Concept Debrief – 1980 Lamborghini ATHON Speedster by Bertone

Concept Debrief - 1980 Lamborghini ATHON Speedster by Bertone
Bertone (bear-tony) created this one-off Lamborghini concept as a design showcase of the studio’s skills, plus to kick a bit of good energy Lambo’s way.

By the end of the 1970s, Lamborghini lad launched and produced a variety of non-hits: GT cars and luxury shooting brakes that never found the same eager audience as the earlier Miura and Countach smash-hits.

The 1980 ATHON Speedster hoped to evolve the avant-garde looks of those two icons, but in a high-tech was befitting the first computerized decade: the 1980s.

Achieving visual impact on par with the Countach would take a revolution in almost every shape.  To that end, the 3.0-liter V8 mounted in the middle of the car exaggerated its exotic proportions as much as possible.  A disappearing nose and long rear decklid joined forces to take the exotic wedge ideal into the future.

The nose, of course, was deliberately very clean with hidden lamps and smooth details throughout.  Flowing up the fairly featureless hood and into a wraparound windshield, the ATHON definitely lacked drama up front.  In profile and from the back, however, this machine was a definite hit.

The sunken, cab-forward look as matched by a spear-like lower flank.  This deep cut in the bodyshape balanced the overground rear deck nicely.  As did the fixed rear wing and beveled, boxy shape of the tail.

Were Lambo not in such dire financial straights at the time, and between new owners, the ATHON might have been more than a one-off from Bertone.

As it is, the ATHON was still extremely influential on the overt technological looks of many 80s supercars, where aero form was largely theoretical — and curb appeal was everything.


Concept Debrief – 1980 Lamborghini ATHON Speedster by Bertone

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Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)