Lambo V-12 Legends

If you’re a resident of Sant’ Agata Bolognese, Italy, you’ve probably grown accustomed to what must be the fairly regular appearance of dynamic supercars produced just down the road at Lamborghini S.p.A.’s headquarters.  But even by such jaded standards, the charging bull parade that wound through the city last Friday must have been a rare treat.

Lamborghini held an official commemoration, a torch-passing of sorts, to celebrate the end of production of their flagship supercar, the Murcielago.  Produced since 2001, the Murcielago was the meat and potatoes platform of Lamborghini excellence through the millennium’s first decade, one that defined the Italian brand’s path under new parent company VW/Audi.  An extension of Marcelo Gandini’s now classic Countach design from the 1970s, the original Murcielago boasted 580 horsepower from its longitudinally rear-mounted V-12 motor, an engine that has served as the marque’s backbone ever since it entered the high-end sports car market in the mid-60s with a resume of manufacturing farm tractors.

Anyone paying the slightest amount of attention over the last decade, of course, is painfully aware of the Murcielago’s numerous ensuing alpha-numeric updates.  This evolution included the LP 560, the LP 640, and the LP 670-4 Superveloce, which, as the final iteration of the model, lifted the V-12’s power rating to a frightening 670 horsepower, and delivered a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 212 mph.  On November 5, Lamborghini noted the model’s final example, an LP 670-4 Superveloce sold last May that bore production number 4,099.  With almost 5,000 examples built over the decade, the Murcielago is by far the most produced V-12 model in Lambo’s history, almost doubling the next closest car, the Diablo, of which 2,884 units were produced between 1990 and 2001.

Lamborghini marked the occasion with a celebration that gathered all of the great Lambo V-12s that have represented the brand over the years.  Led by a Gallardo police car, the trend-starting 350 GT, the sexy Miura, the epochal Countach, and the menacing Diablo all joined a Murcielago SV of the Lamborghini Museum for a parade through the city that began by exiting the Lamborghini factory, in effect symbolizing the final Murcielago to leave the production line.

The conclusion of Murcielago production obviously begs the question of what fabulous V-12 supercar we can expect next.  Though specifics remain hazy, Lambo has clarified that a replacement model will be revealed sometime next year.  Indeed, over the last twelve months, spy photographers have captured images of the successor car (rumored to be called the Jota) undergoing testing.  If the images are at all reflective of the final product to come, then we have good reason to patiently wait with bated breath…