Lamborghini V12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lamborghini V12
Lambo V12 F1.JPG
Lamborghini's 3.5L V12 Formula One engine, the 3512, at the Lamborghini Museum
Manufacturer Lamborghini
Production 1963-present
Combustion chamber
Configuration 60° V12 petrol engine
Displacement 3.5: 3,465 cc (211.4 cu in),
3.9: 3,929 cc (239.8 cu in),
6.2: 6,192 cc (377.9 cu in),
6.5: 6,498 cc (396.5 cu in)
Cylinder bore 3.5: 77.0 mm (3.03 in)
6.2: 87.0 mm (3.43 in)
6.5: 95.0 mm (3.74 in)
Piston stroke 3.5: 62.0 mm (2.44 in)
6.2: 86.8 mm (3.42 in)
6.5: 76.4 mm (3.01 in)
Cylinder block alloy Cast aluminium alloy
Cylinder head alloy Cast aluminium alloy
Valvetrain double overhead camshaft,
3.5/4.0: 2-valves per cyl,
6.2/6.5: 4-valves per cyl
Compression ratio 6.2: 11.6:1
6.5: 11.8:1
Fuel system 3.5/3.9: 6 Weber carburettors,
6.2/6.5: electronic multi-point sequential fuel injection
Fuel type Petrol/Gasoline
Oil system 3.5/3.9: wet sump,
6.2/6.5: dry sump
Cooling system Water-cooled
Power output 3.5: 273.7 PS (201.3 kW; 270.0 bhp)
6.2: 580 PS (427 kW; 572 bhp) @ 7,500 rpm
6.5: 640 PS (471 kW; 631 bhp) @ 7,500 rpm
Specific power 3.5: 79 PS (58.1 kW; 77.9 bhp) per litre
6.2: 94.4 PS (69.4 kW; 93.1 bhp) per litre
6.5: 98.6 PS (72.5 kW; 97.3 bhp) per litre
Torque output 6.2: 650 N·m (479 lbf·ft) @ 5,500 rpm
6.5: 660 N·m (487 lbf·ft) @ 5,200 rpm
Dry weight 235 kg (L539)

The Lamborghini V12 is a sixty degree (60°) V12 petrol engine designed by Lamborghini,[1][2] and was the first internal combustion engine ever produced by the firm.

It first entered production in 1963, in 3.5 litre form, displacing 3,465 cubic centimetres (211.4 cu in), in the Lamborghini 350GT[1][2] - the first car ever produced by the carmaker. The last 6.5 litre version was used in the Lamborghini Murciélago, before being replaced by an all new design V12 in the Lamborghini Aventador.


An early Lamborghini V12 engine used in the Espada and Jarama

When Ferruccio Lamborghini set out to provide Ferrari with competition, he contracted Giotto Bizzarrini to design the engine for his car and, according to some accounts, paid him a bonus for every horsepower over what Ferrari's V12 could produce. The finished 3.5-litre (214 cu in) V12 was such that, with minor modifications and improvements, the very same engine (in 6.5 litre form) powered the Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640, and completed its service for Lamborghini with the ultimate final version of the Murciélago, the Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce.[3]

Lamborghini's all-new 6.5 litre engine for their 2011 Aventador produces 700 PS (510 kW; 690 hp).[4]

Technical overview[edit]

The V12 engine used in the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4

The engine was designed from the start to be a quad cam 60 degree V12 - as an intentional snub by Mr. Lamborghini of Ferrari's single overhead camshaft per-bank design. When the 3,464 cubic centimetres (211.4 cu in) prototype was tested in 1963, it was able to produce 370 brake horsepower (276 kW; 375 PS) at 9,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) - a figure of almost 107 brake horsepower (80 kW; 108 PS) per litre. Bizzarrini insisted that the engine was mechanically capable of reaching 400 brake horsepower (298 kW; 406 PS) at 11,000 rpm with an uprated fuel system, but the design was judged adequate, and when fitted with production carburettors, all the auxiliary systems, and detuned for road use, the engine still made 280 brake horsepower (209 kW; 284 PS).[citation needed]

Audi ownership[edit]

