The Espada is a four-seater GT that was sold by Lamborghini alongside the 2+2 400GT and the mid-engined Miura. 1217 Espadas were made, making it the most successful Lamborghini model until the expansion of Countach production in the mid-1980s.
„Espada“ means „sword“ in Spanish, referring to the sword that the Torero uses to kill the bull in the Corrida. During its ten years in production the car underwent some changes, and three different series were produced. These were the S1 (1968–1970), the S2 (1970–1972) and the S3 (1972–1978). Each model featured interior redesigns, while only minor details were changed on the exterior.
The Espada S3 was launched in 1972, its 3.9 L V12 engine produces 321 bhp. The dashboard was changed to a aluminium-trimmed cockpit that kept all instruments and most controls (including the radio) within easy reach of the driver. Newly designed wheels on five-stud hubs replace the earlier knock-off wheels, making the Espada S3 instantly recognisable; other exterior changes included the square instead of hexagonal mesh grille and tail lights from the Alfa Romeo 2000 replacing the previous Fiat-sourced ones.
The Espada uses a monocoque steel body, suspension is fully independent, with double wishbones, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers and anti-roll bars plus disc brakes. The caps for the twin fuel tanks are hidden behind a black cosmetic grille in the C-pillar, one of Gandini’s signature touches.
Its 3,929cc (240 cu in) V12 engine breathes through six Weber side-draft carburators and 24 valves commanded by two chain-driven overhead camshafts per bank. The gearbox is mounted in block with the engine. Most transmissions were manual, and the Espada also introduced one of the first automatic transmissions able to transfer the torque of a large sporting V12. When leaving the factory Lamborghini originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres.