Going to Lamborghini Sydney’s V12 week was a fantastic opportunity for me to look back on the history of this wonderful manufacturer and celebrate all the V12 cars that make Lamborghini truly special and unique.
The 350 GT was launched in 1964 at the Geneva Motor show and was the first production vehicle sold by Lamborghini. It featured a restyled aluminium body, a 3.5 litre V12 engine which produced 280 horsepower. The car was well received by the public and 120 units were built between 1964 and 1966.
The Lamborghini Miura, named after the strongest fighting bulls, is recognised today as the first modern supercar. The Miura was launched in 1966 during the Turin Motor Show, featuring an aggressive and yet elegant body design. The car was fitted with a 4 litre V12 which produced 345 horsepower enabling it to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 280 km/h making it the fastest car in the world at the time. The Miura P400 sold 275 units in two years.
The Espada was a luxurious, comfortable and spacious four seater that featured a powerful V12 engine mounted at the front with beautiful styling. With a total number of 1,227 units built, the Espada became Lamborghini’s best seller between 1968 and 1978. Stanzani (member of the company from the beginning which later became the head of the technical department) described the Espada as the most difficult model to develop as it had to combine comfort and performance in a balanced manner.
Contrasting the Miura’s curves, the Countach LP400 featured sharp and angular details which would later become the core of Lamborghini’s visual identity. The car was fitted with a 4 litre V12 engine and produced 370 horsepower, allowing the car to do the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 5.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 309 km/h. In 1978 Lamborghini launched the LP400 S which was slower and less aerodynamic compared to the LP400 but was more popular amongst buyers. It featured wider Pirelli P7 tyres and redeveloped suspensions to accommodate the tyres and an aero kit consisting of fender flare extensions, front spoiler and a rear wing which in reality was non-functional.
Now, you may ask why the “Rambo Lambo” made it on this list but it deserves more credit than it receives. At the time the LM002 was the fastest off-road vehicle that you could buy with a top speed of 210 km/h and could reach the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.8 seconds. It was built on steel tubular chassis with a huge V12 engine mounted at the front. Being a Lamborghini, it meant that the car was still luxurious; inside the cabin you could enjoy leather upholstery, air conditioning, electric windows and a premium audio system.
The Diablo, fitted with a 5.7 litre V12, received its name from a fierce fighting bull of the 19th century. The car produced 485 break horsepower and was the fastest car in the world at the time with a top speed of 325 km/h and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.5 seconds. In 1995, Lamborghini Launched the Diablo SV (Sprinto Veloce) which was the more powerful version of the Diablo producing 510 horsepower. The SV was fitted with 18 inch wheels, larger brakes and an adjustable rear spoiler made of carbon fibre.
Accommodating Murcielago’s menacing looks, the car had a 6.2 litre V12 which produced 572 horsepower and 650Nm of torque allowing the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. The most important aspect of this car was the extensive improved build quality making the Murcielago the most refined car in Lamborghini’s history. In 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the most powerful Murcielago: the Super Veloce. The car received an aggressive carbon fibre aero pack, weighed 100kg less than the Murcielago and produced 661 horsepower, allowing the SV to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds.
The Aventador featured a brand new designed 6.5 litre V12 engine producing 690 horsepower and 690 Nm of torque. The car features stunning looks, carbon fibre monocoque chassis, a loud exhaust and astonishing performance figures. In 2018, Lamborghini introduced the fasted Lamborghini to date; the Aventador SVJ. The engine is the most powerful V12 from Lamborghini producing 770 horsepower and 720 Nm of torque doing the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 2.8 seconds.
Lamborghini has created other V12 master pieces such as the Reventon, the Veneno, the Centenario and the SVJ 63 but we’ve kept the limited editions off this list. I don’t have a single doubt that if Mr Ferruccio Lamborghini was still alive today he would be very proud of how far Lamborghini has come and where it is today!