Lamborghini V12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Lamborghini V12 engine)
Jump to: navigation, search
Lamborghini V12
Bizzarrini Lamborghini Dallara.jpg
From left to right: Giotto Bizzarrini, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Gian Paolo Dallara at Sant'Agata Bolognese in 1963, with a Lamborghini V12 engine prototype.
Manufacturer Lamborghini
Production 1963-2011
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),
4.8: 4,754 cc (290.1 cu in),
5.2: 5,167 cc (315.3 cu in),
5.7: 5,707 cc (348.3 cu in),
6.0: 5,992 cc (365.7 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,
3.5/4.0/4.8: 2-valves per cyl,
5.2/5.7/6.0/6.2/6.5: 4-valves per cyl
Compression ratio 6.2: 11.6:1
6.5: 11.8:1
Fuel system 3.5/3.9/4.8/5.2: 6 Weber carburettors,
5.7/6.0/6.2/6.5: 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 253 kg (6.5 litres)
Successor Lamborghini V12 L539

The Lamborghini V12 refers to the flagship V12 engine used by Lamborghini. Lamborghini have had two generations of V12 engines through their history, both of which were developed in-house. The first-generation Lamborghini V12 was 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 as a 3.5 litre displacing 3,465 cubic centimetres (211.4 cu in) fitted on Lamborghini's first car, the Lamborghini 350GT.[1][2] The engine remained in use for almost fifty years, the final version, a 6.5 litre, installed in the Lamborghini Murciélago. Lamborghini discontinued their first-generation V12 after the Murcielago, opting for a brand-new V12 that first saw use on the Lamborghini Aventador.[3]


An early Lamborghini V12 engine used in the Espada and Jarama

When Ferruccio Lamborghini set out to compete with Ferrari, 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, with minor improvements, went on to become the 6.5 litre powering the Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640, and completed its service for Lamborghini with the final version of the Murciélago, the Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce.[4]

Technical overview[edit]

The engine was designed from the start to be a quad cam 60 degree V12 - as an intentional snub to Ferrari's single overhead camshaft per-bank design. When the 3,464-cubic-centimetre (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), or almost 107 brake horsepower (80 kW; 108 PS) per litre. Bizzarrini insisted 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).[5]

Over the years, 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 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.[5]

Audi ownership and V12 Successor[edit]

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

Since Lamborghini was purchased in 1998 by the German Volkswagen Group subsidiary AUDI AG, the V12 engine continued undergoing constant upgrade, growing its displacement from 5.7 liters (Diablo VT then in production[6]) to the final 6.5 liters (Murciélago LP670-4 Superveloce[7]). It took years to decide that a new-from-scratch engine was needed and finally the decision was made: Lamborghini's all-new L539 6.5 litre engine for their 2011 Aventador produces 700 PS (510 kW; 690 hp),[3] is 18 kg lighter, is "over-square" (bore:95 mm - stroke:76,4 mm)[8] and has a different firing order: 1–12–4–9–2–11-6–7–3–10–5–8 instead of 1–7–4–10–2–8–6–12–3–9–5–11.[5]


First Generation[edit]

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)
4.8: displacement increase to 4,754 cubic centimetres (290.1 cu in) by increasing both the bore and stroke.[9]
5.2: 5,167 cubic centimetres (315.3 cu in) Stroke increased to 75 mm, compression ratio 9.5:1 and downdraft Weber carburetors.[10]
5.7: 5,707 cubic centimetres (348.3 cu in)
6.0: 5,992 cubic centimetres (365.7 cu in), bore x stroke: 87.0 by 84 millimetres[11]
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: 10.7:1
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
3.9: - 400 GT, Miura, Islero, Jarama, Espada, Countach LP400
4.8: - Countach LP500 S
5.2: - Countach Quattrovalvole and LM002
5.7: - Diablo and Diablo VT
6.0: - Diablo GT
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
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

Second Generation[edit]

Type: V12, 60°, Multi Point Injection
Displacement: 6,498 cm³ (396.5
Bore and stroke: Ø 95 mm x 76,4 mm
Valve gear: Variable valve timing electronically controlled
Compression ratio: 11.8 (± 0.2) : 1
Maximum power: 700 CV (515 kW) @ 8,250 RPM
Maximum torque: 690 Nm (507 lbft) @ 5,500 RPM
Emission class: EURO 6 – LEV 2
Emission control system: Catalytic converters with lambda sensors
Cooling system: Water and oil cooling system in the rear with variable air inlets
Engine management system: Lamborghini Iniezione Elettronica (LIE) with Ion current analysis
Lubrification system: Dry sump[12]

Formula One[edit]

Lamborghini's 3.5L V12 Formula One engine, the 3512, at the Lamborghini Museum.

Lamborghini made the move to Formula One in 1989 when the FIA outlawed turbocharged engines.[13] Former Scuderia Ferrari designer / engineer Mauro Forghieri was commissioned to design and build a new, 3.5 litre V12 engine for use by the French Larrousse team in 1989. Dubbed the Lamborghini LE3512,[14] (Lamborghini Engineering 3.5 liters 12 cylinders) 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 V12 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 a 2014 interview, Warwick said of the 3512 that it was "All noise and no go".

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 LE3512 to evaluate its potential as a race winner.[15][16] McLaren made a modified version of their 1993 race car, the McLaren MP4/8 dubbed the MP4/8B,[15] to test the engine (the test car took three months to modify to fit the longer and heavier V12[16]). Testing was completed by triple World Champion Ayrton Senna, and future dual World Champion Mika Häkkinen at both the Silverstone Circuit in England and the Estoril circuit in Portugal.[16] After his first drive of the car at Silverstone, Senna suggested certain changes to Forghieri (a less brutal 'top end' and a fatter mid-range),[16] and he complied with 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,[16] though he did manage to lap the 5.226 km (3.260 mi) circuit some 1.4 seconds faster than the teams MP4/8 race car powered by a 680 bhp (507 kW; 689 PS) Ford V8 engine).[15] According to reports, Senna even wanted to race the engine at the Japanese Grand Prix[15] believing that while reliability might be a problem, at least he would be quicker than with the Ford powered race car[16] (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 due to a better commercial agreement that would give long term stability to the team and at the end of the 1993 season, the Lamborghini LE3512 was retired from Grand Prix racing[16] after the company was sold by Chrysler to an Indonesian investor group led by Tommy Suharto.[15]

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). The only other 12 cylinder engines in Formula One during this time were disastrous efforts by Life Racing Engines with their W12 engine and Subaru who reintroduced the Flat 12 to the sport, both appearing in the first half of 1990.

LE3512 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 - 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS) (McLaren tests)

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. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lamborghini 350, 400 & Islero". Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Lamborghini unveils new V12 engine". 
  4. ^ "Lighter Murcielago here in 2008". © Haymarket Media Group. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Lamborghini: tutti i dettagli e i video del nuovo V12" (in Italian). 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Lamborghini 3512 Formula One V12 @ STATSF1
  14. ^ "Alcune applicazioni storiche - 1989/1993" [Some historical applications] (in Italian). Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Rainer Nyberg (2001). "McLaren's brief flirtation with the Chrysler empire". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "What if Senna had driven a McLaren-Lamborghini in 1994?". F1 Racing. 2011-04-04. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 

External links[edit]