Lamborghini reveals 2011's new V12 supercar engine

Published: 15 November 2010

Lamborghini today announced the first details of its new V12 engine and transmission, which Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann promises will be 'the strong heart of the Murcielago successor next year.'

It's to be the first clean-sheet Lamborghini engine since the original V12 first appeared in the 350GT, nearly 50 years ago.

Lambo V12: a lightweight engine

Lamborghini is keen to promote the low weight yet high performance of the new V12, which produces 700bhp yet tips the scales at only 235kg.

Sant'Agata has also announced a new transmission for the Murcielago successor. Lamborghini claims the new 'ISR' automated manual gearbox will combine minimal shift times half that of a dual-clutch transmission while still boasting low weight and compact dimensions.

ISR: another TLA?

ISR is an acronym for Independent Shifting Rod. Instead of taking place in series, as with a conventional gearbox, shifting can occur virtually in parallel, says Lamborghini. While one shifting rod is moving out of one gear, the second shifting rod can already engage the next (like on a twin-clutch transmission). Moreover, the ISR gearbox weighs only 79kg – a distinct benefit, even against comparable DSG transmissions, which are considerably heavier.

Developed in-house by Lamborghini, both the engine and transmission will be built at the company headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese.

Lamborghini's new V12: the raw stats

The new engine has a 6.5 litre displacement, with maximum torque of 509lb ft available at just 5500rpm. The (probably screaming) redline stands at 8250rpm.

For optimum weight, the crankcase and the four-valve cylinder heads are made from aluminum-silicon alloy. Lambo says the short-stroke layout ensures strong high-revving performance and low internal friction.

Encouargingly, it's promised that the trademark spine-tingling Lamborghini sound remains: from a moderate rumble when cruising at low revs to a howling crescendo of gears at the limit, yet it is claimed that the exhaust system delivers the lowest emmision levels yet seen by a Lambo V12 supercar.

So while we're sad to bid farewell to the Murcielago's characterful V12, we're hopeful this new unit will continue to thrill car enthusiasts and bystanders alike.

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