All posts in “Lamborghini”

Maurizio Reggiani talks racing, forced induction, and Lamborghini V12s

Maurizio Reggiani deserves his own chapter in Lamborghini’s history.

He joined the Italian company in 1995 and rose to the position of chief technical officer in 2006; he notably led the development of some of Lamborghini’s greatest modern-day engines, including the 6.5-liter V12 that powers the Aventador. His time as the head of Lamborghini’s research and development department ended earlier in 2022 and he now serves as vice president of motorsport. His successor, Rouven Mohr, is tasked with implementing an ambitious and far-reaching electrification strategy called Direzione Cor Tauri and outlined in 2021.

As Lamborghini prepares to enter a new era, I sat down with Reggiani for a behind-the-scenes look at nearly 30 years of V12 development.

[The following has been edited for clarity.]

RG: Lamborghini has made other engines and other companies have made V12s. Why is the V12 so often associated with Lamborghini?

MR: In a time when everybody started talking about downsizing and reducing cylinder count, we continued to say that the V12 is the flagship of the super-sports car. We were born with this: Lamborghini has made a V12 during every year of its history. We also did V8s in the time of the Jalpa, for example, but the V12 was every time the main pillar of this company. If you want to be considered the pinnacle of super-sports cars, no other engine can really speak to purists like a naturally-aspirated V12 can. In terms of power, in terms of sound, in terms of emotion, and in terms of, let me say, the coolest engine that’s possible in terms of engineering definition.

RG: What projects have stood out to you during your time at the head of Lamborghini’s R&D department?

MR: When I started my career, 40 years ago at Maserati, I worked in engine development. At Bugatti, I was responsible for powertrain, which of course includes the engine. For me, an engine is kind of like a first love, and you remain in love for all of your life. To look at an engine, to look inside, to discuss the components, to have an opinion, and to give a suggestion was my way of working every time.

One of the projects that excited me the most was the Diablo GT. For the first time, we decided to put a single throttle per cylinder, and it was a level of sophistication that was more or less never used before by Lamborghini. You take experience from the past and try to apply it to [the present]. This improved a lot the performance, and it was really super exciting. The engine in the Aventador is another highlight: it was designed together with the Aventador. That was a completely new car, we started from scratch, and you can imagine how exciting that was.

RG: You’ve taken the V10 racing; why not race a V12?

MR: We had a big discussion about this when we first started out in racing. We initially launched a one-make series in 2009, and after that we decided to also engage in the GT3 series, and the main point of discussion was that in every competition related to GT you have a balance of performance. There’s no sense to take on the weight and packaging of the V12 if after you need to put a restrictor that penalizes a lot of the performance. We decided the best compromise in order to match the balance of performance was the V10. At the end, you need to take an engine where even with the balance of performance you are close to maximum power. If you take an engine with a big output and you move its curb of efficiency to a lower part [of the graph], you cannot be competitive.

RG: Was adding forced induction, whether it’s a turbocharger or a supercharger, ever considered?

MR: We never [used forced induction] because our vision was that the sound of the V12, the frequency of the V12, cannot be done with a turbo. Clearly, today you have so many filters in the exhaust system that the sound is reduced. That are new rules that came from California where you cannot exceed a given decibel during the test. Years ago it was only in the default [driving] mode; now in all of the modes you need to be below a certain level. It’s important to maintain the frequency of the sound.

Also, the power was, let me say, enough. We reached 350 kilometers per hour (about 217 miles per hour) with the Aventador SVJ. We put much more attention to the use of the power and the shape of the torque curve because we were sure this is what customers ask. We want to give the V12 a response that’s as similar as possible to a motorcycle’s. On a motorcycle, when you twist the accelerator you have the impression that the engine is able to catch 10,000 RPM *snaps* like this. In a V12, which is a big engine, the enemy is to be able to move up and down [the rev range] as quickly as possible. This depends a lot on the weight of the pistons, the connecting rods, the crankshaft, and of course electronics. You need to tune everything as much as possible and what gives this perception is the sound you hear. 

RG: I spoke to you about carbon fiber connecting rods in 2016. What happened to that project?

MR: The parts were done in Seattle, at the University of Washington. The complexity in terms of the materials used, the necessity to have metal inside, and the difficulty of bolting the connecting rods because you need to put an insert inside of them [were issues]. And, after that you have dilatation. We built a prototype and tested it but it remained at the research level. We have several examples of development work that run, but at the end every time you need to do a decision sheet where you decide economics, reliability, reproducibility, and cost, and what we work on in R&D can’t reach production every time.

RG: What should we expect from the next V12?

MR: The V12 is part of Lamborghini’s DNA. We already announced the Aventador’s successor will keep the naturally-aspirated V12, though it’s a V12 that is radically new compared to what we have today. We use this new engine to correct some of the peculiarities that can be related to the weight and that can be related to the RPM in order to have the best level of thermal dynamics coupled with a hybrid system.

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Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae Roadster ends non-hybrid V12 production

To quote Hall & Oates: “She’s gone,” the “she” here being the Lamborghini Aventador. The last of the scissor-doored supercars with a naturally-aspirated V12 rolled off the line in LP 780-4 Ultimae Roadster form colored an Ad Personam light blue, headed for a quiet life in Switzerland. That also closed the chapter on the 350 coupes and 250 roadsters made in Ultimae spec. This is a belated end-of-life, the Italian concern restarting production lines after 85 Lamborghinis, 15 of them Aventador Ultimaes destined for the U.S. market, got torched on the cargo ship Felicity Ace in March of this year. The final tally for the latest V12 spreadsheet counts 11,465 cars delivered in 11 years, more than doubling the entire sales count of its predecessor, the Murcielago, and exceeding the combined sales of every one of Lamborghini’s V12 models since the 3.5-liter V12 in the 350 GT in 1964. 

What began with the 6.5-liter 12-cylinder with 691-horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque in 2022 ended with that engine making 760 hp and 531 lb-ft in the Ultimae. The official 0-to-62 mile per hour dash came down a tenth of a second in that time, depending on where you look, from 2.9 seconds to 2.8. Top speed rose from 217 mph to 220. Plenty fast then, plenty fast now. Between those yardposts there have been more than 10 one-offs and limited editions. The former group includes the Jota, SVJ Xago, and the SC18 Alston track car. The latter group counts the Anniversario, Veneno, Centenario, and Sian FKP 37. There were also innovations like the enclosed carbon fiber monocoque supported by “flying doctors” that traveled the world to help diagnose and repair damage that benefited owners. There was the pushrod suspension that turned a heavyweight into a flickable canyon runner, benefiting all drivers. There was the Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) single-shift transmission, which Lamborghini says was “chosen for lightweight compactness and the most emotive shift.” Given its tidal shifting motion and occasionally clumsy changes under partial throttle or when trying to figure out what the driver wanted in changing conditions, we never figured out who that benefited.

What comes next will be a hybrid V12 powertrain wrapped in looks that, based on spy shots, will evolve the latest design language with details like new lights, bladed B-pillars, and high-rise exhaust. Shouldn’t be long to wait now. But no matter what comes, to paraphrase Hall & Oates on the Aventador again: There can never be what she was to us.

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Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini is a two-wheeled Italian mashup

Ducati has revealed its new two-wheeled mashup with parent manufacturer Lamborghini. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini follows in the footsteps of the 1260 Diavel, this time drawing on the Huracán STO, bringing together two Italian icons with common stylistic elements for a limited run of bikes designed for those who need as many romantic ponies as possible in their garage. 

For the latest tie-up, Ducati says it applied its well-known “Fight Formula” to the existing Panigale V4 S (the latest Streetfighter makes 208 horsepower and 90 pound feet of torque) and then took it a step further, integrating styling elements that are “unmistakably Lamborghini.” Depending on which generation of Lamborghini you grew up with, that could mean just about anything. Remember the ’80s? Like, all of them? But in this case, Ducati and Lamborghini settled on a mix of modern styling and heritage inspiration. 

