Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is 819bhp-plus track-only hypercar

Lamborghini’s new track-only Essenza SCV12 hypercar packs the company’s most powerful V12 engine yet, with more than 819bhp on tap.

Its naturally aspirated 6.5-litre powerplant produces at least 11bhp more than the Sián hybrid hypercar. However, unlike that car, the Essenza SCV12 cannot be driven on public roads and will be even more exclusive, with just 40 examples to be built.

The SCV12 has been designed by Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse racing division exclusively for track use and  features extensive mechanical, aerodynamic and chassis upgrades over the Aventador on which it is loosely based. The firm has previously hinted that it is plotting an entry into the new hypercar category at Le Mans in 2021 and it’s likely the SCV12 will provide the basis for its factory racer.

Chief among the changes is a comprehensive aero package inspired by Lamborghini’s Huracán GT3 racer, comprising a dual-air intake on the bonnet, a roof-mounted air scoop, a sizeable front splitter and winglets that send air to the gaping side intakes, which in turn cool the engine and gearbox.

Together with the SCV12’s large, adjustable rear spoiler, the additions help the hypercar generate 1200kg of downforce at 155mph – 400kg more than a McLaren Senna travelling at the same speed.

Modifications to the powertrain are more subtle and comprise a redesigned dual-exit exhaust system that is said to improve performance and produce a unique engine note, and a new Xtrac sequential six-speed gearbox, which forms a structural element of the chassis for maximum stiffness and compactness.

Chassis features inspired by race cars include the mounting of the push-rod rear suspension directly onto the gearbox, magnesium 19in and 20in wheels wrapped in slick Pirelli tyres and Brembo Motorsport-developed brake discs and calipers.

The track car’s lightweight bodyshell is divided into three separate components to allow for quick replacement of damaged sections during pit stops and the overall shape is said to be inspired by 1970s prototypes.

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SCV12 owners will be enrolled in what Lamborghini calls an “exclusive club”, which will allow them to drive their car on various global race circuits from 2021, store the car in a new purpose-built hangar at the manufacturer’s Sant’Agata headquarters and take part in the same athletic training programme as Squadra Corse’s racing drivers.

Squadra Corse engineers will be on hand at the customer track events, joined by five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro and Lamborghini racer Marco Mapelli, who will offer track driving advice to the 40 SCV12 owners.