REVIEW: Kyosho Lamborghini Countach LP500 S (old vs new) •

REVIEW: Kyosho Lamborghini Countach LP500 S (old vs new)

Does it still wow us … after all these years? We all know the wow effect the Countach got its name from and the original car is still enough of a looker and legend for Lamborghini to give some of their last Aventadors a Countach-inspired body and call it the Countach LP800-4.  What I am referring to in asking that question is the Kyosho model of the white LP500 S that was released more than 15 years ago and has now been re-released by Kyosho for a second time, albeit with a red interior instead of the original white. We never had a review of the Kyosho Countach, as far as our archives show, probably because only came into existence in 2012. I both have the original release and the new release with me for a side-by-side comparison. As a reference point to the real car, I use the photos provided of a white-on-red Countach LP 500 S pictured in Jeremy Coulters’ book on the Countach.

At first glance, except for the different interior colours, both seem to be absolutely the same. And for the outer body shell and moulds, they certainly are: Kyosho is using the same moulds again as for the first re-release.

In the front, both models have the same three-dimensional raging bull badge on the hood, the same lower front spoiler with air intakes and pin-mounted fog lights and air-intake grilles. They share the same black-framed transparent outer lenses with fine lines in the direction of travel (unless you spin the car sideways), but the amber and clear interior lenses are now the coorect way with amber outside and clear inside, while that was wrong on the original release, and the amber lens is darker on the re-release than on the original release. You may suspect that the old one has paled over the years, but with reference to the photographs of a factory-new LP500S in Coulter´s book, you will find neither 100% correct, with the old one´s shade of light orange paler the re-release´s darker.

Popping the typically-Eighties-pop-up-headlamps functions via the same release switch at the right front corner underneath the model unlocks the lamps´ housing that must then be fully opened manually to reveal detailed double lamps on either side, identical on both models. Closing them back down works in reverse, pushing the right one down to lock them. Swivelling the model’s nose to nose, they´d stare each other directly eye to eye … if there wasn´t a slight difference in ride height on the models. The front end of the new model sits slightly higher, unduly revealing more of the front wheel than on the old. Is that a QC issue in assembly? Or has the suspension settled more with the weight of the model over the years? The tires look as if they were the same unbranded tires, but in fact, the new front tires are wider than the old front rubbers. That being the case you would expect a bit of an upgrade in giving them the branding that has become standard in this price league. The same goes for the OZ-rims that remain unbranded, having the same raging bull on their chrome centres, but the new ones look a tad shinier than the old one, which is closer to the original car´s photo. The wheel nuts´ detail is the same nice depth, but the valves have become a little more detailed. What you can see of the brakes through the telephone-dial rims´ holes remains the same with detail to be found on budget models now. But, believe it or not, this is entirely true to the original when you consult Coulter´s book on page 66.

Spinning the models round back to back, the ride height rear is identical, with maybe the old car less than a millimetre higher, but that might be created by the differences in the front end. Other than the raging bull emblem, unbranded rear wheels (both tires and rims) have the same tread-width

Another swivel motion to glance at the rear ends shows some of the bigger differences between the releases: As on the front end, the turn signals´ shade of amber is much lighter on the old than on the new with a much darker red of the other light and reflector-panel assembly creating the bigger contrast than on the new release where the red is much brighter. This Is much closer to the original´s rear lights. Differences continue with rear-end badging and scripts: Very obviously the new one has not received a script on the number plate. The old one´s flash-S is too thin and the new one is truer to the original, while the 5000 and Countach badges are accurately bolder on the old release. The quad-exhaust tips are the same nice detail of inner and outer exhaust, although that seems slightly inaccurate in both.

Before opening the engine cover that seems the better fit on the old model, you cannot help noticing that 5 striped vents on either side of the rear end of the roof have been omitted on the new release. This looks less interesting, but “the LP400 and some very early LP400 S models had these slots to extract warm air from within the cockpit, but on the LP500 S these were definitely no longer mounted by the factory, so the old release from Kyosho made quite an important error here”, says fellow reviewer on his website and pictures in Coulter´s book second that. The engine seems to be the same nice detail as the V12, with the gilded engine parts being a darker, richer shade of gold, while the rest of the engine block has been made shiny now, while the old engine was a matte silver. With reference to the engine shown on pages 43/44 of Coulters’ book, I would regard the old engine as more appropriate. The complex wiring and pipes of the V12 remain nicely detailed, just as in the original release.

