Lamborghini introduced the V12 in 1963 for the 350 GT, but it wasn’t until 2011 that a new development debuted with the Aventador. The original twelve-cylinder mill was originally engineered as a race car engine before being toned down for road use. It was used for almost half a century, initially front-mounted with a displacement of 3.5 liters. With aluminum cylinder heads, crankcase and pistons, the weight is kept down to 232 kg (511 lbs).
The timelessly beautiful Miura – referred to by many as the first supercar – has a rear mid-engine layout with the V12 rotated 90 degrees to a transverse orientation. Lamborghini engineers turned it another 90 degrees for the Countach to an elongated mid-rear position to improve weight distribution. It was also updated to accommodate the all-wheel-drive system for the 1993 Diablo VT. The 7.2-liter V12 used for offshore racing powerboats was adapted for the one-off LM 002 off-roader rated at 700 hp.
The displacement for the series production model eventually grew to 6.5 liters in the Murcielago. At that time, the Sant’Agata Bolognese family knew they had to do something to lose weight. The new V12 was developed from the ground up for the Aventador, initially producing 690 hp. Later versions increased output to 780 hp for Ultimae while the track-only Essenza had a colossal 830 hp.
Lamborghini says it will unveil the Aventador successor in the first quarter of 2023, having confirmed it will be equipped with an all-new V12. The combustion engine will be part of the hybrid powertrain and the Italian exotic marque also intends to electrify some of the Urus and Huracan replacements in 2024. A pure EV is slated to arrive later this decade with a 2+2 layout, two doors, and raised suspension.