Over the years, notably since Lamborghini was purchased by the German Volkswagen Group subsidiary AUDI AG, this V12 engine has nearly doubled in displacement - first to 6,192 cubic centimetres (377.9 cu in), and later to 6,496 cubic centimetres (396.4 cu in). It has seen the modification of the cylinder heads to allow four valves per cylinder, the replacement of Weber carburettors with electronic fuel injection, and the re-engineering of the lubrication system from a wet sump to a dry sump design. However, the engine that powers the current Murciélago LP 640 can trace its lineage directly to the F1-inspired design of Bizzarrini and his team more than forty years ago.[citation needed]


engine configuration — 3.5 & 3.9
[1][2] 60° V12 engine; wet sump lubrication system
engine configuration — 6.2 & 6.5
60° V12 engine; dry sump lubrication system
engine displacement etc.
3.5: 3,465 cubic centimetres (211.4 cu in); bore x stroke: 77.0 by 62.0 millimetres (3.03 in × 2.44 in) (stroke ratio: 1.24:1 - 'oversquare/short-stroke engine'); 288.7 cc per cylinder[2]
3.9: 3,929 cubic centimetres (239.8 cu in)
6.2: 6,192 cubic centimetres (377.9 cu in); bore x stroke: 87.0 by 86.8 millimetres (3.43 in × 3.42 in) (stroke ratio: 1.00:1 - 'square engine'); 516.0 cc per cylinder; compression ratio: 11.6:1
6.5: 6,496 cubic centimetres (396.4 cu in); bore x stroke: 88.0 by 89.0 millimetres (3.46 in × 3.50 in) (stroke ratio: 0.99:1 - 'square engine'); 541.3 cc per cylinder; compression ratio: 11.8:1
cylinder block & crankcase
[1] cast aluminium alloy; pressed-in cylinder liners
cylinder heads & valvetrain — 3.5 & 3.9
[1] cast aluminium alloy; two valves per cylinder, 24 valves total, chain-driven double overhead camshaft
cylinder heads & valvetrain — 6.2 & 6.5
cast aluminium alloy; four valves per cylinder, 48 valves total, chain-driven double overhead camshaft
aspiration, fuel system & ignition system — 3.5
[2] six twin-barrel side-draught Weber 40 DCOE 2 carburettors; one or two ignition distributors
aspiration, fuel system & ignition system — 3.98
six twin-barrel down-draught carburettors; one or two ignition distributors
aspiration, fuel system & ignition system — 6.2 & 6.5
two air filters, four cast alloy throttle bodies each with Magneti Marelli electronically controlled 'drive by wire' throttle butterfly valves, cast magnesium alloy intake manifold; two linked common rail fuel distributor rails, electronic sequential multi-point indirect fuel injection with intake manifold-sited fuel injectors; centrally positioned spark plugs, mapped direct ignition with 12 individual direct-acting single spark coils
exhaust system — 6.2 & 6.5
two 3-branch exhaust manifolds per cylinder bank, connected to dual-inlet catalytic converters, heated oxygen (lambda) sensors monitoring pre- and post-catalyst exhaust gasses
power and torque outputs and applications[1]
3.5: 284 metric horsepower (209 kW; 280 bhp) @ 6,500 rpm; 325 newton metres (240 lbf·ft) @ 4,500 rpm — Lamborghini 350GT
3.5: 324 metric horsepower (238 kW; 320 bhp) @ 7,000 rpm — Lamborghini 350GT Veloce
6.2: 580 metric horsepower (427 kW; 572 bhp) @ 7,500 rpm; 650 newton metres (479 lbf·ft) @ 5,500 rpm —
6.5: 640 metric horsepower (471 kW; 631 bhp) @ 7,500 rpm; 660 newton metres (487 lbf·ft) @ 5,200 rpm — Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640 Coupé and Roadster
6.5: 650 metric horsepower (478 kW; 641 bhp) — Lamborghini Reventón and Murciélago LP 650-4 Roadster
German press release: auto katalog 2006
6.5: 670 metric horsepower (493 kW; 661 bhp) @ 8,000 rpm; 660 newton metres (487 lbf·ft) @ 6,500 rpm — Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce

Formula One[edit]

Lamborghini made the move to Formula One in 1989 when the FIA outlawed turbocharged engines.[5] Former Scuderia Ferrari designer / engineer Mauro Forghieri was commissioned to design and built a new, 3.5 litre V12 engine for use by the French Larrousse team in 1989. Dubbed the Lamborghini 3512, the 3,493 cc (213.2 cu in), 80° V12 engine was reported to be the best sounding engine of the new 3.5L naturally aspirated formula. Lamborghini representatives stated at the engines début race, the 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, that they chose a lower ranked team to join Formula One (Larrousse was in its third season using Lola chassis') as it was felt at the early stage of its development the 3512 would not be able to do justice to one of the teams usually closer to the front of the grid. Also, the front running teams already had existing engine suppliers in place (McLaren with Honda, Williams with Renault, Benetton with Ford, and Ferrari who made their own engines).

