Lamborghini has revealed full details of its all-new V12 engine, set to make its debut in next year's Murciélago replacement. Here, Autocar takes an in depth look at the new 6.5-litre unit, as well as the firm's new single-clutch automated manual gearbox.
The engineLamborghini’s R&D team was given just two criteria for the new motor, codenamed L539 and designed from a blank sheet of paper: it had to be a V12 and have a 60-degree bank.
In the end the team ended up with the old motor’s 6.5-litre capacity, but 59bhp more, at 691bhp. There’s more torque, too - a peak of 509lb ft - and it’s available 500rpm further down the rev range, at 5500rpm.
The bore increases, from 88mm to 95mm, but the stroke is down from 89mm to 76.4mm; the compression ratio is 11.8:1, compared with the old unit’s 11:1. There’s also a useful reduction in weight, from 253kg to 235kg, and the dry sump height is just 120mm, 75mm lower than the old motor’s. “This makes a big difference in the centre of gravity,” chief engineer Maurizio Reggiani says.
Features to improve the motor’s efficiency include switchable water circuits to hasten warm-up, and a total of eight scavenging pumps that reduce pressure and scavenging losses by around 50 per cent.
There’s no direct injection, though - for now, at least. “We looked at it,” Reggiani revealed, “but there are issues with back pressure [in the exhaust system] and how you manage that while still achieving maximum power. Multi-point injection is a simple solution that avoids an additional device to reduce particulates, so we’ve gone with that. But DI is something we could look at again in the future.”