Just about every part on the bike was at least breathed on if not outright redesigned. From the wheels, which are bespoke to this model, to the fender design meant to evoke the STO’s air intakes, virtually everything you see is unique. Many of the smaller bits are made from carbon fiber (including the tail, tank cover and toe caps) and the STO emblem is displayed subtly (believe it or not) on its flanks. 

The livery includes the #63 (as on the Diavel) in a nod to the year of Automobili Lamborghini’s founding. That’s also the number Ducati used to determine the number of units it would produce: divide 630 by 10 and voila. Ducati says it will also offer an even more-limited series of one-off designs for (you guessed it!) 63 lucky Lamborghini customers who will get the opportunity to match their bikes to their existing (or forthcoming) cars. 

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Performance doesn’t matter anymore, it’s all about the feel

We’ve just had a week of supercars and high-end EVs revealed. Many of them boast outrageous performance specs. There were multiple vehicles with horsepower in the four-figure range, and not just sports cars, but SUVs with 0-60 mph times under 3.5 seconds. And it’s not just a rarified set of supercar builders, comparatively small tuners are also building this stuff. Going fast is easy nowadays and getting easier. So what will distinguish the greats from the wannabes? It’s all about how a car feels.

This may seem obvious. “Of course it matters that a car should have good steering feel and a playful chassis!” you say. “Why are you being paid for this stuff?” But a lot of automakers have missed the memo. This past week I spent some time in a BMW M4 Competition convertible, and it’s a perfect example of prioritizing performance over experience. It boggles my mind how a company can create such dead and disconnected steering; the weight never changes, there’s no feel whatsoever. The chassis is inflappable, but to a fault, because it doesn’t feel like anything you’re doing is difficult or exciting. The car is astoundingly fast and capable, but it feels less like driving a car and more like tapping in a heading on the Enterprise-D.

I also happened to drive something of comparable performance that was much more enjoyable: a Mercedes-AMG GT. It was a basic model with the Stealth Edition blackout package, and even though it had a twin-turbo V8 instead of a six-cylinder, it only made 20 more horsepower. The power wasn’t the big differentiator, it was (say it with me) the feel. While not the best example, the steering builds resistance as you dial in lock, giving you a better idea of what’s happening up front. Pulses and vibrations come back to you as you move over bumpy pavement in corners. The chassis isn’t quite as buttoned down, either, providing a little bit of body roll that tells you you’re pushing it. It’s also easier to feel when the car is wanting to understeer or oversteer, and how your throttle and steering inputs are affecting it. The whole thing is much more involving, exciting and fun.

That’s also to say nothing of the Merc’s sounds. That V8 is maybe not the best sounding engine, but its urgent churn through the opened-up exhaust gets your heart racing. It also seems like it’s vibrating the whole cabin, so you feel it as much as you hear it. Though the BMW’s six is also a special sounding unit, too with a melodious howl and a smattering of pops on shifts. So BMW isn’t a total lost cause.

But I digress. The point is, given two cars with similar performance, one is more entertaining. It’s the one car enthusiasts will want to come away with, and as an added benefit, a car with a fun feel is enjoyable even when it’s not being driven at full force. The Mercedes was more entertaining even on public roads when following traffic laws. Many of these new hypercars and electric cars are offering performance that can’t even be used most of the time. But if they’re not fun the whole time, what’s the point?

Thankfully, people in the industry are figuring this out. I spoke with Lamborghini Chief Technical Officer Rouven Mohr about the newly revealed Lamborghini Urus Performante. While the faster Urus seemed to be another vehicle that’s about the numbers, Mohr explained that wasn’t the goal. Many of the decisions about the SUV’s upgrades were to make it more fun and more like a sports car. The engineers went to steel springs instead of air for more response and linear, controllable reactions. The Rally drive mode isn’t so much for speed, but for tail-happy shenanigans on loose surfaces. He said a focus on feel and experience is what the company is working on, about making cars that have “good feedback and emotional involvement.” Mohr said a car like the Huracan STO is popular because it “makes you feel like a hero.” I think he nailed it.

Other reveals this past week show a renewed focus on involvement. The Dodge Charger Daytona EV is more than just another fast electric car concept. Attention was given to the experience, with a piped exhaust to make noise under acceleration. It even has a multi-speed transmission, not for efficiency or performance, but to deliver the feeling of gas-powered muscle cars that Challenger and Charger owners clearly love.

Speaking of transmissions, take a look at the Koenigsegg CC850. It turned its hyper-advanced nine-speed automatic transmission into a gated manual transmission — with a functioning clutch pedal. Partly it’s a tribute to the CC8S, but it’s also to provide extra engagement. Koenigsegg even fitted smaller turbos that produce less power to optimize manual driving feel. This is good to hear from a company that just launched yet another four-figure horsepower supercar.

So the future is actually looking fairly bright, with big names in the car industry recognizing that the quest for more raw performance is less important than the driving experience. This is just a request for other manufacturers to follow suit. Cars aren’t all about the numbers.

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Lamborghini Huracan could become an 850-hp PHEV next year

So far, Lamborghini is celebrating 2022 with record sales and odes to the internal combustion engine thanks to a raft of special editions. The Italian automaker’s plunge into electrification starts next year with the next-generation Huracán and its plug-in hybrid powertrain. Lamborghini’s head of research and development said, “The engine will be bespoke for Lamborghini. On the final details we can’t yet communicate this, but I would say more than six and less than 12 cylinders for the combustion engine.” The easy (well, easier…) option would be to tweak one of the Volkswagen Group’s twin-turbo V8s to work with a pair or trio of electric motors. Auto Express says its sources suggest two bits of intel on that engine, the first being that it could be an in-house design “not sourced from VW Group,” the second that combined output might exceed 850 horsepower. Such a theoretical coupe would be 169 horses more potent than the Huracán STO and easily satisfy Mohr’s assertion that the new generation “from the performance point of view … will again be a big step.”

Lamborghini is spending $1.8 billion on its path to an electric future. It’s possible the firm could take part of that money to develop a V8 for itself, instantly setting itself apart from the other high-dollar brands in the VW Group. Naturally, we’d love to see that, or even a hybrid V10; what a monster that could be, although heavy, and engineers have been clear about waging a war against weight. The Wolfsburg parent is known to be a huge fan of scale, though, and a V8 or V10 that only serves two vehicles — the Aventador will continue with a V12 even as a plug-in hybrid — seems like a stretch to get approval. Parsing this also depends on how the automaker could define “in-house design.” We’ve seen massively revised engines built around an existing block considered “all-new.”

The Huracán could debut as soon as next year, one year ahead of the automaker’s commitment to electrifying the whole three-car lineup. Autocar says that looking ahead from there, we’ll finally get eyes on the battery-electric Lamborghini in 2028. Last year, the predicted window was sometime between 2025 and 2027, and an interview with Lamborghini chief Stephan Winkelmann has clarified a few bits. Autocar says the EV will “be an all-new, radically styled 2+2 crossover” that looks back to the 2008 Estoque concept for “light inspiration” but “significantly more dramatic styling” than anything else in the range so it’s understood as an EV on sight. Within two years of its launch, Lamborghini will introduce a battery-electric Urus.

If things stay as they are, that would mean a four-vehicle lineup consisting of two PHEV-only models, one electric-only model, and the Urus offering both.

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Lamborghini supercar prototype shows angry face in spy photos

Lamborghini made it clear last year that it’s working on a new supercar to replace the V12-powered Aventador. And the car shown above is definitely a new Lamborghini of some sort. However, we don’t think this is the Aventador replacement. Instead, we suspect this is another limited-run Aventador-based special model.

The key tipoff is the greenhouse. All the glass looks just like the pieces found on the Aventador, the Countach, the Sían and plenty of other special Aventador models. Similarly, the proportions of the car match those models, too. And Lamborghini has said that its full Aventador replacement will be a completely new car with a completely new powertrain. So nothing leftover from its predecessor.

There are of course styling features not shared with other Aventador-based cars, so it will still probably be a unique model. The front end has particularly angry eyebrows over the lights, and they appear to intersect with the lower grille openings. Interesting aerodynamic panels behind the windows also show up. The rear is the most distinct with high-mounted quad-exit exhaust right in line with slim taillights. Note, the “lights” lower in the rear are just printed on the camouflage.