Under the rear lid and the wing or the front lid not much has changed. In the rear, a carpeted luggage compartment, and in the front a spare wheel, red horn and fluid containers are the same as on the original release. The lid itself now shows ugly mounting rivets of its hinges and does not as wide as the original release.

The moment some may have been waiting for is opening up those scissor doors. In contrast to AUTOart´s Lambos, Kyosho´s are not spring-loaded. Hence there is no locking mechanism to unlock them for them to automatically lift. Instead, you have to pull them up open against the resistance of a guiding wire strut that slides in the door and keeps the door open with its braking resistance. You could argue that this much simpler function gives the model less to fail, particularly with AUTOart´s Murcielago´s suffering from failing locks so that doors wouldn´t stay shut, or failing springs that they wouldn´t stay in the open position. My Murcielago has that latter issue on both sides, but I am happy to report that my 25th Anniversary Countach does not despite being displayed with the doors shut and the springs under pressure for years. On the new Kyosho, the driver´s door, unfortunately, does not fully open, which is not as wide as on the old on its own passenger side. So the Kyosho´s door function can have its own issues.

Sliding over the sill, both interiors are very much the same, the one in red, the other older in white. Both have carpets in the footwell, red in the red interior and grey in the white. Both have black fabric seat belts with photo-etched buckles, footrests in the passenger well and handbrakes on the drivers´ sides inside of the centre tunnel. What (in contrast to AUTOart) both don´t have is the round heating vent (or is it a loudspeaker?) on the centre tunnel, shown in photos of the original car. The seats´ quilted cushions seem to lack depth a bit when compared to photos of a factory-new LP500-S. The instrumentation on the dash is very good on both models, but slightly worse than AUTOart´s. The stereo on the old model is accurately painted in black, while the new release´s stereo being the same red as the rest of the interior is clearly wrong … not only on my model (QC issue or short-cut?).

Returning it is not an option, as I got the last available model, the dealer´s photo-demonstrator, for 225€ which is so much cheaper than the 289 to 299 it retails for elsewhere. I asked whether they had or would get another, because there are minor paint issues too (on the inner edge of the left air-intake “box”, on the lower left corner of the right tail light. Selling  the old white on white is not an option for me either: “A white over white model […] is THE model to get, it just looks amazing with its white interior, and actually white on white was a very popular choice in the early Eighties on real Lamborghini Countach cars”, said Lambodiecast in 2011 upon the first re-release of the Countach by Kyosho and continues: ”These days the early LP500 S models from Kyosho are getting very expensive considering they were sold for about 40 Euro back in the days, I have seen the white on white Kyosho being offered for 250 Euro and more … I don’t know if they are actually sold for this amount, but you must admit this is a steep price for such a model.” Fast forward 12 years to now and Kyosho asks more than that as a regular price for something they have not changed at all since, while I bought the white original release for 60 €. Lambodiecast´s yellow first re-release was 89€ in 2011. Like with the Minichamps 300SL, the seasoned collector might just smile with satisfaction over his treasures and abstain from buying this re-release. But then (according to Ian Tyrrell) for Ferruccio Lamborghini there was only one colour for a Countach and that´s white. For anyone new to the hobby wanting a 1:18 Countach this is not enviable. Would I recommend it? I had just one fellow collector from Slovakia on the phone, asking for advice on whether to buy it. What the ultimate authority on Lamborghini models wrote in 2011 is still true as a conclusion in 2023, despite the tripled price:

“If you are looking to add a Lamborghini Countach in 1:18 scale to your collection, these newly released Kyosho versions of the LP500 S are the best you can get for the money, sure they still have a few minor details that aren’t perfect compared to the real car, but your only other option of getting a decent 1:18 scale model of this car comes from AUTOart … and we all know prices for these classic AUTOart models are reaching ridiculous levels these days, so the new Kyosho is the one to get.”

