In the early 1970’s, Lamborghini was looking to cash in on the success of the Porsche 911 and Dino 246GT. At the time, Lamborghinis were known for their V12 engines and exotic styling. The Miura was nearing the end of production, the Countach was still in development, and the only other models in the lineup were the big four seat Espada or the 2+2 Jarama. For their “entry level” sports car, Lamborghini designed an all-new V8 engine to be mounted transversely behind the seats. The 90 degree V8 was small at just 2.5 liters, but with four belt-driven cams and Weber carburetors, it made a healthy 220 horsepower at 7500 rpm. It was also compact, cleverly designed to accommodate the accessories in the middle of the “vee”. A 5-speed transaxle put power down through the rear wheels. Unlike earlier Lamborghinis, the Urraco employed unitary construction, rather than a traditional tubular space frame. Suspension was attached via subframes that were easily removable for service. The new chassis was wrapped in an attractive Bertone body that took a few details from the Miura, but remained totally individual. The Urraco was compact, not much bigger than the Dino, but thanks to the long wheelbase and cab-forward design, it was much more practical with two tiny rear seats and a usable trunk.
Performance was comparable to the contemporary Dino, Merak and 911, though a bit slower off the line thanks to tall gearing. In spite of the strong top-end performance from the sweet little V8 and balanced handling on four McPherson struts, the Lamborghini Urraco struggled to find buyers and only 791 trickled out of the Sant’Agata factory between 1973 and 1979. But the Urraco platform was far from a failure. It lived on well into the 1980’s as the 3.0 liter Silhouette and 3.5 liter Jalpa.
The early P250 is considered by purists to be best of all V8 Lamborghinis, and none more so than this early example. The Urraco presents extremely well with very straight bodywork, excellent paint and interior trim finish, and sits on the correct Campagnolo alloy wheels. We understand the 2.5 litre V8 was rebuilt in 2000, and runs strongly thanks to an upgrade to electronic ignition for more reliable running. The engine bay is clean, tidy and presentable. On the road, this Urraco exhibits all of the qualities one would expect from a Lamborghini – taut handling, strong brakes and a solid feel through steering.
These Junior Lamborghinis are rapidly appreciating as collectors have finally taken notice of their quality and performance. Considering the Raging Bull on the nose, the jewel of an alloy V8 behind the seats and a coachbuilt Bertone body, they are still a relative bargain. Much rarer than its contemporaries, few Urracos have survived in such nice, usable condition as this. We are confident this P250 will deliver junior supercar thrills in a unique and stylish package.