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In commemoration of Lamborghini’s 60th anniversary, The Grid Asia was granted an exclusive opportunity to embark on a captivating journey through the illustrious lineage of the Raging Bull’s V12 supercars, spanning over six decades tracing back to the mid-1960s. 

The saga of Lamborghini’s inception is well-known amongst enthusiasts. Recounting the tale of Ferrucio Lamborghini, an enterprising industrialist at the time who had encountered reliability issues with his Ferrari, sought resolution and approached none other than Enzo Ferrari himself with his proposed solutions. In short, the events that transpired following this encounter turned out unexpectedly, which incited Lamborghini to make a resolute vow to fashion a sports car superior to all others. And with that, Lamborghini as we know today was born.


In 1964, the brand unveiled its first inaugural creation – the 350GT. True to his vow, it was indeed a remarkable testament of automotive prowess. Equipped with an in-house 3.5-litre V12 engine that seamlessly mated to its exceptional chassis, the revolutionary auto drove as effortlessly as modern-day vehicles. I was privileged to be handed the keys to the more potent 400GT variant. This enhanced iteration featured a 4.0-litre V12 core, elevating the horsepower from 280 to 320, fostering a heightened sense of dynamism.

Similar to its predecessor, the 400GT boasted a 5-speed gearbox that was delightfully intuitive. Notably, the power steering was absent from the equation as the tires of that era did not demand the same degree of grip as their modern counterparts. Furthermore, the 400GT possessed the rarity of having disc brakes on all four wheels, a hallmark reserved only for the most elite automobiles of the time. Current prices for this model can be found around the US$600,000  mark. 

These specs have rendered Lamborghini’s inaugural masterpiece to be both approachable and capable, establishing a formidable benchmark for its subsequent V12 creations.


In 1966, the brand unleashed the iconic Miura, a Raging Bull often regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing autos ever conceived. The Miura pioneered the concept of a mid-engine production sports car, a layout that has since been widely adopted by manufacturers of superlative automobiles. Diverging from conventional practices, Lamborghini employed an innovative transverse-mounted V12 engine, eschewing the more common longitudinal configuration. The choice endowed the Miura with increased compactness and efficiency.

In comparison to the 400GT, piloting the Miura demanded slightly more effort, yet it remained genial when traversing the undulating hills encircling the Lamborghini factory. By situating the engine behind the driver position, it favourable shifted the car’s balance, where optimised performance was preferred over practicality (luggage space became compromised). 

The standard Miura V12 engine, with its 4.0-litre capacity, produced an impressive 350 horsepower, which was heightened to 385 horsepower in the scintillating yellow Miura SV (SuperVeloce) that we had the pleasure to commandeer as well. The SV’s handling proved to be more precise without sacrificing ride comfort, owing this factor to the redistribution of weight caused by the rear-mounted engine. Furthermore, the Miura SV’s steering felt discernibly lighter than that of the 400GT, an outcome of not requiring excessively wide tires to cope with its increased performance potential.

The mesmerising symphony emanating from the V12 power-plants was characterised by the utilisation of carburetors in the early days, predating the emergence of fuel injection technology. While perhaps appearing rudimentary in retrospect, this cutting-edge technology from five decades ago represented a significant milestone. 

Adding to its allure, the Miura attained cinematic stardom as it graced the opening sequence of the 1969 film ‘The Italian Job’, further solidifying its status as one of Lamborghini’s most coveted historical models. In a recent auction, this particular Miura in the film fetched a staggering price surpassing US$4 million, undeniably denoting its desirability through the years. 


The Countach, in its purest form, embodied the essence of an old-school supercar, bereft of power steering and featuring a manual transmission. The reason for its increased difficulty in handling, as compared to the Miura and 400GT preceding it, lay in the relentless pursuit of performance. With engine power escalating to 455 hp, the Countach demanded beefier transmissions, wider tires, and a heavier clutch to accommodate its massive power output. 


The arrival of the Countach LP400 in 1974 marked another milestone in Lamborghini’s V12 lineage. With a 4.0-litre V12 powertrain derived from the legendary Miura, the engine capable of delivering 379 horsepower was longitudinally positioned in the middle of the car, epitomising the mid-engined layout found in racing cars. Remarkably, the Countach enjoyed a prolonged production run spanning from 1974 to 1990. And by 1988, the engine capacity had expanded to 5.2-litres, generating an impressive 455 horsepower. This final iteration, entitled the 25th Anniversary, boasted a mere 657 units in production globally, with current market prices hovering around the US$500,000 mark. 

