Lamborghini stands apart as a car company, just by how much attitude it brings to the already ego-centric business of building supercars. After being started by a tractor barron who got fed up with Enzo Ferrari’s pretentiousness, Lamborghini took some time to find footing and identity as a company. Originally they built fast grand tourers to the tractor baron’s taste. But the company’s staff was largely made up of former disgruntled Ferrari employees, who while fed up with Enzo’s antics, loved building what would become known as supercars.
Without their boss Ferruccio’s permission, a team within Lamborghini drew up the Miura, a radical transverse mid engine design. Knowing it would bolster his company’s reputation, Ferruccio approved, and history was made when the car debuted. Despite making waves with the gorgeous lines of the Miura, Lamborghini didn’t really build race cars. Their supercars were extreme, however. The Miura wasn’t just more salivating to look at than any Ferrari, but came with a hundred more horses than anything Ferrari currently had on the street. But for some customers, street attitude would only be enhanced by racing attitude, and this is where the trend of highly modified Lamborghinis began. Extra downforce and handling were first up for the Miura, but as the years went on things only got crazier.
Racers around the world who wanted Lamborghini’s style and power but with more agility turned to tuners like Koenig, and things only got crazier. Crazy defines the world of Lamborghini modification, but some stand out.
17 Pro Drift Murcielago
While Lamborghini’s comeback was truly fulfilled by the Gallardo, it was the Murcielago that started it. The new flagship that took over the reigns from the Diablo, the Murcielago packed even more speed and the same incredible looks into a package that was a lot less prone to lighting itself on fire, thanks to Audi oversight.
No one at Audi, or Lamborghini for that matter, saw this build coming.
This is a Liberty Walk widebody equipped professional drift car. The entire suspension was replaced, uprated brakes installed, and the interior removed. In its place came Bride racing seats, Prodrive racing gear, and a roll cage as extreme as any production based pro race car.
16 Miura SVR
Out of all the Miuras Lamborghini built, very few were created with racing in mind. These elite machines were titled Jota in reference to the ruleset they were built to. The prototype looked like a Miura, but was built out of a new aluminum alloy that reduced weight by nearly half a ton, and on top of this the Jota Miuras gained more power and better chassis dynamics. As one would expect, even today over 400 horsepower in a car weighing less than a ton is extreme. But this car was built more than forty years ago. The SVR is a one off commissioned by an equally discerning and insane German owner, that goes significantly beyond even that.
15 LS Swapped 600hp Jalpa
Like most car companies, Lamborghini has been through some rough patches. But while most car companies experiences points where they lose their way, Lamborghini was a money burner for most of its life, until being bought by Audi. The Jalpa was conceived at Lamborghini’s lowest point, and it shows. Lacking pretty much everything that made its contemporary big sister the Countach so great, these days it is almost totally forgotten simply by virtue of not being worth remembering. But that’s nothing a built and blown LS1 won’t fix. This Jalpa will run nines in the quarter mile, while being able to outturn and out brake the original car. Toyota Camry running gear and some structural strengthening make it all work.
14 Burtoni Bonneville Countach
Crazy is normal for Lamborghini, but this is another level. The Countach had almost as much impact on the car world when it debuted as the Miura, knocking the world upside down with radical looks and extreme performance. But this was the 70s.
Extreme performance for the era was what is now considered almost normal- though doing a hundred and seventy miles an hour in a car without power brakes will likely remain crazy forever.
But a certain man called Burtoni wasn’t satisfied with what was extreme for his time. Taking on the salt flats, he modified the bodywork of his Countach. Without any extra power, the car surpassed 201 miles an hour.
13 Countach Walter Wolf Special
The owner of a Formula One team has to have his toys, and Walter Wolf had a set of modified and upgraded brand spanking new Lamborghini Countachs. The cars were equipped with advanced eight piston AP racing brakes and 5 liter engines, as well as numerous other race-inspired upgrades for the F1 denizen to feel at home. Widened fender flares housed wider tires to maintain some semblance of a hold on the road, and a brake bias adjuster in the cockpit to give the pilot complete control over what was stopping him from leaving the road. These were street cars full of racing technology.
12 LM002 Estate
Not all Lamborghinis are insane for the speed and power. This one was insane in its off road capability. Born of an ill-planned and even worse executed attempt at building a replacement for the Jeep for the US military, the LM002 floundered on release. That didn’t stop a certain sultan from commissioning a special fully inclosed one off variant of the big truck for his personal fleet, however. Filled with luxuries, this truck could bound through the desert wastes in comfort and air conditioned cool, though one has to wonder how reliable a one off Lamborghini would be in rough terrain.
11 Diablo SV-R replica
Of all the companies in the world, it would be Chrysler that swooped in and saved Lamborghini. Out of the ashes of questionable projects like the LM002 and Jalpa came legitimate work like helping to develop the Dodge Viper’s V10- and building a new flagship supercar.
Like its predecessors the Miura and Countach, the Diablo was built to upstage everything else in the world on pure insanity alone.
And this it did, combining the now standard jaw dropping Lamborghini looks with the now standard neck snapping Lamborghini acceleration. But, as always, some wanted more, and with Lamborghini eyeing racing, many of these custom builds reflected the company’s new interest.
