Why the “Affordable” Lamborghini Urraco Was Such a Flop

The words “affordable” and “Lamborghini” are not often two words that go together. Lamborghini has always been known for making expensive sports cars and supercars, neither of which are really “affordable”. After seeing success with their models in the 1960’s, the Italian company wanted to produce a Lamborghini that was more affordable, and one that they would make a lot of: enter the Lamborghini Urraco.

The Lamborghini Urraco is a 2+2 sports car with a coupe body. Lamborghini wanted to take a break from making supercars, so they wanted to make a more affordable sports car that still had the Lamborghini name on it. The Urraco was first revealed in 1970 however it was not available for sale until three years later in 1973. This was due to internal problems that Lamborghini was dealing with including management changes, labor strikes, and mechanical failures within their production lines. The Urraco was initially introduced with a 220 horse power 2.5 litre V8 that had 162 pounds-feet of torque. The engine was honestly pretty underwhelming. This engine allowed the car to accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in 7.2 seconds, provided the car was not facing any type of service or engine related issue. Lamborghini predicted sales would be very strong and they would sell around 1,000 in just the first year alone. When the car was discontinued in 1979, six years after it went on sale, Lamborghini only managed to build around 775 Urraco’s, a lot of which went unsold. The car was somewhat of a disaster; they just were not selling.

So why weren’t the cars flying of the dealerships like Lamborghini expected? Well the car costed around $100,000 dollars with regards to inflation (around $23,000 back then) so it was not exactly “affordable”. They also had a botched launch after reveling the product as it took three years to finally come out. Additionally it took another 2 years after that until it was released to the United States, one of the larger target markets for this car. After the delay, consumers still had plenty of options for cars that performed better and cost a lot less. The Porsche 911 at the time was about half the cost, while still much faster and was better around the track. According to reports driving the Urraco was like piloting a sand buggy, and not at all like a sports car, in addition to being very uncomfortable to sit in. The car also faced a lot of service issues. So combine the underperforming engine, the still expensive price tag, the terrible launch, and the various other problems and it is no surprise why these didn’t catch on. It seems like Lamborghini just needs to stick with what they do best, and make expensive supercars, not “affordable” sports cars.

Photo from lamborghini.com 

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