Skip to main content

Lamborghini’s Mental, Track-Only Essenza SCV12 Is an Ode to the V12 Engine

Even Lamborghini, the company known for making cars that should reside in insane asylums, knows that hybrids are the future. That’s why it came out with the Sián, a limited-edition supercar with a V12 engine and a modest electric motor. While Lamborghini showed the world that it won’t be left in the dust when regulations demand electrified powertrains, it’s not quite ready to let go of its ludicrous, naturally aspirated V12 monsters. Instead, it has just decided that they should be able to run free on the track, which is why it’s latest creation, the Essenza SCV12, is a track-only barbarian. God bless Lamborghini and some of the fastest cars in the world


There are only a handful of vehicles on the planet that continue to use a V12 engine in any type of capacity and the Essenza SCV12 is one of them. The 12-cylinder engine comes from the Aventador S, but has been heavily upgraded and repositioned. The result is more than – Lamborghini won’t give an exact power figure – 830 horsepower, which makes it the automaker’s most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever. And with electrification and turbos becoming commonplace, the SCV12’s engine will likely go down as one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines ever made. 


Unlike Lamborghini’s other vehicles, the SCV12 is rear-wheel-drive only. Reconfiguring how the V12 sits in the car compared to other Aventadors allowed Lamborghini to put the gearbox in the back and simplify the powertrain with rear-wheel drive. You won’t find a fancy dual-clutch automatic transmission here, as the brand went with a six-speed sequential gearbox that also serves as a structural component to the chassis.  

Speaking of the chassis, the gearbox is bolted directly to the track car’s push-rod rear suspension. The SCV12’s monocoque doesn’t use any metal, but still manages to meet the FIA’s prototype crash regulations. That’s most likely due to a liberal use of composite materials and excellent engineering. The structure also means the SCV12 has a scant weight of around 3,000 pounds. 


If there’s one thing that’s crazier than the SCV12’s engine, it’s all of the aero bits that adorn the body. It’s easy to write all of them off as being over the top, but this is a track-only car and it’s Lamborghini we’re talking about. All the brand does is go overboard and push boundaries. So, that front splitter that looks like it wants to eat children fits right in. Plus all of the aero is functional. Lamborghini claims the SCV12 produces more downforce than a GT3 race car. 


The interior is just as hardcore as the exterior. The steering wheel looks like it’s based on a wheel from a Formula One car and the center console is dominated by a slew of vertically oriented buttons and dials. The OMP bucket seats appear to hold you in your seat tighter than a hug from mom. 


As one would expect, the track-only SCV12 is directly aimed at the world’s 1 percent that are interested in going racing. Lamborghini hasn’t said much the SCV12 will cost, but with only 40 units expected to be built, we expect the price tag will be somewhere in the millions. Unless Gran Turismo or Forza brings this car to one of its video games, the only way any of us will ever get to see it is on YouTube.


Owners, unfortunately, won’t be able to tow their SCV12 to a track. Lamborghini takes care of the transport and maintenance of the vehicles, which are kept at one of the automaker’s hangars in Sant’Agata. You, though, will be able to check on your car any time of the day, as webcams will be running 24/7 to give you a view of your SCV12.  


Of course, owners will be able to take their SCV12s to tracks around the world, as long as they can fly their private jets to the locale and rent out the track, and will be treated to advanced driving programs by world-class racing drivers. Lamborghini even has plans to host a private series of events at race tracks around the world for owners. None of this sounds cheap, but for the billionaires of the world, this is a perfect accompaniment to Ferrari’s track-only FXX-K.

Editors' Recommendations

Bugatti Solidifies Its Spot as Hypercar King With Track-Only Bolide
Bugatti Bolide Concept in garage.

Bugatti’s hypercars are built to do one thing: Go extremely fast in a straight line. More recently, the automaker has revealed that it can build cars that can tackle corners at insane speeds with hypercars like the Divo and Pur Sport. Bugatti really wants to be taken seriously when it comes to track-oriented vehicles. So, it did what any other automaker would do — create a radical concept. The Bolide concept that came out in December 2020 was Bugatti’s way of flexing its muscles and now, it’s putting the vehicle into production.
Related Guides

Cars That Define Their Automakers
Best Cars With V12 Engines
Fastest Cars in the World

Read more
Cadillac’s CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings Mark the End of an Era
2022 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings

If you’re hanging out at home, crack open a beer, because Cadillac’s done it again. The American luxury brand recently debuted two of its most-awaited vehicles: the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing. Both sedans, on paper, look far superior to their successors, the ATS-V and CTS-V, respectively. Enjoying that beer you’re drinking? Well, it’s time to pour some out. Shortly after the two Blackwing models were introduced, Cadillac made another shocking announcement – these will be the last performance cars to wear a V badge to solely be powered by an internal-combustion engine. In every sense of the words, these two truly do represent the end of an era.

Before we get too sappy, here’s the rundown on the two sedans. The compact CT4-V Blackwing (finished in red) is the smaller, more affordable of the two. Under the hood, the sedan utilizes a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s good for 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Over the old ATS-V, the CT4-V Blackwing has grippier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, an updated version of magnetorheological dampers as standard equipment, larger brakes, and aluminum housing for the electronic limited-slip differential. Of course, the cabin is filled with modern equipment, like a special AKG audio system and a digital gauge cluster, but these are secondary points to the performance.
Related Guides

Read more
Gordon Murray T.50 Is a V12-Powered Sequel to the Legendary McLaren F1
Gordon Murray T.50 Hypercar

The McLaren F1 is on a short list of contenders for being one of the best cars ever made. It was one of the few cars to have a central seating position for the driver, which was flanked by a passenger seat on each side, came equipped with a V12 engine from BMW, and featured a six-speed manual transmission. No one, not even McLaren, has been able to replicate the unique, 221-mph rocket. Until now that is. Gordon Murray, the designer of the original F1, has revealed the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar and it looks like a modern take on the classic F1.

There’s no doubt that the T.50 is a hypercar. The specs say as much, but unlike the modern realm of hypercars like the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 Spyder, the T.50 is one that takes inspiration from simpler times. Forget about complex, electrified powertrains, this hypercar doesn’t even have turbos. In that sense, the T.50 may just be the most driver-oriented hypercar on the road and if you only care about one multi-million-dollar car you’ll never see, it should be this one.

Read more