Skip to main content

Next evolution of Lamborghini’s mighty V12 engine is right around the corner

2015 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Lamborghini has published a teaser video that previews something new. We don’t know exactly what the company has in store yet, but new cars from the Raging Bull don’t come around very often. The entire auto industry collectively sits up and takes notice when one is announced.

The short flick is a real treat for enthusiasts because it highlights the history of Lamborghini’s mighty V12 engine. It begins by showcasing the 1963 350 GT that the company’s history-focused Polo Storico division recently restored for a customer. It also shows footage of the iconic Miura — which is turning 50 this year — as well as the Countach, the Diablo, the Murciélago, and the modern-day Aventador.

Related Videos

The film highlights the different configurations Lamborghini’s V12 has adopted over the years. It was front- and longitudinally-mounted in the 350 GT, rear- and transversally-mounted in the Miura, and rear- and longitudinally-mounted ever since the Countach was introduced in 1974. The 12-cylinder has gone from slurping fuel through carburetors and shifting through manual transmissions to relying on state-of-the-art fuel injection systems and automatic gearboxes. Times have changed, but the number of cylinders in the engine bay of Lambo’s flagship models hasn’t. The V12 has never gone turbo, either.

The video ends with footage of an orange Aventador drifting on a dry lake bed with the phrase “what will be next?” prominently displayed. It asks more questions than it answers, but recent rumors give us a little bit of insight into what Lamborghini might have in store.

Lamborghini V12: What will be next?

The Aventador is expected to receive a midcycle update in the not-too-distant future. A leaked trademark filing suggests the model will be named Aventador S, and recent reports suggest it will get a new look defined by additional air vents cut into the front bumper as well as a bigger diffuser out back. The aesthetic updates will be complemented by adaptive dampers borrowed from the radical Superveloce model, transmission tweaks, and a more powerful version of the hand-built, 6.5-liter V12 engine.

If the rumors of a redesigned Aventador are true, the timing of the teaser video’s release suggests we won’t have to wait very long to find out more information about it. It could make its official debut during next month’s Detroit Auto Show, but Lamborghini might choose to postpone the reveal until the Geneva Auto Show that will open its doors in March.

Edited 12/15/2016 by Ronan Glon: Corrected an error about the Countach’s launch date.

Editors' Recommendations

The Lamborghini Museum houses 55 Years of technical innovation

The Lamborghini story begins with a worn out clutch disc. Specifically, an old clutch disc in a Ferrari. Ferruccio Lamborghini was a wealthy industrialist in postwar Italy, who had made his fortune producing farm equipment. He had purchased a Ferrari and discovered that the clutch disc was the same part used in a Lamborghini tractor. This led to angry words with Enzo Ferrari and then to a bitter Lamborghini promising to build a better sports car.

There are few motivators more effective than wounded pride, and Lamborghini shortly produced his first car, the beautiful 350GT in 1964. An example of this car, along with other significant Lamborghini models up to the present day, is on display at the Museo Delle Tecnologie at Automobili Lamborghini headquarters in the northern Italian town of Sant'Agata Bolognese. The town and factory are located about 30 minutes outside the city of Bologna.

Read more
Lamborghini and MIT want to replace batteries with supercapacitors
2020 lamborghini sian is a high tech hypercar with hybrid power

Lamborghini wants to build hybrid and electric cars, but it doesn't want them to have batteries. While other automakers pursue new battery tech for greater range and performance, Lamborghini is trying something entirely different. The Italian automaker has teamed up with MIT to develop supercapacitors for electric cars.

MIT and Lamborghini began working on supercapacitors together three years ago. The technology was previewed on the limited-edition Lamborghini Sián and the Terzo Millenio concept car, but now engineers are taking a step toward making it a true competitor to batteries. MIT's chemistry department and Lamborghini have jointly filed a patent for materials that, according to Lamborghini, could make wider use of automotive supercapacitors possible.

Read more
MIT’s shadow-watching tech could let autonomous cars see around corners
mit shadow look around corners sensing 0

Whether it’s cyclists about to lurch into the wrong lane or a pedestrian getting ready to cross the street, self-driving cars need to be hyperaware of what is going on around them at all times. But one thing they can’t do is to see around corners. Or can they? In a paper presented at this week’s International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have shown off technology which could allow autonomous vehicles or other kinds of robots to do exactly that -- by looking for changes in shadows on the ground to reveal if a moving object is headed their way.

"ShadowCam operates by detecting small differences in shadows and using this information to detect possible static and dynamic objects that are otherwise out of your line of sight," Alexander Amini and Igor Gilitschenski, two MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) researchers who worked on the project, told Digital Trends via email. "First of all, we need to focus on the same region of interest as we move, which we achieve by integrating a visual motion estimation technique into ShadowCam. Based on this stabilized image of the region of interest, we [then] use color amplification combined with a dynamic threshold on the intensity changes."

Read more