This prototype also tips us off to the powertrain. On the outside are high-voltage warning stickers. And since it seems to be a special Aventador-based model, we bet it’s using the same hybrid V12 used in the Countach and Sían. Output should be around 803 horsepower, maybe a little more from the naturally aspirated V12 and a small electric motor powered by a supercapacitor.

We’re expecting the car will be revealed within a year, since it looks pretty far along in development, and it’s based on a car whose days are numbered. We don’t have a name yet, but Lamborghini recently trademarked the name Revuelto, which could be used on this model, or on that planned Aventador replacement.

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Lamborghini builds 20,000th Huracan, looks back on eight years of production

Lamborghini is celebrating a significant milestone: It has built 20,000 examples of the Huracán, its entry-level supercar. While that number might not sound impressive, it cements the V10-powered Huracán’s positioning as the Italian firm’s best-selling supercar by a wide margin.

Finished in an eye-catching color called Grigio Acheso Matte, the 20,000th Huracán is an STO model that was built for an anonymous buyer in Monaco, so you won’t find it basking under the spotlights in Lamborghini’s official museum. Reaching the 20,000-unit mark also gives the Raging Bull the opportunity to look back on an eight-year-long production run. As of writing, 71% of Huracán buyers have chosen the coupe while 29% have selected the Spyder. The model’s main market is the United States; that’s where 32% of examples built have been sent.

Lamborghini has gone to significant lengths to keep the Huracán fresh and competitive since it started building the model in 2014. An updated variant called EVO was released for 2020; it’s available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and the aforementioned STO joined the lineup shortly after to bridge the gap between the production model and the cars that Lamborghini builds for various racing series around the world. The range grew again in 2022 with the unveiling of the Huracán Tecnica, which offers a 631-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive.

Keep in mind that the Huracán remains a niche model made by a small company that used to be even smaller; building 20,000 cars is an impressive feat. Lamborghini manufactured an average of 250 cars annually during the first four decades of its existence. Precisely 1,999 units of the Countach, one of the Raging Bull’s most emblematic models, were built during a production run that lasted for 17 years.

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2022 New York Auto Show Roundup | All the reveals, reviews, pictures

NEW YORK — In case you missed it, the New York Auto Show took place this year after being canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. A lot of manufacturers showed up in force, but not everybody did. No matter, we were there, and we brought you news, photos and scoops from the floor throughout the show. All of our New York-related stories can be found at our central hub here, but if you’d rather just get a small taste of everything in a quick and digestible format, keep scrolling.

Kia revealed the Telluride’s first major refresh at New York, and it makes the three-row crossover a little bit more desirable without screwing up what we liked about it before. There’s a new X-Line and X-Pro trim for someone who might want a little more off-road capability, and a number of tech improvements. Most notably, a newly-designed dash features new and bigger screens.

The Telluride’s sister car from Hyundai was treated to a similar refresh. Like the Telluride, Hyundai gave the Palisade a slightly revised look, a new off-road trim (called XRT in the Palisade’s case), more tech inside and a new dash design with full-width air vents. If we had to choose, we’re a little more impressed with the Telluride’s refresh, as a number of us on staff actually prefer the pre-refresh Palisade styling over the new one.

This one was inevitable. Jeep revealed the longer, roomier versions of its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer in New York, and they’re designated with an “L” at the end of their names. Total length grows by a foot, and the wheelbase goes up by 7 inches versus the standard Wagoneer models. Jeep has essentially allocated all this extra room to the cargo area, as it now offers a staggering 44.2 cubic-feet of space behind the third row.

Besides the L, Jeep announced that its new Hurricane inline-six engine would find its first home in the Wagoneer. Efficiency gets a small boost, and power is more than sufficient at either 420 horsepower (standard output) or 510 horsepower (high-output version) from the twin-turbo I-6.

The Stellantis party continues with Chrysler and its slightly revised Airflow. Re-styled for the New York market after initially debuting at CES in Las Vegas, the Airflow Concept gets new paint, changed accent colors, a slightly changed interior design and a new interpretation of the Chrysler logo.

This was our first chance to get a good in-person look at the new Kia Niro models headed our way, and we were impressed. It gets a totally new design, massaged powertrains in all three variants and an EV6-inspired interior. We even got to take a little deep dive into the standout Aero Blade design feature seen on all new Niros.

This was one of the minor debuts of the show — Subaru didn’t even hold a press conference. But the Outback was there on the show floor, and it was showing off its new Wilderness-inspired looks. The cladding is much more prominent, it has new lights up front, and Subaru packed it with a number of new tech features.

One year on from the Pathfinder being all-new, and Nissan just added an off-road-focused Rock Creek trim. It gets a slightly revised suspension, more power when run on premium fuel, all-terrain tires and a fairly comprehensive styling package. We liked the looks of it on the show floor, and while it may not be a super-capable SUV, having the option of a more rugged-looking SUV is seemingly a good thing to have in dealers these days.

The Leaf is getting outpaced by EVs with far more range, better tech and more power, but that hasn’t stopped Nissan from giving it a small nip-and-tuck. It gets a new grille, light-up Nissan logo, wild new wheels and a couple of aero enhancements.

This special-edition Ford GT pays tribute to the third-place car at the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It re-creates that car’s look via matching paint, red accents and a number of other small details. Ford put it on display next to the car that raced at Le Mans back in 1966, making it an excellent display for any racing history geeks.

A collaboration between Williams Engineering, Italdesign and Deus, this electric hypercar is planned for super-low production, but incredibly high performance. Output is meant to be “more than 2,200 horsepower” and it has a claimed 0-62 mph time of 1.99 seconds. Only 99 are meant to be built, but we know that will be a tough, uphill battle to accomplish. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a Deus outside of the N.Y. Auto Show stand one day.

Yes, it’s another Huracán variant. This one steals a lot of the go-fast STO parts, but pairs them with a much more subdued appearance. It does well to make the appearance stand out as different from other Huracáns, and the 631 horsepower being sent to the rear wheels sound like Italian supercar bliss.

2023 BMW X7 M60i

BMW didn’t bring it to the show floor, but we still got to see the refreshed X7 in New York this week. The design both inside and out gets a heavy revamping. Its look certainly isn’t for everyone, but nobody can deny that the car is turning heads. We’re impressed with the new interior, and the base xDrive40i powertrain gets a huge performance boost, giving the entry-level X7 a whopping 375 horsepower.

Debuting alongside the regular X7 was the Alpina XB7 that received its own styling tweaks to keep it current. It also adds 8 horsepower, bringing it up to 621 ponies from the twin-turbo V8.

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

It wasn’t on the show floor, but Genesis still revealed it in New York during auto show time. The X Speedium Coupe Concept is far and away the most beautiful thing there. Its shooting brake/fastback design is long and wide, and its proportions make it a total stunner. The concept is electric, and while Genesis hasn’t committed to putting it into production, we can hope to see it on the roads one day.

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

For whatever reason, Fiat brought the Europe-only electric 500 to N.Y. Our Joel Stocksdale took a close look at it, and made a case for why Stellantis should bring the little EV to America.

Radwood showed up with a large collection of epic cars from the 1980s and 1990s. They were easily the coolest part of the show, and if you’re in town, it may be worth going just to see this group of cars at the Javits Center.

Lastly, Alfa brought the Tonale for us to check out in a gorgeous Montreal Green paint. It’s a sharp little crossover in the flesh, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how this Alfa drives.

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Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 512M and more immortalized as Lego sets

Lego has announced a slew of new Speed Champions sets, the ones based on actual licensed cars, for 2022. The latest batch includes a smorgasbord of supercars, from beloved classics like the Lamborghini Countach to yet-to-be-released promises like the long-awaited Mercedes-AMG One. There are seven cars in total, released in five sets. 

Our favorite is probably the 262-piece Lamborghini Countach, based on a later LP500 variant. Not only does it tick the box of a childhood dream machine, but the angular shape of the real-life Countach lends itself well to being recreated in Lego bricks. Also, it’s modeled in white rather than the typical red.