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27 Responses to "REVIEW: Kyosho Lamborghini Countach LP500 S (old vs new)"

  1. George K says:

    Thank you! It’s always a question as to whether a reissue is worth getting, and the only way to get a satisfactory answer is through research and preferably a side by side comparison. Both your research and comparisons are much appreciated!

  2. DS Team says:

    Thank you for this review/comparison. The time and effort are always appreciated. From a personal perspective, I proudly display the Kyosho Countach LP-5000QV. A rare model that I have two of the same colour, White and Baby Blue.

    Yes, this model isn’t perfect, but the Countach is one of those cars that transcends something more than perfection in scale… it goes beyond simple emotions, this is a model that one should have in their collection. Be it Kyosho or another brand.

  3. Kostas says:

    Thank you very much Karsten for another great “old vs new” comparison review. It is always interesting to have these detailed reviews, not only in the case that someone wants to buy a new version of a model car and needs information, but also for someone that simply wants to see how its old model fares today in comparison with any latest edition. There is always the curiosity factor in this case, especially for the avid collectors.

    I have 3 Countach models in my collection, the old Kyosho version with you review here, a black 5000S from Autoart and a red one from Bburago. 3 different brands and 3 different colours, as I wanted variety for this beloved model. I very much love the Countach, it is an absolutely crazy and beautiful supercar that reflects perfectly the 80’s Italian exotics era, in terms of styling, road prescence and drama. And the drama is very strong with this one..

    I really like the old vs new reviews, I find them very interesting and I hope that there will be more in the future!

  4. REINALDO says:

    Will the new releases from kyosho give bubbles in the paint like the old models?

    • Karsten says:

      Well, the old Countach does not have paint rash or zinc pest as you can see from the pictures. Red and black models, not only on Kyoshos, seem to be more vulnerable to it for some reason. So new zinc alloy models ( by any manufacturer) will get it as likely or unlikely as old ones. I do not believe that manufacturing processes have changed to avoid the proble, and justify the soaring prices. Nobody will be able to predict whether or not any model will bubble or not. Resin is no remedy either. There the entire body material can deform over time.

  5. Aniket says:

    Hi there. Thanks a lot for the detailed comparison. I do not have the original release as back then I was too young to have a anything as a collectible rather than a toy. Anyway. Now I have a chance to add this gorgeous model in my collection. I just have one question about the release. The box of this new release says it’s LP500S but the decal on the back of the model says LP5000S. While for the previous release, box and model, both, had LP5000S. There is one “0” missing on the box of new release.
    My source for old release is ebay ( So I may be wrong.

    Can anyone please enlighten me in this regard? Thanks you.

    • Karsten says:

      This has very commonly been causing confusion, but is correct. As mentioned above, Jeremy Coulter´s book features a (then) factory new LP500S with the exact same colour scheme as the new Countach in the above review. The caption for one of the first pictures reads: “This sperb example of the Lamborghini LP500S was photographed at the Sant Agata factory just before delivery” and thirty pages later the caption says “There is no mistaking which model it is, even down to the lighnting flash “S” and the number 5000 […].”. So there is no mistake on either box or model, it´s all correct.

    • Karsten says:

      To clarify:

      LP5000S is wrong (on the box), should correctly be LP500S.

      5000 + flash “S” is correct as a badge on the rear of the (model) of an LP500S. However, there is no photo of the model´s rear end in the ebay listing. I´d personally ask for more photos.

  6. Karsten says:

    Thanks everybody for your encouraging feedback. The community spirit is what spurs me to keep doing this.
    I fully understand how seasoned collectors like you and me just as much as collectors joining the hobby appreciate a comparison, Kostas, but I cannot promise more of this format as collectors rarely buy a re-release of a model they already have. Because a white Countach is my website´s signature car, I could not help myself here, though.

