach is the 25th Anniversary model that was manufactured from 1988-1990. A 25th Anniversary Countach could go from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 190 mph.
We’re going to have to dive into the category of top speeds to break this tie. The Lamborghini Countach edges out the Miura in the top speed department by a decent margin. A Miura SV has a top speed of 174 mph, while the Countach LP400 delivers a 181.4 mph top speed. These two models are a perfect top speed comparison given their relatively similar manufacturing times.
The Lamborghini Countach and Miura’s performance are neck-and-neck in a lot of ways. Miura P400 S models produced between 1968-1971 go from 0-60 mph with their 3.9-liter Aspirated V12 engines. Compare the Miura P400 S’ performance with the second Lamborghini Countach’s performance, and the Miura wins despite being released ten years prior.
Studying the most well-performing Miura with the fastest Countach reveals another close call. The Lamborghini 25th Anniversary Countach flies from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, while the SV/J Miura goes from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds with its 3.9L V12 5MT engine.
What’s particularly interesting about the Countach is that its engine performance didn’t meet certain customer’s expectations. Formula 1 racing team owner Walter Wolf ordered a Countach LP400 during the mid-1970s only to return the vehicle soon after its delivery. Wolf sent the LP400 back to Lamborghini, which resulted in the manufacturer installing a 447 horsepower 5.0-liter V12 within the mid-mounted engine bay.
Don’t let this section get you down! We still have plenty more comparison information to cover.
What Interior Elements Shine the Most Within the Miura’s Interior?
The Lamborghini Miura’s cabin is one of a kind. Twin pods elegantly host the Miura’s Jaeger speedometer on the driver’s left and tachometer to the right. Secondary gauges within the Miura adopted a more subtle design with placement in a hooded center stack that seamlessly fit into the vehicle’s central dashboard. The Miura’s 5-speed shifter sits beautifully within bare chrome gates in the center console, which paves plenty of room for the car’s ignition switch.
Low-key design elements continue to permeate the Miura’s interior, with elements like a ceiling-mounted pod existing behind the car’s rearview mirror. This mounted pod hosts extra car switches to provide a design that’s easily accessible without being obtrusive.
It’s hard for a steering wheel to look better than the Miura’s. This sizable three-spoke steering wheel contains beautiful leather covering that sets the stage for a classic supercar experience. Higher quality cabin trimmings became a point of emphasis during the Miura’s design evolution.
Labeling the Lamborghini Miura’s interior as unique and compelling is an understatement. This supercar’s cabin gave drivers a layout that created a brand-new driving experience. Let’s see how the Countach’s interior compares.
Countach models have some of the best leather interiors in car history. The Countach’s outspoken nature is further reflected in the car’s interior colors of tan or red. You might look at this Lamborghini and expect to compromise a lot of comfort for vehicle performance. Lamborghini kept Countach’s comfort a priority with a pair of low-placed seats that allow drivers to settle in for their ride.
Air conditioning vents sit on top of the Countach’s dashboard while the car’s indicators sit to the right side of the steering column.
Lamborghini continues to enhance the Countach’s comfort factor with a slanted wheel and pedals. This slanted theme carries over to the Countach’s windshield and four side windows that increase a driver’s visibility by a sizable margin. It’s essential to note that Countach drivers have complained about Countach’s lack of quality ventilation in years past. Lamborghini’s financial struggles during the Countach’s initial years are likely the explanation for the interior’s drawbacks.
Drivers receive more of a handmade feel inside of the Lamborghini Countach. This handmade isn’t necessarily an upside as it translates to a less perfect feel behind the wheel.
Place a point up on the board for the Lamborghini Miura’s interior to tie this debate’s score. Don’t get us wrong. We appreciate the Countach’s tasteful leather-wrapped interior. We just love Miura’s atypical interior design elements a little bit more. Unusual design components don’t imply a lack of accessibility within the Lamborghini Miura’s interior. Miura interiors offer a driver-friendly design that’s bound to excite.
We’ve made it to the final portion of our debate. Here’s where things can get interesting.
Car enthusiasts have long debated whether the Miura or Countach’s exterior design reigns supreme. We’ll take a closer look at each model’s exterior so we can form a verdict that breaks this tie.
The Ford GT40 originally inspired the Lamborghini Miura’s beautiful styling. What’s amazing is that the Miura stunned 1965 Turin Motor Show visitors with only its chassis shown. Lamborghini received multiple orders on their Turn Motor Show featured vehicle without any of the vehicle’s body shown.
You might look at the Lamborghini Miura and view the chassis as race-ready. Lamborghini’s founder went another route by establishing the Miura as a street sportscar. The Miura’s body made its debut during the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. Clam-shell opening hoods on the Miura’s front and rear was one specific exterior design component that helped this Lamborghini win the public’s approval. The initial Miura’s outspoken bodywork made this model easy to fall in love with.
Lamborghini cleverly uses a rigid structure to tie the Miura’s parts together. Deep side sills are a classic Miura exterior design element that supports stiffness in all of the vehicle’s planes. This Lamborghini’s exterior provides a presentation that’s ultra-sharp. The fender’s peak lines are worth highlighting as an exterior component that fuels Miura’s sharp appearance. Bertone’s bodywork on the Miura is entirely aluminum, while metallic trim pieces are painted a suave black. Hopping out of the Miura’s graceful interior isn’t as difficult as one would think, thanks to the vehicle’s lightweight doors.
Precise balance helps the Lamborghini Miura produce an exterior look that’s eye-catching—yet practical. Drivers looking to add a hint of subtle sophistication to their supercar experience will have their needs met with the Miura’s jaw-dropping exterior.
Now, onto the Countach’s exterior.
Let’s get real. The Lamborghini Countach’s most significant draw is its spotlight-stealing exterior design. Lightweight and robust was what Lamborghini was striving for with the Countach. Air-craft-grade aluminum and a race-like tubular frame helped Lamborghini achieve their goal. 72.28 inches wide and 42.05 inches tall, the Countach sports a low and confident stance that results in a double take.
One could describe the Countach’s exterior as both angular and boxy. There’s no doubt that the Countach contains a more compact design than the Miura. Vertically hinged scissor doors give the Countach a unique flavor, while the aforementioned four side windows help run the show.
The Countach’s looks steep to a purely cosmetic level when evaluating exterior components like the car’s rear wing. Lamborghini decided to include a non-functional rear wing to please customer requests. While this rear-wing story remains interesting in Lamborghini history, we’re here to discuss the visual appeal with vehicle performance already covered.
So, which car sports the better looks?
We’re going to side with the Lamborghini Countach, given the fact that this vehicle’s most notable design components are linked with its exterior. Sleek lines and sharp angles award the Countach with an appearance that’s cutting edge. The scissor doors and four side windows aren’t a bad touch either.
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
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