In 1963 as Giotti Bizzarini began work on the first V12 3.5 liter for the first Lamborghini ever, the 350 GT, I wonder if he knew how legendary it would be. Lamborghini began its celebration of the V12 today as it begins its move toward hybridization, a move that started with the Sian.
Few know that only two V12 engines ever graced the engine bay of a Lamborghini. The first being Bizzarini's example which started as a 3.5 liter V12 350GT and Miura and ended its life with the Murcielago 670-4 Super Veloce. Beyond the increase in displacement the later models mostly only changed with weight and placement within the engine bay, progressively getting lower and lower.
When the Aventador was introduced in 2011 the new 6.5 liter V12 was designed completely in-house. It was made to be more reliable and capable of greater power, making as much as 830 horsepower in the Essenza SCV12 track car.
The only true constant was that the V12 was always naturally aspirated and it truly captured the sound of the presentation. One has only to look at the Murcielago R-GT presented by Reiter Engineering, the first factory supported race car, to hear its true charisma.
It's true, Lamborghini has had a passion for the V12. It's had many opportunities to move away from the iconic motor, but like the scissor doors that define its flagship offerings, it's been a constant throughout the brand's image. Many owners have stated it would be hard to imagine a Lamborghini without either, but the question was did it actually define the product.
When the Gallardo came out it suffered from a great deal of scrutiny and sometimes harsh criticism, packing only a V10 and regular doors, but it didn't take it long to outrun its venerable cousins. By the time of the 560 it could even compete against the Murcielago. When the Huracan followed it dared anyone to question its dominance. The Urus is also carried that appreciation to its model line as a well loved SUV, so its completely plausible that spirit will follow it into the next line-up.
The real question, is Lamborghini done with the V12? My personal opinion is, they'll never be done with the V12. The redesigned Countach showed that as long as a V12 graces the engine bay of a Lamborghini there will be buyers that will desire it. The truth is, maybe now more than ever and if demand exists it would be insane not to offer it even in limited quantities. If the V12 from 2011 has the same longevity as the original V12 then we should expect to see it for at least another 37 years. I personally hope that identity of Lamborghini and the legendary V12 outlives us all.
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