Lamborghini Miura louvred engine cover - Art of Speed

The louvred engine cover is a common sight in today's performance cars. We look at the model that started it all

The Lamborghini Miura, the unsanctioned project of seven young maverick engineers at Sant’Agata that became the sexiest thing on wheels anyone had ever seen, didn’t just create the mid-engined template for the modern supercar, it ignited a trend for black louvred covers that can be stuck to the rear windows of any car. It’s an accessory business that still thrives in some markets, most notably North America, no doubt buoyed by the fact that many subsequent Lambos had slatted rear window/engine covers as a nod to the Miura. As, indeed, does the new Huracán, if so optioned.

The functional benefits of the aftermarket variety are dubious at best. evo’s Ian Eveleigh opined, of an Escort XR3i he saw thus equipped, that it might be to cool the filaments in the Ford’s heated rear window. Their makers, perhaps more seriously, claim that as well as improving the ‘performance look’ of any car, they increase privacy (presumably if you’re being tailed by an octocopter drone packing a GoPro) and minimise cabin temperature.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD 2020 review

Heat was certainly a factor when it came to translating the two-dimensional drawings of an inspired young Bertone employee called Marcello Gandini into a three-dimensional production reality. The Miura P400 appeared first as a knock’em-dead concept car at the 1965 Turin Salon and then, thanks to the sensation it caused, as a work-in-progress prototype at the 1966 Geneva show. As seen, it had a Plexiglas rear screen/engine cover through which the transverse mid-mounted V12 could be easily viewed in all its glory.

Great for a show stand, not so wonderful when development continued on the road and the big, highly strung motor quickly overheated. So it was the imperative of necessity rather than aesthetic expression that led to the rear louvres being developed, the six slats being arranged in such a way that they protected the engine and its wiring from the elements (the tiered, full-width slots vented rearwards) while allowing engine-generated heat and noise – and what a noise – to escape.

Slats featured on several series Lambos - Urraco P250, Diablo, Murciélago to mention just a few – and numerous Bertone concepts, including the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal and 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero. Their imitative presence became all but de rigueur for the derrieres of US muscle cars through the ’70s and ’80s, too, especially tin-top Mustangs. The Miura must feel sincerely flattered.

Most Popular

2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines
Land Rover Discovery

2021 Land Rover Discovery 5 updated with fresh tech and engines

Updated Discovery receives latest JLR engines and re-emphasises its family focus
10 Nov 2020
2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future
BMW

2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future

500bhp all-electric SUV leads the charge for BMW’s EV range expansion
11 Nov 2020
BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?
BMW 5 Series

BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?

A desirable balance of performance and control, beautifully built and charismatic. One of BMW’s best
12 Nov 2020
Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head
BMW M3 saloon

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head

You might require a second mortgage to buy an E30 BMW M3, but fear not, as there are equally appealing M Power options that won’t test your credit sco…
14 Nov 2020