the latest V8 sedan turns 40


Lamborghini is celebrating 40 years of the Jalpa, presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1981. Flashback on the history of the brand’s last GT sedan powered by a V8.

In accordance with tradition Lamborghini, the Jalpa takes its name from fighting bull breed, the Jalpa Kandachia, and is the latest evolution of the concept of grand touring sedan from the manufacturer of Sant’Agata Bolognese with a 8 cylinder engine mounted in the rear mid-position.

La Jalpa is the final development of the project Urraco and Silhouette, retaining the general architecture, but equipped with a larger engine, increased to 3.5 liters. The line, with the sunroof Targa, was designed by the French Marc Deschamps from the Carrozzeria Bertone, where he was style director from 1980, and directly influenced and partially designed by Giulio Alfieri, who was at the time General and Technical Director of Lamborghini.

A 255 horsepower V8

THE’Technical Innovation most significant on the Jalpa is thefinal evolution of the V8 engine to 90°, fully aluminum, with four chain-driven overhead camshafts, originally installed on the Urraco and Silhouette. Thanks to the increased bore, the displacement of 3.5 liters (3 485 cm3), powered by 4 double Weber 42 DCNF carburettors, and at a compression ratio of 9.2: 1, this engine delivers a maximum power of 255 hp at 7,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 32 kgm at 3,500 rpm, allowing the Jalpa to reach a maximum speed of 248 km / h.

The prototype of the Jalpa, the car presented in Geneva, has a particular story. It is based on a Silhouette which, once produced, has never been sold. It returned to the factory and served as the basis for the new model. La Jalpa presented at Geneva in 1981 is easily recognized by its special metallic bronze color and has some unique aesthetic features that were not used on the production car.

420 copies between 1982 and 88

Entry into production in 1982, it has a semi-supported steel body, and black bumpers and engine air intakes, as well as horizontal taillights and 16 inch alloy wheels, taken directly from the Athon prototype, with low profile Pirelli P7 tires. The interior is luxuriously finished, with extensive use of leather and carpet. The sunroof, designed for easy disassembly and reassembly, can be stowed in a special space behind the rear seats.

At the Geneva Motor Show 1984, the Jalpa « second series » was presented, with some cosmetic changes, such as body-colored bumpers and air intakes, rounded taillights and a redesigned interior. The commercial life of Jalpa ended in 1988 after the production of 420 cars.

As a predecessor of the Gallardo

It was there latest Lamborghini sedan produced with a V8 engine and, historically, it is the last sports car in this class to feature this particular displacement and engine positioning. Conceptually, the Jalpa is the predecessor of the 2003 Gallardo, which would go on to become one of the best-selling Lamborghini cars in history.

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