We've been waiting 30 years for this matchup.
The current episode of Amazon’s The Grand Tour takes us back to the 1980s in a glorious manner. The opening segment of the motoring show features two notable ‘80’s supercar icons, and if for some bizzaro reason you don’t recognize the wild red machines up top, we’re dealing with the Lamborghini Countach and the Ferrari Testarossa. Giving the brash machines a thorough workout seems like the perfect job for presenters Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson, however, it’s James May who joins the Hamster for this 30-years-in-the-making shootout.
Before talking about this drag race, there is something we need to get off our chests. There’s no denying that both of these cars are legit supercar royalty and representative of the 1980s. The space-age Lambo, however, isn’t a product of the 1980s – it first appeared in prototype form way back in 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show, and went on sale in 1974. Yes, it evolved through the years but beneath the gigantic wing and massively flared fenders is essentially the same 1970s car. It’s a technicality for sure, but one worth mentioning since so many people tie the Countach to the decade of excess when in reality, it predates it.
The Ferrari Testarossa, however, is entirely a child of the 1980s and James May seems rather smitten with it in this video. Yes, it’s terrifically wide, and those side strakes would actually inspire Lamborghini to fit the Countach with a similar kit before the supercar’s swan song in 1990. May points out that, between the two cars, it makes a bit more sense to drive everyday as the ergonomics are better, the visibility is better, and you can actually reverse it without climbing outside. Predictably, this leads to an argument between the two which is settled by the rolling-start drag race featured in the clip above.
On paper, the Lambo has a slight horsepower advantage and that seems to pan out in real-life as Hammond in the Countach pretty much leaves May for dead. However, we struggle to accept there are any losers when two iconic supercars stretch their legs for side-by-side racing on an airport runway.
The current season of The Grand Tour is available on Amazon Prime, with new episodes launching every Friday.
Source: The Grand Tour via YouTube