Pure form

Pure form (illustration)

„SPIGOLOSA" – Lamborghini’s design language is “angular” – the wedge shape unites generations of the sports car from Sant’Agata Bolognese.

A Lamborghini is a Lamborghini, is a Lamborghini. Filippo Perini, the sports car manufacturer’s Head of Design, explains what lies beneath the pure geometry of Italian design – and what that has to do with a big cat.

Twenty-one. Twenty-two. Twenty-three. In the time it takes to read these three numbers, a Lamborghini Huracán1 can accelerate to over 100 km/h. And how long does it take to come to a standstill? Twenty-one. Twenty-two. About five seconds to get from zero to 100 and back. Now let’s add a couple of bends and hills. Wow, this is a rollercoaster! Put it this way: Lamborghinis are some of the toughest thriller rides in the world. And they have been for 50 years – radical, uncompromising, extroverted.

In the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the Italian extreme sports car maker’s home town, the display features one iconic car after another. Like the Countach, built in 1974. Design Director Filippo Perini calls the brand’s traditional design language, already clearly visible in this particular model from the 1970s, “spigolosa”, which is Italian for “angular”. The wedge shape is the consistent element throughout the history of Lamborghini designs. This unmistakable form signals to the observer: the past is passé, the future a long, straight race track. In the beginning of 2014, the Lamborghini Huracán, true to the spirit of its predecessors, slices under the wind.

“Beauty always works.”

Filippo Perini, Design Director Lamborghini

But not every wedge is identical. Countach and Huracán – each in its own right is a masterpiece of design, with its characteristic volume and tightly stretched skin. Its proportions and the wheels positioned far out to the sides simultaneously signal speed, strength and stability. “A Lamborghini is designed to hug the road”, explains Perini.

His preferred way of answering questions about Lamborghini’s design DNA is to take a pencil and paper. A paper napkin will do. “Beauty always works”, says Perini as he draws an albatross, a cheetah, a shark. “The laws of physics are evident in the form of these wild animals”, he explains. “They are ergonomically designed, they are beautiful and they function perfectly.” People can tell instinctively whether an animal is fast or agile, aggressive or dangerous. This ability has been carved into our genetic makeup as a survival strategy. “That’s why there are no misunderstandings when you see a Lamborghini.” Whether it’s the Countach or the Huracán.


A design jewel, built in 1974: sharp lines, uncompromising wedge shape, upwards-opening scissor doors.

Lamborghini Countach (photo)

Powerful design language with an unmistakable silhouette: the side profile is characterized by hexagonal windows.

Lamborghini Hurcán (photo)

1 Lamborghini Huracán 449 kW fuel consumption in l/100 km urban 17.8 / extra-urban 9.4 / combined 12.5; CO2 emissions in g/km 290.

Dirk Maxeiner