The Lamborghini Urraco was launched in 1973 as a competitor to the Ferrari Dino and Alfa Romeo Montreal. The Urraco was announced and shown as a prototype as early as 1970, but production was delayed until 1973. In typical Lamborghini fashion, the model name related to bullfighting, in this case from a small fighting bull.
When it came out, the Lamborghini Urraco was truly the shape of the future as far as high performance sports cars were concerned. With a transversely mounted V8 engine set just forward of the rear axle and behind the passenger compartment, the Urraco continued down the design path of the successful Lamborghini Miura, but the sharp edges and acute angles of the Urraco heralded the yet-to-come Countach and virtually every other Lamborghini sports car made since that time.
The Urraco was a two-door sports car with a 2+2 seating design that included a small rear seat that was more useful for stashing things than people. The design was penned by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, and closely followed his other contemporary designs for Lamborghini.
Engine power came courtesy of three variants of overhead cam V-8 engine. The first engine offered in 1973 displaced 2,463 cc and generated 220 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque, with a claimed 0-60 times of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.
In 1974, two more engines were added. The smaller engine displaced 1,994 cc, and delivered 182 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. That engine would propel the Urraco from 0-60 in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 134 mph. The largest engine was 2,996 cc and offered 265 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque. That engine took the Urraco from 0-60 in just 5.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 162 mph. When fitted for import to the United States, however, the power of the 3.0-liter engine was drastically reduced due to required emissions equipment, and generally produced only about 180 hp.
Each Urraco was designated by its engine size as either a P200, P250, or P300. The only transmission offered with the Urraco was a five-speed manual transaxle that drove the rear wheels.
Suspension in the Urraco is by MacPherson struts on all four wheels, with lower A-arms and sway bars front and rear. Rack and pinion steering was always used, and brakes were four-wheel disc on all versions of the Urraco. Further, every Urraco rode on magnesium alloy wheels.
Inside, the Urraco was fitted out as a sports-luxury car, including air conditioning, leather upholstery, power windows, reclining bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, AM/FM/Cassette stereo with power antenna, and a rear window defroster.
Throughout the Urraco production run, there were 522 examples made of the P250, plus 68 instances of the P200, and 205 of the P300. When the Urraco was imported to the United States, the sales price of a P250 was $22,500 and the P300 was $24,150. The smaller P200 was not formally imported to America. The price of the Urraco was almost the same as the directly competing Ferrari Dino 308 GT4, but still about double that of a Porsche 911. Lamborghini had ambitions of selling 1,000 Urracos per year, but its high price combined with the timing of its introduction during the 1973 Oil Crisis made it a sales flop.
Collectors will find that with such small production numbers, good examples of the Urraco will be hard to find. Higher horsepower P250 and P300 European-spec models will be most desirable, but as the cars of the 1970s gain collectible acceptance, any Urraco is a prize, although a later Jalpa might be a more rewarding car to own.