10 Diablo Koenig Special
Now famous globally for supercar customizations that pushed the boundaries of what people thought ludicrousness was capable of, when Koenig received word that two Diablo owners wanted their cars modified by him, he took on the jobs. Receiving new bodywork and interiors, the car’s real party piece was a twin turbo system to boost the supercar’s already overbearing amount of power into the stratosphere. Lamborghini itself had been through the ringer, but was now on the way up. The Diablo was proving rather successful compared to past Lamborghinis, and because the car was more popular, more were modified. Things were only getting started.
9 Morohoshi-San’s Diablo
In the world’s most populous city, surrounded by millions of people and huddling under forests of skyscrapers, it takes a lot to stand out. Most of the time, a car built to be obnoxiously brash would be enough to stand out. But in the Tokyo area, there are hundreds of Lamborghinis. So one needs to go further. Not necessarily in performance, only in style.
Garrish paint work is a start, but even that isn’t enough on it’s own.
So those who really want to stand apart drench their cars in blinking, flashing, strobing LEDs. And there is actually a club made up of these cars in the city.
8 ABD Diablo Jota Americana
The man called Burtoni was at it again. An importer in the US with special access to Lamborghini, he built what he called the fastest Diablos in the world. This wasn’t done though the use of an engine swap or turbo kit, but the old fashioned way. The engine was what would now be referred to in the aftermarket tuning scene as a “built N/A”, rebuilding the engine with stronger components to produce a 600+ horsepower result that is far smoother and more supple to drive than any turbo car. The engine was reworked inside and out, including intake, exhaust, pistons, cams, and all the other standard components of a built naturally aspirated engine.
7 Underground Racing Gallardo
When Audi bought Lamborghini, it ushered in a new era. The raging Italian bull had been somewhat tamed by its new German master, but that also meant that old quality and reliability concerns were no longer a factor. The new baby Lamborghini introduced after the Murcielago was the Gallardo, which would quickly become the most successful car Lamborghini had yet built. And with more owners than ever came more modifications than ever, including a service by Underground racing that boosted engine output well into the quadruple digits, making the Gallardo a standing mile monster capable of well over 250 miles per hour.
6 REMN Gallardo
Lamborghini was now serious about racing, but these cars were not really ever intended to be sold to the public. There were companies who made body kits of the race cars, and even interior sets, but the good stuff was still largely out of reach until a company called REMN stepped in with their STS-700 package.
700 horses, real racing suspension and aero, and all the serious lap times that come with them.
The STS-700 is the modern incarnation of the classic Miura SVR, taking an already bonkers special edition of a car that was already nuts in base form, and cranking it up even further.
5 Heffner Twin Turbo Murcielago
As always, it seems, there are those for whom insanity will never be enough. They need to be the most insane. And while a six hundred horsepower supercar is more than enough for most, it is yawn inducing for the man who needs 1100 horsepower from his Italian fighting bull. Lamborghini’s mid engine four wheel drive layout is uniquely capable of putting that massive amount of power to the ground, but still, that’s a special kind of fast no matter what kind of car it’s in. What’s incredible is that this setup is not even the limit for the more modern Lamborghinis in terms of speed.
4 Reiter Engineering Murcielago R-SV GT1
And neither is this, at least in a straight line. But for cornering force, the R-SV GT1 is likely the highest performance Lamborghini ever built. Built to race at the professional GT level and win, the R-SV retains the stock engine, but virtually everything else has been upgraded or strengthened. The driveline has been reinforced, suspension dramatically upgraded to improve the standard Murcielago’s less than agile handling, extreme high performance racing brakes, and a wind tunnel designed body kit that slams the car into the pavement with downforce. Add racing slicks to the mix, and you have a raging bull that will actually turn on a dime, at least compared to its brethren.
3 Underground Racing Huracan
But let’s face it. Lamborghinis were almost always about mind breaking straight line speed. And somewhat surprisingly it is not the big Lambos that get top marks in this while modified, but the smaller and lighter baby models.
Following in the Gallardo’s footsteps, the Huracan now takes this role, and does it with even more veracity.
Underground Racing built some ridiculous Gallardos, but their Huracan builds reset the definition of fast. With two thousand horsepower on tap, delivered through the mid engine four wheel drive layout, a seven second quarter mile and 0-257 mph in a half mile are not dreams, but achieved reality.
2 Miura Zn75
While there are a few custom builds completed on Miuras the included targa top conversions, only one was ever built from the factory. This was the Miura Roadster, a concept that completely did away with the roof. A show car that never saw production, the Roadster was mainly used to drum up interest at car shows. It began a Lamborghini tradition of building open top cars designed to hit their top speed without a roof, with many aerodynamic changes made including on the air intakes, rear deck, and a dramatic windshield rake. Since bought buy a Zinc corporation as a show car and repainted, now the car has been restored to its original blue.
1 Stunt Huracan
So Lamborghinis that are modified tend to extend the car’s existing defining traits of brashness, power, and speed. But one customization made a car more crazy mostly by removing parts instead of adding them, and while it does have some visual work done to the body, what gives the car character is what it changes under the skin. The Hubinette’s Huracan does away with the mid engine all wheel drive layout, putting power from the mid mounted engine only to the rear wheels. Add on a slick bodykit and Wilwood brakes with a hydraulic handbrake, and you’ve created a hollywood-grade Lamborghini stunt car.
Sources: LamboCars.com, AutoEvolution.com, Autogespot.com