Lamborghini Engine Plaques

Photo by Autoviva.com via Flickr

Lamborghini places a plaque on or around the engine with ‘Ordine Di Accensione’ and a mysterious code.

Lamborghini is an organization that values traditions; part of the brand heritage is the traditional items they include with each model. We have already discussed the custom of naming Lamborghini models after terms from Spanish bullfighting.

All modern Lamborghini engines are adorned with the engine type, “Ordine Di Accensione” and the firing order.

Lamborghini engine plaque from a Huracán
Engine plaque from a Lamborghini Huracán.

The information is often on a plaque attached to the engine, but it can be a plate in the engine bay or embossed on the engine itself.

All Lamborghini models since the Diablo have had these three pieces of information on or around the engine. The V8 in Lamborghini Urus also has “Turbocompresso” on the engine plaque, noting it is a turbocharged engine (the only one Lamborghini has ever made.)

Models With Engine Plaques

The Lamborghini models with the engine information adornments are the:

If you have an older Lamborghini with one of these plaques, please get in touch with me.

What is the numeric code on Lamborghini engines?

There is a set of eight, ten or twelve numbers after “Ordine Di Accensione.” What are these numbers?

Is the sequence a code to get the owner into the secret society of Lamborghini owners? Is it Ferruccio Lamborghini’s winning lottery numbers? Is it a cypher for a secret message?

No, it’s far more mundane than that, unfortunately.

“Ordine Di Accensione” translates from Italian to ignition order or firing order in English. The numbers are the sequence the cylinders take to ignite the air/fuel mixture, one after the other.

Firing Order

In four-stroke motors (which all Lamborghini engines are), there are intake, compression, power and exhaust. The power stroke is where the spark plug is fired, and the air/fuel mixture explodes and forces the piston down the cylinder.

If an engine were to have the power stokes of all the cylinders simultaneously, the engine would be loud and inefficient and have vibration issues. So they spread them out; all the cylinders take turns having their power stokes.

The order in which the cylinders take their power strokes is called the firing order.

Engineers chose the firing order, so the engine is as smooth as possible with even power delivery. No engineers value smooth engines and even / on-demand power than Lamborghini engineers.

The firing order traditionally starts with cylinder number one.

The firing order of a Lamborghini V8

1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8

The firing order of a Lamborghini V10

1-6-5-10-2-7-3-8-4-9

The firing order of a Lamborghini V12

1-12-4-9-2-11-6-7-3-10-5-8

Why does Lamborghini put the firing order on their engines?

Lamborghini puts the firing order on the engine because it is helpful to a technician working on the engine and because it is part of their brand heritage.

Putting the firing order on the engine is not exclusive to Lamborghini. Many engine manufacturers, from Chevrolet to Mini, emboss the engine with the firing order. The firing order is something a mechanic could look up in a manual, but if it’s right there, then: “hey! Isn’t that handy?”

The firing order was necessary for a mechanic working on the engine because it affected how the spark plugs were wired to the distributor. If someone wired the spark plugs in the wrong order, the engine wouldn’t start, or it would run very poorly.

Now, ignition is handled electronically and can be wired without knowing the firing order.

Lamborghini engines have not had electronics for very long; technicians mechanically tuned them. But even after Lamborghini engineers embraced electronic ignition, they printed the firing order on the engine because it spoke to the brand value of exceptional engineering and brought a bit of Italian with “Ordine Di Accensione” to remind people where these engines came from.