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Athon Concept
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  Lamborghini Athon Concept
 

  Article Image gallery (16) S155/01 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1980
Numbers built:One-Off
Introduced at:1980 Turin Motor Show
Designed by:Bertone
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 06, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionBy 1980, Lamborghini was in financial dire straights and was not a likely candidate to pitch a design for a new model. Bertone did not share these reservations and instead decided to support their longtime partner by creating a particularly striking show car for the 58th Turin Motor Show. It was dubbed the Athon after an Egyptian sun god to underline the Bertone styled and bodied Lamborghini was very much an open top car.

The futuristic design of the Athon were penned by Marc Deschamps, who had just taken over as Bertone's chief designer from Marcello Gandini. The geometrical lines of the Lamborghini's wedge-shaped profile looked like they came right off a spaceship from a science fiction movie. The sharp nose sported pop-up headlights, which preserved the wedge shape. The brown leather interior was equally futuristic and featured a cluster of digital instruments and even a phone.

Fully functional, the Athon was built on Lamborghini Silhouette underpinnings. This was a fitting base as the Silhouette was the very first roadster produced in any significant numbers by Lamborghini. The actual Silhouette used was most like one of the test mules, as it had already covered tens of thousands of kilometres before being sent to Lamborghini. Purely a styling exercise, Bertone did not modify the chassis or the 260 bhp V8 engine.

Bertone made their interests very clear at the April 1980 Turin Motor Show launch, stating in the accompanying press release that the Athon was built to support Lamborghini. This was for good reasons as in 1980 only 64 'raging bulls' were produced. Fortunately, Lamborghini was saved by investors shortly after. Bertone's loyalty was rewarded with the job to design the new V8-engined Jalpa, which superseded the Silhouette and Uracco.

Although, the Jalpa design, particularly the wheels, drew some inspiration from the Athon, the 1980 show car strictly remained a one-off. The wedge shape and geometric lines had become a thing of the past in the more sober 1980s.

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  Article Image gallery (16) S155/01 Specifications