Putting to rest the various rumors of the past few months, Lamborghini today announced that next year's Murcielago replacement will get an all-new V12 power plant matched to also new automated manual gearbox.
The new V12 engine was developed from a clean sheet of paper entirely in-house by Lamborghini at company headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognes. The goal was to create a higher-output yet lighter and with lower emissions replacement to the firm's venerable V12. The result is a 6.5-liter unit that tips the scales at just 235kg or 518 pounds, while producing an output of 700-horsepower at 8,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 690 Nm (479.4 lb-ft) at 5,500 rpm.
Lamborghini has not yet released full technical specs on the V12, but among the details announced are that the crankcase and the four-valve cylinder heads are made from aluminum-silicon alloy, and that the new exhaust system not only delivers the lowest emission levels, but also what the company describes as "a spine-tingling Lamborghini sound."
"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 Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini.
"With this new V12, we are heralding a technological leap that encompasses all areas of the company and our future model lineup. 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."
Completing the powertrain setup is Sant'Agata's new "Lamborghini ISR" automated manual gearbox. It's a single clutch gearbox with Lamborghini claiming that it combines fast shift times – approximately 50 percent shorter than with a dual-clutch transmission – with the benefits of manual shifting when it comes to low weight and compact dimensions.
And if you're wondering, ISR is an acronym for Independent Shifting Rod. According to the company, instead of taking place in series like 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. Furthermore, Sant'Agata says the transmission weighs in at only 79 kilograms (174 pounds), making it considerably lighter than a comparable DSG transmission.
Both the new V12 engine and ISR gearbox will be manufactured at Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognes. The Murcielago's replacement with the new powertrain will make its world premiere next year, most likely at the Geneva Salon in March.