We also really dig the Ferrari 512M. It marked the last of Ferrari’s V12 endurance racers, and even though it was soundly spanked by the Porsche 917, the cars are undeniably beautiful. The 291-piece Lego set does a great job of capturing its brutal wedge silhouette in brick form.

Rounding out the single-car sets is the 247-piece Lotus Evija. The electric Lotus has a bit of a generic supercar look about it, but that’s not entirely the fault of the Lego kit. Its dramatic vents can’t really be replicated with the limited “resolution” of the Lego bricks. Its rear, with unique taillight-encircled air tunnels, is a bit more distinctive.

In addition to the single car sets, there are two larger sets of two cars each. One is a 592-piece Aston Martin-themed pack that includes the Valkyrie AMR Pro and Vantage GT3. Again, it’s a bit difficult to sculpt the cars’ curvaceous lines out of straight-edged bricks, but the effort is admirable. The Valkyrie is probably the more successful of the two, as the Vantage would resemble a Corvette or Viper if it didn’t have stickers to clarify the details.

Last but not least is a twofer comprised of 564 bricks to build the Mercedes-AMG One and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s W12 racer. In Lego’s official product description the driver is not mentioned by name, but the number 44 gives it away. The model of the One indeed looks like a sharp supercar, but the blocky pieces don’t exactly replicate the lines we’ve seen on camouflaged test mules. The F1 car model looks a bit more like the actual thing, complete with the Petronas livery that graces Hamilton’s steed.

Lego has been doing a great job of immortalizing supercars and classics in brick form in their Speed Champions lineup. Last year saw kits of the McLaren Elva, Koenigsegg Jesko, Toyota GR Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the Ford GT and Bronco. Their more detailed Technics line has seen vehicles like the Ford Raptor, Volkswagen Camper Van and BMW M1000RR motorcycle

While the kits look entertaining, we wouldn’t mind if they didn’t skew so heavily towards unobtainably expensive, limited-production vehicles. What kid wouldn’t want a kit of their parents’ Chrysler Pacifica, a Ford Transit Connect to replicate a city scene, or a Mazda Miata for some clean, honest fun? The single-car sets will retail for $19.99, the two-packs for $39.99. All five sets are scheduled for a March 2022 release.

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Lamborghini Huracán to get What3Words navigation

The Lamborghini Huracán will soon launch a novel navigation system that can take you to any point on the globe with incredible specificity. It relies on a geocoding system called What3Words that, as the name implies, uses a combination of just three words — rather than building numbers and street names — to describe locations.

Here’s how it works. The creators of What3Words divided the entire planet into 10 by 10 foot squares and randomly assigned three words to each one. There are 57 trillion squares in all, each with three words pulled from a pool of 40,000 in the English language. For example, the Washington Monument has a pretty confusing street address: 2 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20024. What3Words identifies that location as “congratulations, fingernails, desk”.

The idea is that those three words are much less prone to misinterpretation, especially by a computer or voice recognition system. Its level of granularity also has advantages if, say, you’re trying to tell a friend where you’re waiting at large concert venue. It can also get very precise in areas where there are no roads or buildings at all. In fact, the app helped rescuers locate a group of lost hikers in the U.K.

To be fair, the system isn’t exclusive to Lamborghini; the Huracán is just the first to roll out this technology in conjunction with Alexa’s voice activated navigation, according to the New York Times. The Huracán will receive this functionality this year. For the record, the 2018 Mercedes A-Class was the first car to use What3Words for navigation.

Of course, the system isn’t perfect. Unless someone gives you a What3Words address, you still have to translate a regular street address to the What3Words address in order to use the system. Also, its random nature doesn’t really provide an intuitive relationship between one location or another. With street addresses, you understand that 100 Main Street and 102 Main Street are near each other, while 900 Main Street might be far away. And you can see whether you’re getting closer or farther by looking at the numbers. The square directly north of “congratulations, fingernails, desk” is “dome, next, senses”.

So there might still be a while before What3Words is adopted for widespread use. We could see this being useful in an off-road vehicle meant to venture into the wilderness. Still, the more options the better, and if What3Words does become commonplace, the Lamborghini Huracán will be ready.

Related video:

Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 Specs and Pricing

The Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 will be on the road for the first time since it’s unveiling at the Pebble Beach on August 13th.

On this special occasion, the LPI 800-4 will be accompanied by two of its predecessors; the first Countach LP400 and the last Countach 25th Anniversary produced.

The LPI 800-4 is powered by a Lamborghini 6.5 liter V12 engine delivering an output power of 780 hp. When combined with the 48-volt electric motor mounted on the gearbox, the output power increases to a maximum 814 hp for instant response as well as increased performance.

2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 Specs and Pricing

Engine 6.5L V12 N/A
Electric Motor 48v system
Energy Storage Supercapacitor
Combined Horsepower 803hp
0-100km/h 2.8s
0-200km/h 8.6s
Top Speed 355km/h (221mph)
Dry Weight 1,595 kg
Price $2.8 Million

Additionally, the electric motor is powered by a supercapacitor providing three times more power than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.

The new model will be limited to only 112 units all of which have been sold already. The number of units is a reference to ‘LP 112’, the project name used during the manufacture of the first Lamborghini Countach.

The deliveries of the Countach LP 112 will begin from the first quarter of 2022.

Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato prototype spied testing in the snow

Back in the summer of 2019, which seems like so much longer than two and a half years ago at this point, Lamborghini showed an interesting concept called the Huracán Sterrato. It was a lifted, widebody version of the mid-engine supercar, and its name literally translated to dirt. It was quite cool, and surprisingly grounded. And it must’ve been received well not just by us, but possibly customers, because these spy photos seem to indicate Lamborghini is working on a production model.

There are a few indicators, but the most clear is the fact this test car has a noticeably taller ride height than its pavement-pounding predecessors. The concept, for reference, had an extra 1.85-inches of ground clearance. Furthermore, the prototype is sporting roof rails like those seen on the concept. Some other interesting additions that may or may not indicate plans for the production car include the skid plate up front, the additional lighting on the hood, and a new roof scoop up top. They’re all clearly temporary additions, but the concept had bodywork that suggested some sort of skid plate, as well as auxiliary lighting. The roof scoop is a bit of a head-scratcher, though. We’re not one to turn down a sweet mid-engine supercar scoop, but roof rails would seem to suggest carrying stuff on the roof, which would seem to directly block said scoop. On the other hand, that scoop could provide cleaner air when out in the dirt.

Missing from the concept are the fat fender flares, but that’s not too much of a surprise. We would expect the powertrain is basically the same as that of the Huracán Evo with a naturally aspirated V10 and all-wheel drive. It will probably have specific driving modes that adjust the traction and stability control systems for sporty, slippery driving conditions. We could also see the car being shown sometime either this year or next year, since it will likely be based on the current Huracán.

Related Video:

2022 Lamborghini V12 hybrid test mule sighted

Did Automobili Lamborghini SpA drop the ball and accidentally drive the new V12 Hybrid model inside the factory compound, right in front of a camera lens with just a loose cover and some camouflage decals on the door, the new model we’ll only be seeing towards the end of 2022 or early 2023 as the replacement for the current flagship model, the Lamborghini Aventador … or is Lamborghini playing tricks to stir up interest even more?

Via MOTOR1.com

I will post a video shot by YouTuber Varryx at the bottom of this article, it shows the car driving right in front of his camera, and I have to admit, she sounds great, but first let’s go over some details we noticed on the video and the subsequent photos that appeared online earlier today, the obvious elephant in the room are those exhausts:

Via MOTOR1.com

Check out the placement of those four tailpipes, grouped by two inside a hexagon tip, so far no big deal, the Aventador LP700-4 also had four exhausts, grouped inside one large tip, by the time the SVJ came around we saw two larger diameter exhaust tips moved a little higher onto the rear fascia, arguably to make the distance in piping shorter, but now those dual twin pipes sit really high at the rear, almost as high as on the Sesto Elemento we’ve seen years ago … the question is: are these real?

