'So given that the 6.5-litre engine produces a thundering 663bhp at 8,000rpm and 487lb/ft at 6,500rpm, it's hardly surprising to discover that the performance is quite a long way the other side of impressive. Think 0-60mph in 3.2sec and 0-100mph in under seven and only then will you get an inkling of what it feels like to open the accelerator in second gear and hold it there for a while.' ? Autocar on the Murciélago SV.
Successor to the Diablo and Lamborghini's flagship model, the Murciélago 'hypercar' was introduced in 2001 for the 2002 model year, and like its forebears was named after a famous fighting bull. The Murciélago was Lamborghini's first new design for 11 years and also the Italian company's first since its acquisition by the Volkswagen Group's Audi division in 1998.
The angular, Luc Donckerwolke-styled coupé was very low, boasting a roof height of just under 1.2 metres, and featured distinctive 'scissor' doors that swung upwards and forwards when opened. A combination of carbon fibre, steel, and aluminium was used for the chassis/body, while the suspension featured the supercar-standard double wishbones all round. The Murciélago's power unit was a longitudinally mounted 6.2-litre V12, an engine that could trace its ancestry back to the very first Lamborghini of 1964. As installed in the Murciélago, this formidable unit produced 572bhp, which was delivered to the ground via a six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive, while an active rear wing and active air intakes, deployed automatically when required, helped keep the Murciélago stable it its circa 200mph top speed.
Roadster and up-rated LP 640 models followed, the latter powered by a 6.5-litre version of Lamborghini's long-running Giotto Bizzarrini-designed V12 and available with 'e-Gear' semi-automatic sequential transmission. Brakes that faded after repeated high-speed decelerations had been one of the original Murciélago's weaknesses, so the LP 640 could be ordered with carbon ceramic stoppers costing an additional £7,780.
There were various limited edition variations on the theme before the ultimate Murciélago ? the LP 670-4 Super Veloce (SV) ? made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009. As its nomenclature suggests, the LP 670 came with 670PS (661bhp) on tap, while its weight was significantly reduced by more extensive use of carbon fibre. Previously an option, the powerful carbon ceramic brakes with their six-piston callipers were standard on the SV.
'You can sense the reduction in weight more than the increase in grunt in virtually everything the SV does, right down to increased power and response under brakes,' declared Autocar. 'Dynamically it takes the game at least one notch forward compared with the LP 640. Which is no mean achievement.'
Lamborghini claimed a top speed of 209mph (336km/h) for the Murciélago SV, though to realise the car's full potential it needed to be fitted with the optional smaller rear wing, in which case the fortunate driver could expect to see 212mph (341km/h) registering on the speedometer.
Production of 350 SVs was planned, though in the event only 186 were completed out of a total Murciélago production of a little under 4,000 cars. Finished in black with matching interior, the example offered here was imported into the UK from Singapore. Noteworthy features include 18" alloy wheels, climate control, and a Kenwood in-car entertainment system.
The speedometer was changed to an 'MPH' unit at time of importation and the car stickered to record the removed unit's reading of 10,243km (6,365 miles). We are advised that only some 160 miles have been covered since then, making the total mileage from new circa 6,525. Freshly serviced by H R Owen and presented in generally excellent condition, it represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a fine example of this ultra-rare modern supercar.