Italian Flag Lamborghini Jalpa P350 GTS ~ 1981-88

Lamborghini JalpaAfter the fantastic financial flop of the 1973 entry level Lamborghini Urraco, which was later on restyled as the 1976 Silhouette, Lamborghini, under new Swiss owners since 1980 with the Mimran brothers, decided to reintroduce the Silhouette for obvious economical reasons as the Lamborghini Jalpa P350 GTS in 1981.

Lamborghini JalpaAfter Paolo Stanzani’s departure, Giulio Alfredi, the head engineer at Maserati from 1953 to 1973, was recruited and given the responsibility to mechanically update the Silhouette while Bertone would refresh its looks and build the Jalpa. The underpinnings of this “new” bull breed named Jalpa were the same, aside from an updated MacPherson independent suspension and beefier ventilated brakes all around.

Lamborghini JalpaIf the transformation from the Urraco to the Silhouette had been cleverly done, thus almost suggesting a new model, the transformation from the Silhouette to the Jalpa was visually more evolutionary than revolutionary. Lamborghini JalpaThe front-end with its small pop-up headlights had the same flavor as the Silhouette, aside from the reworked front spoiler. The flared wheel arches grew in size but they merged more smoothly into the fenders, and as the Silhouette the Jalpa had a “Targa” roof panel as standard that could be lodged behind the seats. Lamborghini JalpaAs in the silhouette the rear air scoops on the rear buttresses were smaller and finished in black like the panel roof. The rear rectangular lights were also taken from the Silhouette and as the 80’s savage and wild fashion emerged, a big rear wing “a la Countach” was available on the option list. At the back the traditional Italian quad-exhaust system was fitted under the rear black bumper and to finish it all a new set of 16 inch OZ Racing alloy wheels completed the Jalpa.

Lamborghini Jalpa Interior DashboardInside the Jalpa a new squared-out dashboard more in tune with the 80’s excess style displayed a big black plastic binnacle sectioned into cubicles where dials were deeply encased. A small center console received the same stacked up two round air vents as in the Silhouette, and the gear lever exposed metal gate reassured you that you were seated in a true Italian exotic.

Lamborghini JalpaHead engineer Giulio Alfredi enlarged the 90˚, quad-cam V8 created by Stanzani to 3.5 liter (213 cu in). The V8 started its life as a 2.5 liter (150 cu in) in the Urraco, then grew to a 3 liter (183 cu in) in 1974. They respectively developed 220 hp, and 260 hp for the Silhouette who also received the 3 liter V8 in 1976. The mid-rear transversal 3.5 liter V8 now “only” developed 255 hp at 7000 rpm, Lamborghini Jalpabut the torque went from 201 to 231 ft lb at 3500 rpm, which helped to propel the Jalpa to 62 mph from a standstill in 6 seconds against the 6.5 seconds achieved by the Silhouette. Sadly due to an increased weight of 595 lb (270 kg) the top speed was lower than the previous model with only 145 mph (234 km/h). And while the driving position was off as usual for an Italian car of this era, the Jalpa was practical and tractable in town as long as the windshield’s light reflections didn’t make you crash into parked cars.

In 1984 the Jalpa received a few updates with a color coded “Targa” top roof, and buttress air intakes. At the back the rear tail lights remained rectangular, but a two round pattern brought the Jalpa a little closer to the fast selling Ferrari 308s.Lamborghini Jalpa

Even with good looks and a luxurious brand name attached to it, the Lamborghini Jalpa never sold out as expected, and was pulled out of production by its new owner Chrysler in 1988 after only 410 Jalpas were built. Chrysler bought Lamborghini in 1987 from the Mimran brothers and didn’t want to rain on the Countach’s parade, so the spotlight was left to the wall poster star of the 80’s.


Lamborghini Jalpa Specifications
Model/Year Lamborghini Jalpa P350 GTS
Designer Bertone
Engine Type Mid-rear Transversal
All alloy V8 @ 90˚, DOHC. 2V/16V
Capacity 3485 cc / 213 cu in
Fuel Feed 4 Weber 42 DCNF carb.
Power 255 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque 231 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
313 nm
Transmission 5 speed - RWD
Top Speed 145 mph - 234 km/h
0-62 mph - 0-100 km/h 6 sec
Chassis Steel Unitary
Weelbase 2451 mm / 96.5 in
Front Suspension MacPherson Struts, Coil Springs
Tube Shocks, Anti-roll Bar
Rear Suspension MacPherson Struts, Coil Springs
Tube Shocks, Anti-roll Bar
Brakes Ventilated Disc all around
Front Tires 205/55-16
Rear Tires 225/50-16
Steering Rack & Pinion
Weight 3329 lb / 1510 kg
Country of Origin Italy
Production Num. 410
Lamborghini Jalpa -
The 16in "OZ Racing" wheels are superb
and fit well with the very wide wheel arches.
Lamborghini Jalpa -
Mid-rear 3.5 liter (213 cu in)
twin-cam V8 transversally placed
producing 255 hp @ 7000 rpm.
Lamborghini Jalpa -
Long swooping butresses,
optional rear wing "a la Countach",
and dual round tail light patern to grab
some of that "Ferrari 308/328" Aura.
Lamborghini Jalpa -
The layered spoiler with dual
splitters wraps around to merge
with the ultra wide fender flares.
Lamborghini Jalpa -
Influenced by the Ferrari Dino 246 GTSs
and 308 GTSs, the Jalpa's "Targa" roof,
which can be lodged behind the seats, most
likely increased its general appeal and World sales.
Notice the "Banana" seats.