Via MOTOR1.com

Is Lamborghini test driving the Aventador successor with a totally new exhaust that exits this high up, or is this a smokescreen to make us believe these are the actual exhausts, while in real life there are still two big pipes at about the same position as seen on the SVJ because the cover does show something in that area too? My guess is they took an old cover from an Aventador SVJ to keep most of this test mule out of sight and just cut a hole at the top for these new exhausts … at least I hope so, I love this look.

Judging from the area above the exhausts, it seems there is something above these tailpipes, could be a rear wing, could be bodywork with an air intake, remember the Aventador SVJ also had a center-mounted intake behind the engine cover, or it’s just a fake impression from using an SVJ cover as that model had a fixed rear wing, and this test mule actually has nothing there, but a wrapped-together oversized cover.

Via MOTOR1.com

Now let’s look at the front, that’s not an Aventador front bumper, that’s for sure, not even the front fenders look like the current flagship, especially not the section at the front of the doors, there seems to be a vertical air vent present that will open with the doors, in traditional Lamborghini fashion, going up, as they have done since the Countach, a Lamborghini trademark by now, so I’m sure the new MY2023 top of the line from Sant’Agata will keep that style of doors.

The twirly camouflage makes it hard to distinguish details on the styling of this test mule, but let’s give it a try anyway: it looks like the typical Lamborghini design line … one uninterrupted line from the front bumper all the way to the rear fascia is kept alive for the upcoming model too, while there is a ‘swooping’ line from the bumper going up over the wheel arch only to go down a little again around the exterior rearview mirror before going up again into an air intake behind the side windows.

Via MOTOR1.com

From what we can see on these photos, it looks like the side air intake behind the doors has a steep angle going down from the ‘hip-line’ before going forward about halfway down. And what’s going on at the top … it seems the cover is either catching a lot of air while driving this slowly, or there is a roof-mounted air intake hiding under that grey fabric … personally I think it’s another trick from Lamborghini making us believe there is an intake, perhaps later, on a performance version, but I doubt the initial release will have something as aggressive as that right from the start.

One thing that’s for sure, this test mule is not sitting on an Aventador chassis, or even an Aventador drivetrain … take a closer look at those wheels, both front, and rear. Apart from the fact that these are five-bolt style ones and not the center-lock wheels we’ve been seeing on the SVJ and Ultimae, take a closer look at the calipers, these are not in the same position as the ones on the Aventador. At the front the latter has the calipers hanging several degrees lower onto the disk, while at the rear we notice the inverse, this car has the brake caliper hanging lower compared to the Aventador, and the hand brake caliper is even in a completely different position … this is a new chassis, with a new drivetrain, and most likely already holding the brand new V12 engine.

I sure wouldn’t mind if the Lamborghini Aventador successor would look something like this when we finally see it in 2023

We already knew that Lamborghini was developing a completely new V12 engine for the Aventador successor, it seems the 780 hp found inside the Aventador Ultimae was about the maximum power they could get from the current unit without stretching it too far, and adding electric motors onto the existing ICE V12 wasn’t an option apart from a supercapacitor and a 34hp unit for the Sián and Countach LPI 800-4 … so it was back to the drawing board to build a V12 from scratch.

So by 2023, we will be seeing a Lamborghini model come to market with a brand new V12 hybrid powerplant, how many electric motors and how much battery power will be helping the V12 propel the new car to speed isn’t published yet, and come to think about it, I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing a 6.5-Liter V12 again this time around, why would they, it is perfectly possible to have a smaller displacement V12 in the successor and still have a similar power output, think about it, 700 hp from the V12 with 4 to 5-liter of displacement, and an additional 300 hp from two 150hp electric motors … power from the V12 to the rear wheels, electric power to the front wheels, and we still have four-wheel drive, and we get 1,000 hp or more.

If you look closely at the photos of the test mule that were captured, it does look like the side profile might look similar to this render.

Sources state the Aventador will be replaced by 2023, and while that might be accurate, I think we’ll be seeing the last of the Aventador coming off the assembly line in Sant’Agata by August 2022 already. Lamborghini needs time to covert the current Linea Aventador for the new model, which is a hybrid, will require some serious modifications to the line, and what better time than to start during the summer holidays of 2022, when the factory is closed anyway, and as we’ve seen with the Linea Huracán, they just fence off an entire section of the factory during the construction.

Let’s do some math here … the Aventador SVJ Coupe and Roadster are very close to being finished, there are just a few more Sián and Sián Roadster to complete, production of the Countach LPI 800-4 is about to start, and they will only make 112 of them anyway, and I’m sure the first units of the Ultimae and Ultimae Roadster are already being built as we speak, and with 350 Coupe and 250 Roadster, all of which are sold out already, this adds up to less than 750 cars to be finished on Linea Aventador before it becomes obsolete … if you think about the fact they finished nearly 600 units in the first months of 2021, all of the remaining V12 models, be it NA or with the supercapacitor, will be completed by August 2021.

I did one more render of the rear of the upcoming model, at least how I think the new Lamborghini V12 Ibrido will look if they keep those amazing exhaust pipes, which I for one really like, and even the entire look and feel of the above render works for me, it’s clearly a Lamborghini, low, wide, and brutal … but for now, check out the video below, and hear the thunder of the Raging Bull, courtesy of Varryx:

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Special Report: Lamborghini Supports Movember

This year Lamborghini partnered up with the Movember foundation to create awareness for men’s health. As part of this partnership Lamborghini owners all over the world met up for a one day drive to raise funds for this noble cause. We were there to attend the ‘bull run’ hosted by Lamborghini Munich.

About Movember

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale, focusing on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Movember generate the most fame by men around the world growing moustaches in the month of November.

Movember was created because men on average die much younger than women. This is in part due to more dangerous work conditions but also generally unhealthier lifestyles and lack of prevention checks play a key role. Movember raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that enable men to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

In addition to tackling key health issues faced by men, Movember is working to encourage men to stay healthy in all areas of their lives, with a focus on men staying socially connected and becoming more open to discussing their health and significant moments in their lives. The charity’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.

Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD

Lamborghini was kind enough to land us a bright orange Huracan EVO RWD to join 15 local Lamborghini owners for a drive through the German state of Bavaria. This rear-wheel drive Italian bull has a 5.2 liter V10 packing 610hp and 560Nm of torque. Thanks to a weight of only 1,389 kg the Huracan EVO RWD sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds. At 325 km/h the top speed is reached.

The cockpit is very driver oriented with all relevant controles either mounted on the steering wheel or directly in reach without the need to take your eyes of the road. To add to the sense of experience you have to flip a red cover up to expose the start button and fire up the engine. Once you do the heavy base tone of the V10 fills the cabin. In Strada mode the Huracan is pretty quiet but once you switch to the sport or track modes it will become impossible to have a phone call and the V10 completely immerses you with all the emotions it has to give.

The Movember Bull Run

On this early Saturday morning in November the cold air penetrates my clothes as I walk to the Lamborghini dealership in Munich. The Lamborghini flags outside wave in the light breeze. But the sky is blue and the sun is about to pop-up from behind the surrounding buildings. The parking lot is already filled with ‘Bulls’ – from ‘my’ Huracan EVO RWD to several Huracans, Aventadors and a brand new Huracan STO that will be the lead car for today’s drive.

After a mandatory Italian coffee and short briefing the pack of 15 raging bulls sets in motion. The first part of our journey leaves the Bavarian capital behind and sees us heading west on the autobahn. Keeping the pack together goes surprisingly well and the sight of Lamborghinis front and rear traveling together is one to remember.

We leave the autobahn at Landsberg am Lech and here the first bystanders ask what the deal is with the moustaches on the front bonnet of our cars. Time to do what we came here to do and explain November in a few words. With barely time for a thumbs up and a wave we continue. Leaving the main roads behind we enter the twisty roads in the foothills of the Alps. The trees are colored in the typical pallet of fall made even brighter by the low stance of the sun this time of the year.

In the shade of the forest the roads are still damp so I have to keep taming the bull and wait with unleashing its ferocious power a little longer. Lamborghini developed a special performance traction control system for the rear-wheel drive version of the Huracan EVO to make sure it gets the power down and the opportunity to try it came sooner than expected. Due to some road works the group had to turn around after which I lost connection with the group along with another Huracan.

