All the key facts and figures on Lamborghini's new V12 engine and automated manual gearbox
18 November 2010

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.

See pics of Lamborghini's new engine and gearbox tech

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.”

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The gearboxHaving ruled out a dual-clutch unit, Lambo has gone with another single-clutch automated manual for the next Murciélago. “It’s the most emotional system to use,” said CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who has called the new unit - developed in conjunction with Graziano - “a sequential race gearbox in a roadgoing car”.

The new gearbox (called ISR, for Independent Shifting Rods) is a seven-speed, 70kg unit with a twin-plate, 235mm clutch. It uses four shifting rods to run the shift process “virtually in parallel”; times fall to as little as 50ms, around 40 per cent faster than with the Gallardo’s e-gear system.

Read more on Lamborghini's lightweight future

The gearbox will run in three modes: Strada, which will offer a fully automatic shift if desired, the more focused Sport and the extreme Corsa, which will also include launch control.

The differential set-up includes a computer-controlled unit at the front, instead of the old viscous coupling, a Haldex4-based centre diff and a rear unit that’s integrated into the casting of the engine.

Lamborghini claims the new gearbox is tidier and smaller than the old transmission, a factor that should free up cabin space in the Murciélago’s replacement. The firm also says almost all customers want this set-up - and as a result, the car will not be available with a regular manual.

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Join the debate


15 November 2010

All wonderful I'm sure, but no manual, so couldn't buy it.

15 November 2010

Another Lambo work of art and undoubtedly it will make all the right noises. Good to see that they have not forgotten to reduce its weight as they are going to reduce the car weight as well.

15 November 2010

eseaton, we've got to move with times, one day manual boxes (i prefer a manual box too) will be the only way too change gear,so we will have too get use to it, never tryed one yet but i'm not totally against them, if it saves the strain on my knees as i get older (no jokes, please, lol) then i'll be trying it, so come on, embrace the tech!.

15 November 2010

Peter +1 !!

Don't think I could cope with a really really supercar heavy clutch these days...getting too old, but getting to a point where one is nearly a realistic purchase!!

15 November 2010

Long live the NA Lambo V12!

"Having ruled out a dual-clutch unit, Lambo has gone with another single-clutch automated manual for the next Murciélago. “It’s the most emotional system to use,”"

=> How to hide a less beautifull technical choice? Ah the commercials...

And I don't speak about the durability of a single clutch system...

15 November 2010

[quote eseaton]All wonderful I'm sure, but no manual, so couldn't buy it[/quote]

spot on. i dont care how quickly it changes gear, without a gear stick and a clutch pedal its of no interest to me

15 November 2010

Call me hard to please but I was looking for bigger advances over the old engine, especially considering that the existing unit is ancient.

15 November 2010

Can any of you 'transmission purists' actually afford this new car anyway? I Don't think Lambo will miss your custom.

Could this also be the last new V12 to be designed?

15 November 2010

[quote bentleyboy]Don't think I could cope with a really really supercar heavy clutch these days.[/quote]

There's no reason you would have to; a power assisted clutch is the answer. I believe the Maserati Khamsin had one as long ago as 1974, courtesy of Citroen hydraulics, or possibly oleo pneumatics.

As for those who say "move with the times", why do you think every decent automatic transmission has a manual override? The are three answers: control, driving variety and fun, but the greatest of these is fun. Nobody buys a Lambo because they want an easy, relaxed stroll down the road. It's a shame they won't even offer a manual as an option.

15 November 2010

The arguments for both the lack of direct injection and a double-clutch transmision sound like an excuse. It's not purity, it's development costs and time: A DI head takes two to three years and coutless engineering hours to be developed, and it has to be done again for each new engine. That, together with a lack of a dual-clutch that can handle the torque in the VW group (sure, the Veyron's does, but at what price and weight?- overkill, overweight and over budget) probably limited things.

And yes, the VW Group sure has the means, but each brand (save Bugatti) needs to be able to generate enough funds to self-finance their own projects once they get the first oomph. Thus Lambo having to come up with lame "purist" excuses for the lack of cutting-edge tech in the engine and tranny. You see the same problems with Bentley in the "new" (ha!) Continental.

The saddest part is that the Bizzarrini V12 was cutting edge 50 years ago, to the point of having survived this long with gradual improvements, and this one isn't. At least I hope it sounds right.


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