Lamborghini’s new 2011 V12 continues testing

Published: 28 April 2010

These are the latest spy photos of the new Lamborghini V12 – the 2011 successor to the testosterone-fuelled Murcielago. All being well, we should see the new Lambo V12 at the Geneva motor show in spring 2011.

Although slightly grainy, these are CAR’s clearest spy shots yet of the new, unnamed Lamborghini supercar. The classic wedge shape, that’s characterised Lambos since the 1973 Countach, is intact and the rear deck appears even more sloping today in a homage to the classical teardrop shape.

Big air scoops, too. Is the new Lambo mid-engined, V12 etc etc?

Spot on. The V12 – expected to be equipped with direct injection now – is again mounted amidships, and the plethora of cooling vents peppering the bodywork suggests it’s a big lump with a hungry appetite for oxygen. And the second, rear spy photo shows off the mother of all central exhaust pipes.

At the front we can see more clearly the Reventon-inspired front end, with large angular air intakes dominating the visage. We’re assured the scissor doors remain.

Sounds just like a Murcielago. What’s new?

The tech underneath the equally dramatic bodywork. We recently asked CEO Stephan Winkelmann what to expect from the new V12 and he refused point blank to comment. ‘We never talk about the future,’ he dithered. ‘The point is, we sell emotions. If we talk about what might happen, they might wait. And that’s not good.’

It’s a fair point after a year when Lamborghini sales slumped by 37% to 1515 cars. Lamborghini is banking on a slow recovery but its pledge to launch a new model or derivative every year will help.

So will Lamborghini’s mission to add lightness to its cars. The new Murcielago replacement is going to be crafted almost exclusively from composites, with a plastic tub instead of a steel spaceframe. Today’s car already uses carbonfibre bodywork – and the entire shell weighs just 303kg.

Engineers in Sant’Agata are working alongside staff from Boeing, who have developed the world’s first commercial aircraft – the Type 787 Dreamliner – to use composites for more than 50% of its construction. This helps it use a fifth less fuel, reports Boeing.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet