What is it?
This is it, then – but not really. The new Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae is the final raging bull to use 12-cylinder power alone, but it won’t be the last time we see an almighty V12 in the bowels of something hand-made in Sant’Agata. That's because the Aventador’s imminent successor will also be V12-fired, only with electric assistance (but, crucially, still no turbos). So, this run-out special is an end but also a beginning.
Instead of dwelling on the demise of the purely V12 Lamborghini, whose time, you could reasonably argue, has well and truly come, let’s therefore focus on exactly how a car as momentous as the Aventador is bowing out. Momentous because it was such an epic statement of intent when it arrived in 690bhp LP700-4 form in 2011, when CEO Stephan Winkelmann described it as not simply one generation on from the Murciélago but effectively two. Dramatically improved ergonomics, a super-stiff carbonfibre monocoque to replace the steel lattice frame and an all-new, lower-slung (being dry-sumped) V12 all saw to that.
And momentous even now, in 2022, because the £345,000 Ultimae is no cynical run-out special, as it could have been. Mixing the best bits of the recent line-up, this is the most compelling Aventador of all and one of the all-time great V12 Lambos, and it starts in the engine bay. Betrayed by the big-bore exhaust tips, which erupt high (although still only at knee height) through the open-worked rear, and bronze cam covers, this car’s 6.5-litre heart is a transplant from the Aventador SVJ, only with even more oomph. All 769bhp is offered at 8500rpm, 200rpm before the red line demands a reload.