Clearly we missed a turn somewhere as chatter on the walky-talky disappeared. Luckily I knew the next way point so just continued down this beautiful twisty road with clear visibility and above all a dry surface. As I sprint from turn to turn and make my way through the gears I’m firmly pressed in the excellent seats. The solid click of the flappy paddles is followed by a loud scream of the V10 on every downshift. What a joy!

Soon we are reunited with the group and after a few photos continue our journey to lunch. Overlooking the Staffelsee with the German and Austrian Alps as backdrop we talk about Movember and the cause. Just like GTspirit readership the majority of the Lamborghini audience is male and all know someone who suffered from typical men’s health issues. But unlike female initiatives such as Pink Ribbon, the breast cancer awareness campaign, it is much less talked about among men.

After lunch we return to Munich once again in convoy. With the sun disappearing behind the trees the Aventador in front of me is showing flames from its exhaust regularly. It is an unusual sight on the countryside – a convoy of 15 Lamborghinis passing by. The responses from the few bystanders are mixed, some cheer and show thumbs up, others can’t help themselves but release some negative comments just at the sight of these exotic cars. Sad but true that the supercar is becoming more and more polarising.

Every year we make a Christmas donation at GTspirit and this year we have chosen Movember as our charity of choice. It was an honor to be part of over 1,500 Lamborghini drivers worldwide taking part in Bullruns organised by their local dealerships to raise awareness for Movember. For more information about Movember or to make a donation please visit movember.com.

Lamborghini Reveals First Real Estate Project: 40 Villas in Dubai

Lamborghini officially unveiled its first real estate development consisting of 40 six-bedroom villas in Emaar’s Dubai Hills Estate, and it is completely sold out.

The exclusive gated community will be completed in 2026 and will feature standalone multi-tiered villas with enormous gardens. The villas will be in pure Dubai style complemented with unique interiors inspired by the design of lamborghini super sport cars.

Owners will have the option of furnishing their homes with exclusive Lamborghini furniture collections.

For now, these renders give us an idea of what the project will look like.

Over 200 Lamborghinis Celebrate Movember In The UK

On November 6, 2021, Blenheim Palace welcomed more than 200 Lamborghini cars and their owners for Movember. The event was hosted by Automobili Lamborghini and Movember founders JC and Sarah Coghlan as part of the worldwide initiative started by the world’s leading men’s health charity and the Italian super sports car company.

Lamborghini Movember bull run

In the UK, they had a pretty unique ‘bull run’ wherein Lamborghini dealerships and their clients all over the UK headed towards Oxfordshire, at the Blenheim Palace to raise funds and awareness for Movember.

As the convoys arrived, they were given a surprise personal welcome by the Movember founders as well as by Federico Foschini, Automobili Lamborghini Board Member for Sales and Marketing.

The Lamborghini bull run held at Blenheim Palace is just one of the many worldwide events that happened on November 6. Around the world, 92 Lamborghini dealers participated along with hundreds of their clients in places like Rome, Cape Town, Bangkok, and New York.

Lamborghini Movember bull run

Some of the Lamborghini bonnets sported mustaches as their owners pledged funds to Movember. Lamborghini and Movember’s partnership initiative does not simply focus on raising funds for men’s health projects, they are also looking into developing awareness of issues like suicide prevention, mental health, prostate and testicular cancer.

Movember Co-Founder, JC Coghlan, joined the UK bull run with his wife Sarah, the Director of Global Men’s Health Promotion Programmes of Movember. Coghlan shared, “It’s incredible to see this collaboration come to life. Social connection is critical for men to live healthier, happier, longer lives.”

“These bull runs across the world are an amazing example of how we can gather and collectively have impact, stay connected and have some fun, doing good. It’s an absolute privilege to be driving in the London event, in a large collective of these pieces of art, each designed collaboratively with their owners. I’m looking forward to gathering and starting shoulder-to-shoulder conversations. A massive thank you to all the team at Lamborghini for creating such a special event across the world.”

Lamborghini Movember bull run

About Movember

Movember is the leading charity that hopes to change the face of men’s health on a global level. They focus on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

The funds raised by the charity goes into innovative and breakthrough research and support programs that helps men live healthier, happier, and longer lives.

Millions have joined the movement funding more than 1,200 projects around the world.

Aside from addressing the key health issues men face, Movember also encourages men to ensure their health in all aspects of their lives. They focus on keeping men socially connected, to help them open up about their health and important moments of their lives.

The charity envisions to have a long and lasting impact in terms of men’s health. Those who are interested to donate can go to: Movember.com.

Best Naturally Aspirated Engines Ever Made

The number of entries – and the variety of automakers involved – onto this list is proof that the naturally-aspirated engine reigns supreme when it comes to the most important characteristics of what makes a good engine, and subsequently a great car. There’s always a temptation to default to turbocharged engines as being the most capable, particular in an age where 0-60 mph times are considered gospel when it comes to determining performance credentials and bragging rights. While turbochargers are typically needed to make monstrous hp numbers and remain the bread and butter of even greater aftermarket tuning potential (if getting into the 4-figures is a big deal for you), all true enthusiasts know that some of the most desirable traits of the best cars in the world come from having an NA engine. Astronomical rev ranges, unmatched acoustics and unrivaled versatility, balance, dependability and endurance. After all, what’s good for race cars is good for road cars, I’d say.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, despite the fact that the Mezger design was shelved and further proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Honda F20C/F22C

Honda F20C/F22C Engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Honda K Series

Honda K Series

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 engine

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection) and is seen in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Lambo 5.2L V10 engine

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 engine

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) engine

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) engine

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) engine

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders as the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

Ferrari Colombo V12

Ferrari Colombo V12 engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.

That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

The 10 Best Cars that Came with V10 Engines

V10 engines, like many of their internal combustion counterparts, are an endangered breed today as carmakers continue to explore alternatives like hybrid and all-electric powertrains. But even in their prime, ten cylinders arranged in a ‘V’ were never as popular as other engine types. Automobile manufacturers would either go all out by using the monster V12 in their vehicles or take the conservative route by opting for compact and less-complicated V8 units.

The V10 engine did have its moments, though, and these engines found their way into some pretty impressive cars—as you will discover in a moment. Here’s our list of the 10 best cars that came with V10 engines.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #10: Porsche Carrera GT

Silver Porsche Carrera GT outside buildingVia Mecum.

The magnificent Porsche Carrera GT is considered a legend today, and rightfully so. This hypercar debuted with a host of revolutionary technology that set it apart from the competition.

It was the first car to utilize carbon fibre reinforced plastic for both its monocoque and engine carrier. It also led the line when it came to the use of forged magnesium wheels.

Then, there’s that glorious mid-mounted aluminum V10 power plant at the heart of the vehicle’s performance. It was derived from Porsche’s cancelled LMP 2000 racing program and shares similarities with the 3.5-litre F1 engine of the 1992 era.

The 5.7-litre packs a pretty potent punch, too, able to crank out 605 hp at 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm. It delivers all that power with one of the best-sounding engine notes ever emitted by a production car.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #9: Lexus LFA

 Forest green Lexus LFA parked in city near railingVia Mecum.

Lexus did not muck around when it decided to create its first-ever and only supercar to date. The LFA program took off in 2000—an entire decade before the car itself went into final production in 2010.

This supercar earned praise for its excellent grip and handling, but it received the loudest plaudits for its V10 beating heart. The engine unit howls like a banshee, all the way to a 9,000 rpm redline, churning up an impressive 552 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. It also supplied enough grunt to rocket the LFA to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a 202 mph top speed.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #8: Lamborghini Gallardo

Red Lamborghini Gallardo parked on street with brick wall in backgroundVia Mecum.

The Lamborghini Gallardo is one of the company’s most successful models. Over 14,000 units were sold during a production run that spanned ten years (from 2003–2013).

The Gallardo’s engine played a crucial role in that success story. In its base form, the V10 put out 520 hp and 374 lb-ft of torque. That power could propel the sports car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and up to a 196 mph top speed.

