Zagato re-bodies the Lamborghini Gallardo to create the 5-95
By C.C. Weiss
June 12, 2014
Celebrating 95 years in the car body design business and close to 50 years working with Lamborghini, Zagato has sculpted a new collector's car. The Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato is as common as Lamborghinis come underneath, but it features a one-of-a-kind design influenced by notable Zagatos of the past.
Revered car collector Albert Speiss commissioned the Italian design house to transform the Lamborghini Gallardo into an entirely new car for his collection. There, it will enjoy a place next to a number of Lamborghini first cars and significant Zagato designs like the 1990 Alfa Romeo S.Z. and 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato.
Nearly 50 years ago, Lamborghini and Zagato first teamed up on the 3500 GTZ, a special-bodied 350 GT. The parties have worked together a few more times in the decades since, with Zagato sculpting the lines and curves of such projects as the 1996 Raptor and the 1997 LM 003 Borneo, its first SUV. This time, it rips the familiar body off Lamborghini's most successful car ever and replaces it with something drastically different.
"We have chosen the Gallardo because it is the most sensational project in Lamborghini’s history, an extraordinary car, perfect in engineering terms, that has brought the image of 'the Bull' from a 'cottage industry' to a worldwide major industrial reality," said CEO Andrea Zagato. "The Gallardo production figures exceeded the whole Lamborghini production since its foundation."
The front-end is a natural place to start on any car design, but it's practically mandatory on the 5-95. The orange hood extends over the set-back grille, wrapping it in a wide-mouthed surround that shows some influence from the 1996 Raptor. It's as if the car is forever mouthing, "Help! They've kidnapped me and stolen my beautiful Lamborghini body." Perhaps to remind the squirming, pleading car who was running the show, Zagato slashed the flesh just under the eyes with large secondary air intakes.
Thanks to those eye wounds, and the cutaway design near the windshield, the front fenders take on a sort of floating look. In between the upper bonnet cuts, a stepped up wind deflector adds a touch of extra volume to the hood and improves wind flow around the wipers. The bulging muscles of the fenders continue back into the doors, where they melt away below the side mirrors.
With the addition of the black air scoop on the roof, Zagato was able to minimize the side intakes when compared to the Gallardo. That roof scoop is set comfortably between dual bubbles, another aspect of the design that recalls the Raptor. The roof itself hovers over its matching body, separated by a wraparound glasshouse with black-out pillars. In back, Zagato pushed the rear up, giving the car a forward lean and a look that exudes the energy of an animal about to leap.
"The monolithic rear volume is chopped off by the typical truncated tail and reveals the brutality of mechanical components protruding from the area such as tail lamps, heat release, aerodynamic features and the active spoiler," Zagato explains.
Overall, the 5-95 leaves us wanting desperately to reunite the Gallardo LP570-4 bones with their properly fitted body. Our opinion doesn't matter a lick, however, and the man that commissioned the car seems quite content.
"I always appreciated the ability of Zagato to create timeless lines with a forceful visual impact," Speiss said. "I believe that a sensual design inspired by nature, together with the best technology, strike a perfect balance that is possible to achieve only in Italy. The 5-95 will be a fundamental piece of my collection."
The 5-95 Zagato made a public debut at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy late last month, where it joined other notable cars like the MINI Vision Superleggera. Have a look around the model, along with some past Zagato-Lambo collaborations, in our gallery.