Photo Credit: 3D Rendering by Colin Finkle
Some, but not all, Lamborghini models have V12 engines. Some have V10 or V8 engines.
The V12 engine has been the centerpiece of the Italian supercar for 70 years. The smooth sounds of 12-cylinder engines have become associated with Ferrari, Pagani, and Lamborghini. The first Lamborghini, the 350 GT, was powered by a V12 engine.
With all that history between Lamborghini and V12 and how tied V12s are to the identity of a supercar, it would be easy to assume all Lamborghinis have V12 engines. But that is false.
Many Lamborghini’s have V12 engines, but not all Lamborghini models feature V12 engines. There are Lamborghini vehicles with V10 and V8 engines. Lamborghini is currently producing all three types of engines.
Lamborghini has made cars with V12 engines since the very beginning in 1964. Lamborghini has produced a model with a V12 engine every year since.
In 1972, Lamborghini produced its first model without a V12, the Urraco, which featured a V8 instead. For nearly 30 years, Lamborghini models had either a V12 (high-end cars and SUVs) or V8 (entry-level cars).
Lamborghini partnered with Audi (who purchased Lamborghini a few years earlier) to develop a V10 engine that would power the Gallardo and the Audi R8 V10. Since then, Lamborghini has sold a flagship supercar with a V12 alongside an entry-level supercar with a V10.
In 2018, Lamborghini started offering the Urus, an SUV with a twin-turbo V8, another collaboration with Audi. This was the first time Lamborghini made a car with a turbocharger from the factory.
V12 Engine Basics
What is a V12?
The V12 engine is a type of internal combustion engine that has 12 cylinders arranged in two banks of six cylinders. This type of engine was first developed in the early 1900s and was used in aircraft, large boats, and racing cars.
Smoothness is the primary benefit of a V12 engine. The people who buy luxury vehicles and sports cars love the smooth operation and power delivery of a V12.
A V12 is essentially two linked inline six (I6) engines that are perfectly balanced because the firing of the cylinders is evenly spread and the movement of weight in one cylinder of the engine is always offset by the movement of weight in the other.
Are V12 engines rare?
V12 engines are rare. Their size, cost, and complexity mean they can only be used in expensive vehicles with a lot of space dedicated to the engine bay. This means they are reserved for supercars and large grand-touring cars and SUVs.
The only engine types rarer than a V12 are W12 and W16 engines, which are even larger, more complicated, and more expensive than a V12. The Bugatti Chiron, one of the most expensive cars in the world, features a W16 engine.
Lamborghini and V12 Engines
Which Lamborghinis have a V12?
Lamborghinis that have a V12:
- Countach LPI 800-4
- Essenza SCV12
- 400 GT
- 350 GT
The Lamborghini Aventador has a V12 engine. Aventador is known for its raw, aggressive but smooth V12 engine.
The Aventador Ultimae will be the last Lamborghini powered by only a V12 engine. The Aventador Ultimae uses its V12 engine to accelerate to a top speed of 221 mph (335 Km/h).
Lamborghini’s upcoming flagship supercar model, the Aventador’s successor, will feature a V12 as part of a hybrid powertrain.
The least expensive V12 Lamborghini that is new is the Aventador which sells for at least $507,353 USD and used is the Diablo which sells for at least $190,000 USD approximately.
There are Lamborghinis with V12s that sell for approximately $100,000 USD, namely the Jamama and Espada, but they are front-engined classics from the 60s and 70s. Not what people typically associate with Lamborghini.
All the used car prices were from Classic.com in 2023.
Which Lamborghinis do not have a V12?
Lamborghini models that do not have a V12:
Lamborghini has produced models with V8 or V10 engines.
The Lamborghini Huracan does not have a V12 engine, but rather a V10 engine. The difference in engine is the main difference between the Huracán and the Aventador. The two fewer cylinders and different firing order and timing give the V10 a rough, snarl sound compared to the smooth V12 sound.
There has never been a Lamborghini with a V6. There has never been a Lamborghini with a V16 or W16 engine.
Lamborghini V12 Vision Gran Turismo
The Lamborghini V12 Vision Gran Turismo is a concept car designed in collaboration with Polyphony Digital to be included in Gran Turismo 7.
The Vision Gran Turismo (VGT) project is an initiative to add excitement to the Gran Turismo series of racing video games. Developed by Polyphony Digital and in collaboration with some of the world’s leading automakers, the project has seen concept cars come to life in the virtual world.
The project was first announced in 2014 and since then, has seen automakers such as Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan create concept cars with concepts only possible in the virtual world or the far future. The designs featured in the Vision Gran Turismo project are often more radical than those seen on the regular production line. The Vision GT cars give a peak into the future sights of the automakers as the designers and engineers are unleashed to imagine what could be possible.
Lamborghini participated in the VGT program and announced their design in November 2019. Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo design was a single-seat hypercar featuring the same hybrid powertrain as the Sián FKP 37.
Both the Sián and the V12 Vision are powered by the legendary Lamborghini V12 as well as an electric motor wired to supercapacitors. Unlike a battery, a supercapacitor does not rely on a chemical reaction to store energy but instead stores it in an electrostatic field. This means that it can charge and discharge very quickly, making the electric motor turn up and accelerate the car explosively.