We’ve featured a number of Zagato-enhanced Rare Rides previously, the majority of which were from exotic European nameplates. The most recent example of the type was the Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio Spyder. Today’s Rare Ride is from a different Italian brand, one thus far unrepresented by Zagato edits.
Presenting the Lamborghini 5-95, from 2014.
Before it was altered by Zagato, the 5-95 was a Gallardo. An important car for the brand, the Gallardo slotted in under the Murciélago as the second Lamborghini developed under new Audi ownership and the brand’s entry-level car. Lamborghini hadn’t offered an entry-level model in some time (the brand was a mess for a couple of decades) so the Gallardo was the official successor to the Jalpa.
Audi purchased Lamborghini in 1998 from MegaTech (which had restructured as V’Power), the company that also occasionally built the Vector M12. We’ll have to cover the Lamborghini history story separately, as it’s interesting stuff.
The Gallardo’s initial shape was from 1995, a concept called Calà penned at Italdesign by Fabrizio Giugiaro. The production design was refined and finalized by VW’s main man Luc Donckerwolke.
Gallardo was a much more “affordable” model than its older Murciélago brother and used only 10 cylinders instead of 12. The debut engine was 5.0 liters in displacement and produced 493 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions included a six-speed manual, and a six-speed automated manual (paddle controlled) marketed as E-gear. Top speed of the coupe version was 192 miles per hour initially, with a time to 62 miles per hour of 4.2 seconds.
The Gallardo was updated in 2006 and earned a second generation in 2009, which modernized its looks and carried it until the end of its production for the 2014 model year. Second-gen models used a 5.2-liter V10 good for 552 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Gallardo was replaced by the Huracán.
At the end of the Gallardo’s run, Zagato was approached by a well-heeled customer, Albert Spiess. A resident of Switzerland, Speiss owned many Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo bespoke and limited-build models, and wanted to commission another. Zagato got to work, and debuted its 5-95 on the company’s 95th birthday.
Zagato applied its design philosophy, so-called functionalism and rationalism to the 5-95. Front and rear clips were changed substantially over the standard Gallardo and given more organic shapes. The standard car’s sharp edges were smoothed in every possible place, and the rear was given a new wrap-around windshield. The rear deck in general was very much transformed, with roof and side air intakes covered in matte plastic and glass, respectively. Based on photographs, changes to the interior were few. The exterior alterations took the Gallardo back toward its first-generation appearance. Your author initially assumed the 5-95 was a first-gen edit from early in the Gallardo’s run.
Underneath, the 5-95 was the Superleggera version of the Gallardo. It used a tuned version of the 5.2-liter V10, and offered 562 horsepower. That meant the 5-95 took 3.4 seconds to get to 62 and reached the halo top speed of over 200 miles per hour (202).
At a cost of over $1 million each, Zagato found more than one customer for the 5-95 after debut. Speiss’ example was represented by the matte orange one seen here. The company never released an official production figure, but judging by photos available online Zagato produced four or five 5-95 coupes. Zagato followed up with a Spyder version in 2018. There are none for sale presently.
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.