Later variants were even more powerful. Tweaks to the engine led to a power bump, resulting in 552 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 2014 Gallardo LP560-4 model.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #7: 2006 Dodge RAM SRT-10

Silver 2006 Dodge RAM SRT-10 parked in front of treesVia Mecum.

During the 2000s, pickups were mostly seen as work trucks; just a means to haul small cargo from one point to another. The hulking Dodge RAM SRT-10 did not quite fit that mould, though, when it debuted in 2004.

A lowered ride height, among other modifications, meant this truck was not a very practical road-hauler. What it did have was a reputation as one of the fastest production trucks in the world—enough to earn it some serious bragging rights.

The SRT-10 could barrel its way to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. That bonkers performance came courtesy of a Dodge Viper-sourced V10 engine, good for 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #6: 2008 Audi RS6 Avant

 Blue 2008 Audi RS6 Avant parked in front of brick wallVia Top Car Rating.

The 2008 Audi RS6 Avant created quite a stir when it hit the market. Here was a formidable super wagon that boasted well over 550 hp and had enough of an arsenal to surprise the unwary sports car driver on the highway.

The 5.0-litre V10 at its core was a reworked version of the same engine unit in the Audi S6. It produced a thumping 580 hp at 6,250 rpm and 479 lb-ft of torque from just 1,500 rpm.

That power combined well with Audi’s famous AWD Quattro system to send the RS6 to 60 in about 4.4 seconds. That’s over a second faster than a Mustang sports car from the same period.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #5: Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Red Lamborghini Huracan Evo cornering on trackVia Mecum.

Lamborghini had found a winning formula with its V10 engine, and the carmaker stuck with it when designing the successor to the Gallardo. The Lamborghini Huracan was named after a fighting bull—and true to form, the supercar was no slouch.

The naturally aspirated V10 engine in the Huracan Evo is a 5.2-litre powerhouse that generates 631 hp, up from 602 hp in the base model. The Huracan Evo was designed to be more of a daily driver compared to the hardcore Performante variant, but it can still check off the 0 to 60 mph sprint in about 2.5 seconds.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #4: 2005 BMW M5

Silver 2005 BMW M5 parked in showroomVia BMW Blog.

This sports sedan marked the end of an era for BMW’s ‘M’ division. It was the last M5 super-saloon that got a naturally aspirated engine, but what an engine it was!

The engine in this car was developed at the same facility used by BMW to build Formula One engines at the time, and it displayed a similar level of technological advancement. Back then, the powertrain packed the most powerful ECU unit ever fitted on a production car.

The 5.0-litre V10 was primed to produce an impressive 500 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. That power output put it right in the mix with rivals like the RS6 Avant and the Mercedes Benz E55 AMG.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #3: 2016 Dodge Viper ACR

2016 Dodge Viper ACR cornering on trackVia Car and Driver.

The Dodge Viper thrilled gear heads for over two decades before it finally bowed out in 2017. But there was no way this all-American sports car was just going to slip quietly into the sunset, and the swansong 2016 Dodge Viper ACR was one of the most potent variants.

This performance car was a beast on race tracks, with a slew of aero upgrades and a gigantic wing for maximum downforce as it attacked corners. It did not disappoint in the power department, either—a massive 8.4-litre V10 shoehorned into the car’s hood provided up to 645 angry horses at peak 6,200 rpm.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #2: Audi R8

White Audi R8 parked outside near chain-link fenceVia Mecum.

You don’t need to be clairvoyant to know that the Audi R8 is on its last legs. The model line has been trimmed for 2021 and will eventually be phased out as Audi repositions itself for an EV future. Whatever happens, though, the Audi R8 will no doubt leave behind very fond memories.

This car debuted at the 2006 Paris Motor Show as a V8 model, but it soon gained a V10 powertrain—one that has been a part of the supercar ever since. The first V10 was based on the same engine that powered its sibling rival, the Gallardo. It had 525 hp for the 2008 model, but that number has been bumped up over time with various modifications and tweaks.

The V10 in the 2021 Audi R8 boasts up to 602 hp—the same output as the Lamborghini Huracan RWD.

Best Cars with V10 Engines #1: Volkswagen Touareg V10 TD1

Silver Volkswagen Touareg V10 TD1 parked on roadVia Car Throttle.

The infamous Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal has left a permanent stain on the reputation of the V10 engine that powered this vehicle. It’s such a shame, because the powertrain showcased the best of the carmaker’s engineering prowess when it first launched in 2004 with the Volkswagen Touareg TDI.

This SUV had a well-appointed luxurious interior that targeted the upper-middle-class segment. Even better was its 10-cylinder twin-turbo 5.0-litre diesel engine. Horsepower output was just about average at 309 hp, but it had a truly impressive 553 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm. Fifth Gear journalists demonstrated the strength of the torquey Touareg TDI when they used it to haul a Boeing 747 aircraft!

Original Lamborghini Countach designer wants no association with 2021 remake

The designer of the groundbreaking 1974 Lamborghini Countach, Marcello Gandini, has issued a remarkable statement to the press regarding the recently released Countach LPI 800-4. In it, he repeatedly affirms that he had nothing to do with the revived Countach that Lamborghini revealed at Monterey Car Week on the occasion of the model’s 50th anniversary.

Gandini alleges that Lamborghini may have misled the public into thinking he had something to do with the Sián reskin, and he wants to make it clear that he had nothing to do with it.

“The external public, seeing and reading what has been communicated by Automobili Lamborghini and consequently by the media during recent weeks, may be led into believing that Marcello Gandini was a part of, or was involved with, or the project may have had his blessing. It is therefore appropriate to clarify the facts and reiterate that he did not participate in, nor was he aware of the project in any way.”

Rarely has a designer of Gandini’s stature and repute so publicly refuted a company they’ve worked for. Though Gandini penned cars from the humble Renault 5 to the masterful E12 BMW 5 Series to the incredible Lancia Stratos, it is Lamborghini — where he was responsible for the legendary Miura, Espada, Marzal and Countach, among others — that Gandini is historically most closely associated with. 

Some of the confusion Gandini references stems from a video published by Lamborghini earlier this year. In it, Gandini talks about his design philosophy (which, ironically, includes breaking new ground with every design) and current Lamborghini head of design Mitja Borkert presents Gandini with a scale model of the then-upcoming Countach LPI 800-4. The latter believes that his presence in the video equates to tacit approval of the new design.

“Neither earlier, nor during the interview was it stated that the car was scheduled for limited series production. With the elegance and kindness that have always distinguished Marcello Gandini, when Mitja Borkert presented the scale model during the interview, the former did smile and acknowledge as would be customary to do so.”

Gandini believed that the model was the end of it, but after Lamborghini pulled the wraps off of the LPI 800-4, he says he received “countless requests for clarification” from press and colleagues in the auto design field. He decided to issue the statement to make clear he had nothing to do with the remake. Furthermore, he wants the public to know that he’s against the idea altogether. And though he doesn’t criticize the design itself, he skewers the notion of a remake.

“Thus, Marcello Gandini would like to reaffirm that he had no role in this operation, and as the author and creator of the original design from 1971, would like to clarify that the makeover does not reflect his spirit and his vision. A spirit of innovation and breaking the mould which is in his opinion totally absent in this new design: ‘I have built my identity as a designer, especially when working on supercars for Lamborghini, on a unique concept: each new model I would work on would be an innovation, a breaker, something completely different from the previous one. Courage, the ability to create a break without sticking to the success of the previous car, the confidence in not wanting to give in to habit were the very essence of my work’, explains Marcello Gandini. ‘It is clear that markets and marketing itself has changed a lot since then, but as far as I am concerned, to repeat a model of the past, represents in my opinion the negation of the founding principles of my DNA.'”

For its part, Lamborghini has issued its own response to Gandini, which Top Gear published. The company explains that the Countach LPI 800-4 was the work of designers at their Centro Stile and R&D department.

