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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.

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Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
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