Earlier this month Lamborghini’s Murciélago reached the end of production and with it went the venerable 60° V12 engine which has served the Raging Bull for more than 40 years. It was time for fresh start – in the intervening years Lamborghini’s V12 had grown from the 3.5-litre F1-inspired design to a 6.5-litre unit with nearly twice the power.

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann and his team chose to continue the legend with an all-new V12 power plant and a new, unique high performing transmission – the new 6.5 litre V12 with an output of 690 bhp and maximum torque of 690 Nm was developed from a clean sheet of paper and is both more powerful and more efficient than its predecessor.

“This new power unit is not only the crowning glory of our product range, it is also part of our enormous investment in the future of the Lamborghini brand,” says Winkelmann. “With this new V12, we are heralding a technological leap that encompasses all areas of the company and our future model line-up. With a unique package of innovations, Lamborghini will redefine the future of the super sports car. This 700 hp engine, together with an all-new concept gearbox, will be the strong heart of the Murciélago successor next year.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]This innovative manual gearbox combines extremely fast shift times – almost 50 percent shorter than with a dual-clutch transmission..[/blockquote]

Lamborghini’s first V12 engine was commissioned by Ferruccio Lamborghini who set out to build an engine to compete with his neighbours in Modena, designed by Giotto Bizzarrini and said to be based on a design he was already working on for Honda in F1, the 3.5-litre power plant was installed in Lamborghini’s first production car, the 350GT. Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo and, most recently, Murciélago been driven by V12 engines derived from this inaugural design.

This new engine is said to be a real tribute to the ‘Raging Bull’, with its maximum power delivered at a heady 8,250 rpm and peak torque delivered at 5,500 rpm it’s a real screamer, but it’s also said to have an extremely well-rounded torque curve, pulling strongly throughout the revs whilst delivering the kind of emotional sound that only a Lamborghini V12 engine can.

[styledbox type=”general” width=”600″ align=”center”]Watch the New Lamborghini V12 Engine Assembly video on SkiddPlayer[/styledbox]

The new engine has been designed from the ground up with the very latest innovative technologies – the crankcase and the four-valve cylinder heads are made from aluminium-silicon alloy, the short-stroke layout ensures exceptional high-revving performance and very low internal friction and the engine has been through a lengthy process of fine tuning to perfect the oil supply and thermal management naturally built upon a dry-sump lubrication system.

Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) Transmission

Engineers working under the sign of the bull have come up with an ingenious mate for the new twelve-cylinder engine in the shape of the Lamborghini ISR transmission. Overall, this is a drive unit that is said to be unique in the sports car world. The unusual development target set within Lamborghini was to create the world’s most emotional gearshift feel.

The new unit is laid out as a two-shaft transmission with seven forward gears and one reverse. For especially high durability, the synchronizing rings are made from carbon-fiber – a material with which Lamborghini has enormous experience with. The short shift times are facilitated by the special design of the transmission, known as ISR – Independent Shifting Rod.

This innovative manual gearbox combines extremely fast shift times – almost 50 percent shorter than with a dual-clutch transmission – with the benefits of manual shifting when it comes to low weight and compact dimensions, both always crucial for a super sports car. The low shift times are enabled through the transmission’s particular design, known as ISR (Independent Shifting Rod).

Instead of taking place in series, as with a conventional gearbox, shifting can occur virtually in parallel. While one shifting rod is moving out of one gear, the second shifting rod can already engage the next. Moreover, the transmission weighs only 79 kg – a distinct benefit, even against comparable DSG transmissions, which are considerably heavier.

We’ll hear further news during the next few months on the Murciélago replacement which will become the host of the new V12 power plant, in the meantime we’ll leave you to gaze upon these gorgeous pictures and imagine what it will sound like when fitted to a car, which by all accounts is set to be lighter than the outgoing Murciélago.