    I was further rewarded for my efforts at a car meet at in Frankfurt today, when someone pulled up in a white/white Countach QV, accompanied by his sons in Diablos and was kind enough to have a chat with me and our photgraph taken with our hands on the rear wing (to bee viewed on my website). Video of him reverse parking (though not sitting on the sill with the door open) is available on my YT channel at

    In this context, a minor update: The side markers/indicators are positioned differently on both models. Neither seems entirely correct: The old one´s sits too high, the new one´s a little to much to the front, as far as I can judge.

    • DS Team says:

      Thanks for the video! Any Countach in the flesh is a rare sighting!

    • Kostas says:

      No problem! Thanks again for the very nice review!

    • Jelle says:

      I had a look at some pictures of real Countachs, and as far as I can see the new position of the indicator light is correct. But… the original position was correct also, looking at a photo of a Japanese Countach (… , the link doesn’t seem to work). Maybe Japanese regulations require it to be higher up.

      • Karsten says:

        Maybe, but odd. It would affect other cars too, wouldńt it? Does anyone know for sure what countries ´s regulations would require/have required it? Both the photos in Jeremy Coulter ´s book and on the real car last Sunday did have the same different position. It appears pretty random.

  7. Keith says:

    Thank you for the review!

    In other reviews I have read, there has been a focus on the misalignment (whether real or perceived) of the NACA ducts on the doors, especially on the passenger door. It seems to be a common complaint with the reissue and has been the reason why I have not purchased one. I missed out on the original release and was very much looking forward to getting my hands on the re-release. I’m just not sure I could get past the misalignment.

    I was surprised (and a bit hopeful) when I read your review and it did not mentions the ducts. Is the misalignment not as noticeable in person or perhaps it is a bit of an optical illusion depending on the angle of some of the photos? Or…am I just being too picky and looking for perfection in a hobby where that is getting harder and harder to find?

    Thanks again!

    • Karsten says:

      The misalignment is something you can spot in my pictures and video, too, yes. It results from the passenger door not staying compeletely shut, because (as mentioned in the review) there is no locking mechanism to lock it down into place. If you press it down fully shut (or … god forbid… glue it shut), it aligns, but the door won´t stay shut and move back up 1 mm. I am not sure this occurs on all specimen and assumed it is just on mine; so I have not mentioned it. I take it from your intervention that more of them have the issue. Same with the driver´s door that won´t open as far as on the passenger side?

      • Jelle says:

        The model I recently acquired has the exact same misalignment on the passenger side when shut. On the driver side it is nicely aligned, but the door sticks out 1 mm sideways. The driver’s door also won’t open as far as on the passenger side by a small margin. That’s barely noticeable.
        And the radio is painted red as well, unfortunately.
        Otherwise, I’m happy with the model.

  8. Keith says:

    In the photos I have seen, the misalignment of the duct appears to be much worse on the passenger side. While other reviews have not mentioned the passenger door opening more than the driver door, it does appear in a number of photos that passenger door does reach a greater height when open.

    All very disappointing given the price point. I certainly hope that this is not indicative of quality issues that will also appear on the upcoming re-releases of the F40 and Testarossa. I don’t have an issue with sealed resin models, so I am willing to continue to wait for a high quality sealed version of the Testarossa (looking at you, BBR!). But…I feel like you MUST have an opening F40 (for the engine) and Countach (for the iconic doors).

  9. Victor says:

    Thank you for this great article. I have both models in my collection and love them!
    Just to add some precision: the front clear/amber lights were not wrong at all on the first release. A significant part of the production got the orange on the inside, it’s a matter of market spec actually.

    • Karsten says:

      I have found a photo of a swiss-registered car with this feature, too, but other photos of swiss-registered Countach did not have it. Very strange! Would anyone know which country requires that sort of thing as a regulation? Anyway, very rare sight. The owner of the Countach told me on Sunday that you might end up with them lights being installed the wrong way round upon return from a paint-shop after a repaint. ;-)

  10. Carlos says:

    I can’t get excited by white coloured cars, no matter what the model. Red, black, blue and yellow are much more appealing, including Lamborghinis. I have the original model in yellow and it’s a beauty. Might add the new model in red.

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