The Lamborghini V12 did impress many in 1989 despite its unreliability, and the engines best result in its first year came thanks to fast but accident prone Larrousse driver Philippe Alliot when he qualified his Lola LC89 in 5th position for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, only 1.417 seconds slower than the V10 McLaren-Honda of pole winner Ayrton Senna. Alliot then backed up that performance by scoring the engine's first point in Formula One by finishing 6th in the race and setting the 4th fastest race lap in the process. Unfortunately, Alliot's team mate for the second half of 1989, former Ferrari driver Michele Alboreto, never came to grips with either the Lola or the Lamborghini. In his eight races for Larrousse he recorded four DNF's, two failures to pre-qualify, one failure to qualify, and a single 11th place finish in Portugal.

The Lamborghini V12's best finish came when Larrousse driver Aguri Suzuki finished 3rd in the infamous 1990 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Its time in Formula One (1989-1993) would prove to be frustrating though as poor reliability became the norm for the engine, despite being used by Grand Prix winning teams such as Lotus and Ligier who could boast driving talent such as Derek Warwick (Lotus - 1990), and Thierry Boutsen (Ligier - 1991).

In 1993 after four years in Formula One with only one significant result for the engine, Bob Lutz of Lamborghini's parent company Chrysler, did a hand-shake deal with McLaren boss Ron Dennis for the team to test the 3512 to evaluate its potential as a race winner. McLaren made a modified version of their 1993 race car, the McLaren MP4/8 to test the engine (the test car, which took three months to modify to fit the longer and heavier V12 was dubbed the MP4/8B). Testing was completed by triple World Champion Ayrton Senna, and future dual World Champion Mika Häkkinen at both the Estoril circuit in Portugal and the Silverstone Circuit in England. After Senna suggested certain changes to Forghieri (a less brutal 'top end' and a fatter mid-range), engine power increased from 710 bhp (529 kW; 720 PS) to approximately 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS) and both drivers were very impressed despite the engine still being somewhat unreliable (Häkkinen reported a massive engine blow up while testing at Silverstone, though he did manage to lap the 5.226 km (3.260 mi) circuit some 1.4 seconds faster than with the Ford V8 powered MP4/8). According to reports, Senna even wanted to race the engine at the Japanese Grand Prix believing that while reliability might be a problem, at least he would be quicker than with the Ford powered race car (ironically Senna would win in both Japan and the last race in Australia with the existing MP4/8). Despite this however, Ron Dennis decided to go with Peugeot V10 engines in 1994 and at the end of the 1993 season, the Lamborghini 3512 was retired from Grand Prix racing.

The Lamborghini, which on all cars it powered carried the words "Chrysler powered by Lamborghini" (other than the McLaren MP4/8B which was all virgin white, though the test engines were badged as Chrysler), was one of only five V12 engines used in the naturally aspirated era from 1989-2013, the others being from Ferrari (1989-1995), Honda (1991-1992), Yamaha (1991-1992), and Porsche (1991).

3512 Power output[edit]

  • 1989 - 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS)
  • 1990 - 640 bhp (477 kW; 649 PS)
  • 1991 - 640 bhp (477 kW; 649 PS)
  • 1992 - 700 bhp (522 kW; 710 PS)
  • 1993 - 710 bhp (529 kW; 720 PS)
  • 1993 McLaren tests - 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS)

F1 Statistics 1989-1993[edit]

See also[edit]

applications of the V12 engine
list of Volkswagen Group petrol engines article


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Lamborghini - History - Masterpieces - 350 GT". Automobili Lamborghini Holding Spa. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lamborghini 350, 400 & Islero". Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Lighter Murcielago here in 2008". © Haymarket Media Group. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Lamborghini unveils new V12 engine". 
  5. ^ Lamborghini 3512 Formula One V12 @ STATSF1

External links[edit]