“The Company has never attributed any role to Marcello Gandini in the realisation of the Countach LPI 800-4. Instead, Automobili Lamborghini have invited Mr Gandini to take part in an interview that took place in June 2021. This was a conversation with the designer and Head of Centro Stile Lamborghini about the comparison between the old model and the new one.”

It’s understandable that Gandini wants to protect his legacy and name, but it also seems obvious that Lamborghini never meant to mislead the public about his involvement. However, it must be said that all 112 units have already been sold out, so someone out there does appreciate them.

All in all, it’s a regrettable misunderstanding that has marred what should otherwise be a golden anniversary celebration of one of the most famous and beloved cars of all time. Perhaps we should just ignore it and revel in the Countach LP500 concept rebirth instead.

Related video:

Lamborghini Huracan STO First Drive Review | No shortage of show

Malibu, Calif — There’s no shortage of show in LA. From studio moguls rolling in ultraluxe sedans to wannabe racers using freeways as their own personal circuits, the city of Angels explodes with vehicular energy— much of it, inauthentic.

And then there’s the 2022 Lamborghini Huracan STO.

Slathered in scoops, spoilers, and ducts, the Huracan STO looks like every go-fast visual cliché brought to life, a caricature of real deal racecars. This one is even finished in blue and orange, a sort of flamboyant take on Gulf livery. But the STO’s story is actually authentic.

The last Huracan variant approaching this level of hardcore was the Huracan Performante (2017-2019), which many (including this author) credited as the brand’s first credible track weapon. The subsequent Huracan EVO was launched at Bahrain’s F1 circuit and loaded with ambitious tech. However, its chassis setup, which combined four-wheel steering and a variable steering ratio, lacked the consistency and edge needed for serious track driving. 

This time around, the STO draws legitimate inspiration from Lambo’s Super Trofeo and GT3 race cars, which have helped the brand claim more than 100 GT3 wins and three outright Daytona 24 Hours victories in a row. Not a bad starting ground in a bid for relevancy. The STO’s intricate skin is 75% carbon fiber, helping shed some 95 pounds over the Performante. And while it claims 37% more aerodynamic efficiency over its predecessor, the STO’s massive, three-way adjustable rear wing manages a staggering 926 lbs of downforce at 174 mph, which is 53% more than the Performante. Aiding the effort are magnesium wheels and a 20% lighter windshield. Though Lamborghini only publishes dry weight figures (and the STO claims a mere 2,950 lbs without fluids), it’s fair to say that featherweighting has been aggressively pursued. The suspension is more aggressive due to stiffened bushings, revised stabilizer bars, and an updated magnetic adaptive damper setup. Oh, and the frunk? In yet another motorsports nod, it’s designed to accommodate a full-face helmet.

The STO’s 5.2-liter V10 produces the same 640 metric horsepower as the Huracan EVO (that would be 631 in the horsepower you’re more familiar with). For reference, that figure is actually more than Lamborghini’s GT3 and Super Trofeo race cars, which are both rated at 620 metric horsepower — though the GT3’s engine is limited to 550 metric hp in order to conform to the FIA’s balance of power regulations. The STO’s torque drops from the EVO’s 443 pound-feet to 417 lb-ft, with the upside of greater throttle response and quicker shift times from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The torque reduction is also counteracted by ditching the all-wheel-drive powertrain for a rear-drive configuration, saving valuable weight.

Special six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo CCM-R brakes borrow F1 tech for quadruple the amount of thermal conductivity over standard carbon ceramic stoppers. Maximum braking power also improves by 25%, and a dashboard display offers a brake temperature monitoring readout. Interestingly, the Pirelli P-Zero’s sidewalls were deemed too soft for the STO’s elevated downforce and cornering loads, which led Lamborghini to develop a special street and track compound with Bridgestone tires.

Our tester’s optional trim packages lend it an extravagantly customized feel inside, with contrasting black and white blocks of leather and Alcantara. This particular example flaunts a laundry list of trim options including “Full Livery Exterior Pack” ($37,800), “Contrast Pack” ($4,000), “Full Exterior Carbon Pack” ($21,600), and “Dark Chrome and Carbon” ($8,600). And that’s just for starters. In fact, the options list is so lengthy on our borrowed sled that already had the hefty starting price of $327,838 balloons to a remarkable $442,033 thanks to the sky-high pile of extras.

Ameliorating the dizzying expense is the heady blast of the naturally aspirated V10, which alerts neighbors and friends blocks away that there’s a braggadocious bad boy in town. There’s still nothing quite like sitting in a Lamborghini and firing up a big naturally aspirated V10, even if its doors open this way –>, not that ^^ way. The Huracan’s seats still sit surprisingly tall within the cabin, but the lack of floormats and bare carbon fiber door panels drive home the racecar theme. The digital dashboard and centrally positioned touchscreen add a techy touch. That said, the extreme reductionism annoyingly removes the volume knob. You have to dig into the touchscreen to adjust the sound level.

As before, drive modes are controlled via a small red toggle at 6 o’clock on the steering wheel, managing the behavior of the engine, transmission, traction control, stability control, rear-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and ABS. In this case, the modes are named STO, Trofeo, and Pioggia— street, race, and rain— and each delivers a palpably different character. Pull away in Pioggia, and the STO plays docile and soft, responding to inputs like a purring pussycat. Tap into Trofeo, and the Lamborghini turns into an easily angered predator, with a razor throttle response and sharp immediacy to steering inputs. This is the mode that makes the STO feel most consistent with its aggro looks: it begs you to jam the throttle, which in turn can kick the tail out with dramatic tirespin. Trofeo isn’t the mode you want if you’re seeking the quickest lap times, but it’s arguably the most fun, uncorking the fiery personality of the STO’s sonorous V10, and its disarming effects on yaw angle. While it’s not the torquiest at lower rpm, the engine winds itself up to produce a satisfying rush of power as the virtual tach climbs to a satisfying 8,500 rpm redline. STO mode minimizes the drama in the interest of lap times, trading tire spin for forward motion and curtailing slides in order to more effectively clip apexes. It’s a less fun, but more effective way to maximize this Lamborghini’s elevated abilities.

Piloting the STO through Malibu’s most challenging canyon roads reveals staggering reserves of performance beneath its (mostly) carbon fiber skin. Unlike the EVO, there’s no second guessing the intentions of the chassis, just a direct, linear relationship between driver inputs and vehicle dynamics. The STO meets and exceeds speed limits with staggering ease. And its outrageous appearance would make pleading your cause to an officer of the law all but impossible. This is a supercar that looks fast, and goes even faster— especially when delving towards its indicated 8,500 rpm redline, where the cabin is blasted with the brain rattling roar of the V10.

Despite the considerable sound and fury, there isn’t much learning curve needed to manage the STO’s capabilities, primarily because its machinery feels more analog than digital. Credit the linearity of the naturally aspirated engine, which lacks a turbocharger’s ramp-up under boost. However, the bigger differentiator here is the chassis: the steering, with its fixed ratio in the STO, feels intuitive and offers good feel, the connection to the road yields (mostly) predictable results. The exception is when the throttle is mashed and the sticky Bridgestones are overcome, and at higher speeds it feels like the aero’s considerable downforce is helping keep the wedgy two-seater in contact with tarmac. Brakes? We barely tapped into their capacity on the road despite heavy application, lending credibility to Lamborghini’s claims of their trackworthiness.

If anything, experiencing the Huracan STO on public roads reveals the striking difference between its stratospheric performance envelope, and the stifling limitations of the real world. The STO can have your license yanked quicker than you can say Super Trofeo Omologata, its namesake which indicates its homologation from racing. But what a way to go: this latest Lamborghini samples the best of what its winning race cars have to offer, while offering navigation, Bluetooth, and a sound system that’s almost decent enough to overpower the plaintive wail of its V10. In spite of the creature comforts, the roadgoing STO manages to lap the Hockenheim circuit in 1:48.86, a mere 2 seconds behind its racecar counterpart, which wears slicks.

Its maker calls this Huracan a “celebration of the combustion engine,” which couldn’t be a truer statement since all Lamborghini model lines will be hybridized by 2024. Until then, savor the STO, which achieves its mission of putting a racecar on the road with stunning totality.