The naturally aspirated Lamborghini V12 was never going to die with a whimper.
Lamborghini has been using the configuration since its foundation, and although the Aventador’s replacement will stick with 12 cylinders, the company has confirmed that it will also be gaining hybrid assistance. So the Essenza SCV12 is set to be the last new Lamborghini launched with an unassisted V12 and, fittingly, it’s also the most powerful.
Yes, the Essenza is a track-only special and comes with a seven-figure price that many will regard as ludicrous. But it is far from being the rehashed Aventador many had accused it of being, using a carbonfibre tub designed to meet the safety standards of the FIA’s hypercar race class without the need for a separate roll-cage.
The biggest mechanical change is a back-to-front installation, compared with the Aventador, for its 6.5-litre V12, which allows a rear-mounted X-Trac six-speed sequential gearbox (with an automated clutch) to drive the rear wheels. Although the engine isn’t a stressed component, the transmission is.
Running without catalysts, the engine is freed to make 818bhp, accompanied by 560lb ft, and Lamborghini claims that needs to work against a substantial weight of 1470kg without fluids in the car’s lightest configuration, which means without the optional air-con. The other striking figure is the peak 1200kg of downforce the Essenza is claimed to be capable of making at 155mph with its wings in their most aggressive settings.