It has been referred to as the baby Lambo, the smaller sibling to the legendary Countach. However, one look at the radical lines penned by Marcello Gandini may raise some eyebrows. After all very little about the Jalpa is small. In fact, the only thing that is smaller about the Jalpa (pronounced Hal-pah), is the transverse-mounted V8, opposed to the similarly-mounted V12 of the Countach. That smaller engine granted the Jalpa much better drivability, but sacrificed little in performance, with impressive 0-60 times and a conservatively stated top speed of 146 mph. Over its six-year production run, the Jalpa sold nearly 420 units, and was discontinued when Chrysler took over Lamborghini operations in 1988. While the Jalpa’s demise was tragic, its low production numbers make it a much loved rarity among Lamborghini faithful.
The Jalpa was introduced in 1981 to replace the Lamborghini Silhouette and to compete against the Ferrari 308. With 420 units sold, the Jalpa was a sales success for Lamborghini, who had filed for bankruptcy just one year before debuting Jalpa.