Vintage & Classics

Short-lived Lamborghini Urraco celebrates its 50th anniversary

The Lamborghini Urraco celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

It's been 50 years since Lamborghini made the first Urraco. You're excused if you don't remember it. The car's nine-year run moved the brand forward, starting out as a technologically advanced model and eventually making way for the Gallardo and, ultimately, the Huracán.

The model was originally created at the request of Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was eager to expand the company's production and make a Lamborghini that would be accessible to a wider audience.

Lamborghini says that the car's innovative place in the market was thanks in large part of the car's engineer Paolo Stanzani who was Lamborghini's Chief Technical Officer at the time.

Lamborghini Urraco

Lamborghini Urraco

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The 2+2 coupe featured a mid-mounted 2.5-liter V8 rear engine and independent suspension. Rhe Urraco featured the double novelty of an eight-cylinder engine and distribution with a single overhead camshaft per bank. According to the automaker, the technical refinement was "completed by the use of a 'Heron chamber' engine head with flat inner part and the combustion chamber contained in a depression in the top of the piston". This engineering solution made it possible to achieve a higher compression ratio without increasing the costs.

Initially, the Urraco was rated to achieve 220 horsepower and have a top speed of 152 mph.

It had a MacPherson strut system on the front and rear - a first for a production car. It also uniquely had four Weber double-body 40 IDF1 type carburetors.

The Urraco interior measures 167 inches long, about as long as the 2020 Nissan Kicks. Positioning the instrument cluster and dished steering wheel was a particular challenge because of the tight squeeze.

Lamborghini introduced the car to the market as the P250 Urraco, where the "P" stood for the rear (posterior) position of the engine, and 250 for the engine capacity (2.5 liters). That version was produced from 1970 to 1976. The automaker sold 520 Urracos during that stretch.

At the 1974 Turin Motor Show, the P200 debuted as a model focused on the Italian market. It sold from 1975-1977 with 66 models being produced.

The last version of the Urraco, the P300, was produced from 1975 to 1979. Lamborghini sold 190 of them during that time.

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This 2020 Ford GT drew over $1 million at the auction.

Mecum

The world may be going through some tough times right now, but you'd never know it looking at auto auction results. One of the largest, Mecum, just reported sales from the auctions it held in Arizona last week, and the results are astonishing. Mecum says it took in $66.3 million in sales, which is a big increase over the previous year's auctions. Attendance was also up, and the event was packed with high-dollar, desirable vehicles.

Mecum Arizona AuctionHow about a 1967 Ferrari for a little over $3 million?Mecum

Mecum says that private collection sales generated $20 million of the $66.3 million, as some brought dozens of vehicles to participate in the auction. The Hooked on Vettes Collection, for example, brought 13 cars and sold every one of them. It even sold a load of neon signs for well over a million dollars.

The top ten vehicles sold at auction drew big dollars. A few include:

  • 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $3,025,000
  • 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe: $2,365,000
  • 2005 Porsche Carrera GT: $2,200,000
  • 2020 Ford GT: $1,100,000
  • 2017 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster: $698,500

Mecum Arizona AuctionThere was even a Duesenberg, which sold for almost $2.4 million.Mecum

If you've got money to burn and you're sad to have missed out on the Arizona auction, your next shot will be at the end of this month when Mecum hits Houston with 1,100 vehicles. The flagship Mecum auction in Indianapolis takes place in mid-May, and will feature 3,000 cars.

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Updated compact SUV

2022 Nissan Rogue gets new VC Turbo engine

The Rogue was fully redesigned last year.

Nissan

Nissan refreshed its best-selling vehicle, the Rogue SUV, in 2021 with a grown-up new look and plenty of new tech. Changes the year after a major overhaul are usually minor, but for 2022 Nissan's giving the Rogue a new powertrain. A brand-new 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) Turbo engine is on board, producing 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Nissan RogueThe new VC engine can change its compression to adapt to driving conditions.Nissan

Power is up 11 percent and torque is up a staggering 24 percent with the new power plant. The variable compression engine is capable of adapting to changing driving conditions. When the driver needs more power, the engine shifts to higher compression, which delivers better acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. When efficiency is best, the engine changes its compression again. The VC engines made their debut in 2019 in both the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima. It's trick engine technology, but it doesn't always deliver on its promise of efficiency gains. Nissan's continuously variable transmission is still in place, though it has been improved with 17 percent wider gear ratio coverage and 32 percent lower friction. The automaker says it helps deliver better acceleration and fuel economy.

2022 Nissan RogueTop Rogue trims get upscale finishes and a handsome cabin.Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Rogue S FWD starts at $27,875, including a $1,175 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price by $1,500. Nissan offers three packages for the SUV as well, including a $2,660 SV Premium Package, a $1,320 SL Premium Package, and a $400 10.8-inch head-up display for the top Platinum trim.

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