While the Miura captivated with its unparalleled beauty, it was the Lamborghini Countach that captured the hearts of countless teenagers in the 1970s. With its audacious and avant-garde styling, the Countach became an emblem of youthful fascination during that era. Steering the mighty Countach became an exercise in the speed at which one could turn the wheel. The absence of power assistance coupled with unassisted steering imposed severe limitations on forward velocity, emphasising the challenging nature of manoeuvring its controls. The heavy clutch further compounded its complexity and made it even more difficult to tame the Countach’s raw power.


Recognizing the inherent challenges, Lamborghini introduced power-assisted steering in the subsequent supercar I had the pleasure of driving – the Diablo VT 6.0 SE. Although by modern standards the steering heft remained substantial, it significantly alleviated the stresses placed on the driver, making the Diablo one of the most gratifying drives of Lamborghini’s traditional supercars to navigate at speed. The Diablo maintained a manual transmission as well, requiring active engagement on the driver’s part, which only further enhanced the immersive experience intrinsic to these classic supercars. 

The V12 engine, initially debuted in the 1990 Diablo as a 5.7-liter powerhouse generating 492 hp, underwent notable advancements throughout its production cycle, culminating in the adoption of fuel injection and a displacement increase to 6.0-litres, ramping up its horsepower to 583. In harnessing this formidable power, the brand introduced all-wheel drive technology that enables optimal power distribution across all four tires. Values of the Diablo hover around the US$300,000 mark. 


In 2001, the Lamborghini Murciélago succeeded the Diablo, representing a significant milestone as the first Lamborghini designed entirely in-house, departing from its prior collaborations with renowned design company Bertone and Marcelo Gandini. Moreover, the Murciélago marked the first model ever to be developed under the stewardship of Audi, Lamborghini’s German owner at the time. Audi’s extensive expertise in all-wheel drive systems made the integration of AWD technology a natural fit for Lamborghini’s supercars. The specific model I had the privilege of driving belonged to the final series, the Murciélago Versace, a special collaboration with the esteemed fashion house Gianni Versace. Limited to just 20 units worldwide, this exclusive version was available solely in white or black, fetching a price of US$315,000 at an auction held in 2022.

The Murciélago, with its enlarged 6.5-liter V12 engine producing an awe-inspiring 640 horsepower further solidified its position as a quintessential analog supercar. Initially introduced in 2001 with a six-speed manual gearbox, Lamborghini later introduced their first automated manual transmission, known as E-Gear, in 2006. Although heralded as a significant advancement at the time, it fell short of the groundbreaking expectations that enthusiasts eagerly anticipated. Nevertheless, the E-Gear still held up to a commendable standard and provided state-of-the-art performance during its glistening moments. 


In 2011, Lamborghini unleashed their most extreme V12 supercar to date — the Aventador. Following Lamborghini’s modus operandi, the Aventador derived its name from a legendary fighting bull. It represented a quantum leap forward by incorporating mass-production carbon-fibre monocoque construction that significantly reduced weight while simultaneously enhancing chassis strength.

Equipped with a 6.5-liter V12 engine breaching the 700 hp threshold, the Aventador earned its moniker as the Aventador LP 700-4 signifying its all-wheel drive configuration. And as we all know today, this particular Raging Bull has proved immensely popular with a staggering 11,465 units sold worldwide. As the model evolved, its power output improved to 740 hp, and finally peaked in the Aventador Ultimae where power soared to a remarkable 780 hp. This exceptional limited edition Aventador Ultimae, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in a mind-boggling 2.84 seconds and achieving a top speed of 356 km/h, showcased its extraordinary performance credentials. 

The Aventador demonstrated exceptional agility in urban environments and truly flourished on open roads. However, the formerly groundbreaking transmission in 2011 that it wielded did fall short behind the industry standard of dual-clutch transmissions established in the years that came. But despite that, the reverence for the model was not diminished and the Ultimae edition still fetched a price of nearly US$600,000


This brings us to Lamborghini’s upcoming V12 supercar—the Revuelto. Combining a naturally aspirated V12 engine with a high-performance electric drivetrain in a hybrid configuration, the Revuelto will boast an astonishing output exceeding one thousand horsepower (1015 hp to be precise).

Accompanying this formidable powertrain will be an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, representing a significant leap forward in transmission technology. Lamborghini estimates the Revuelto will achieve a blistering 0-100 km/h time of 2.5 seconds, with a top speed surpassing 350 km/h. Production is slated to commence in the final quarter of 2023, and we are eager to provide updates as soon as it becomes available.

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