Essenza SCV12: The Lamborghini racer they don't want you to take home
The latest hypercar from Automobili Lamborghini is a limited-edition, track-only powerhouse called the Essenza that sports the most powerful naturally aspirated V12 from the automaker to date. Only 40 will be made. With aerodynamics inspired by racing prototypes and new technical solutions "designed for the ultimate driving experience," it's a one-percenter's dream racer -- but most owners won't end up taking it home.
Lamborghini says the V12 engine is able to deliver over 830 hp, "with a significant power uplift from the RAM effect at high speeds." The exhaust pipes were designed to reduce the back pressure, improving performance and emphasizing the unique sound of the engine. The power is handled by a new X-trac sequential six-speed gearbox as a structural element within the chassis, combined with rear-wheel drive to ensure compactness, structural continuity, and greater torsional stiffness.
The Essenza features an exceptional power-to-weight ratio of 1.66 kg/hp thanks to the new-generation carbon fiber monocoque chassis that does not have an internal rollcage. The Essenza is also the first GT car developed to respect FIA prototype safety rules.
To ensure maximum agility and stability on even the most demanding tracks, kinematic solutions inspired by racing prototypes have been adopted, such as the push-rod rear suspension installed directly on the gearbox. The car sits on slick Pirelli tires mounted on magnesium rims (19 in. front, 20 in. rear), which frame the brake discs and calipers developed by Brembo Motorsport.
Lamborghini says the aerodynamics benefit from the company's Squadra Corse's GT racing experience to ensure a level of efficiency and higher downforce levels than a GT3 car, with a value of 1,200 kg at 250 km/h.
According to Lamborghini, "the essential nature of the car is underscored by the structure of the bodywork, formed by only three elements to enable quick replacement when necessary during pit stops."
The front hood has a double air intake with a central rib, typical of the Lamborghini Huracan racing cars, which separates the hot airflow coming from the radiator and conveys the cold air to the airscoop located on the roof. The front features a splitter and two lateral elements; on the sides, the flows for engine and gearbox cooling have been optimized through the use of vertical fins situated on the side sills. The aerodynamic package is made complete with the large, adjustable double-profile rear wing.
Design-wise, the sleek and tight dynamic lines combine the appeal of 1970s prototypes and elements typical of Lamborghini's DNA, like the hexagonal geometry that characterizes the front headlights and the roof airscoop and air vents that frame the steering wheel. There is also the unmistakable "Y," the stylistic feature repeated on the livery and in the cockpit, where each element represents the best compromise between light weight, functionality, and design. The instrument panel and dashboard are supported by an asymmetrical carbon "Y," a load-bearing and stylistic element that frames the cockpit that was designed to put the driver at the center of a top-tier driving experience.
The design of the multifunction steering wheel, complete with integrated driver display, was inspired by F1 single-seater steering wheels to offer the best ergonomics and a perfect feel. It is filled with buttons and toggles so the driver doesn't have to remove their hands from the wheel to accomplish many important tasks. An FIA-approved OMP seat with carbon shell embraces the driver to ensure comfort, safety, and stability.
So what's the part about not taking the car home? Since the Essenza is strictly a track car, and Lamborghini's intent is for owners to race it, buyers become part of an exclusive club that will give them access to special programs to drive their hypercar on some of the most prestigious race circuits in the world.
The program includes storage service in a new hangar built in Sant'Agata Bolognese in northern Italy for the Essenza SCV12 club. Each car will have a personalized garage and dedicated services. The facility also houses the "Lamborghini Squadra Corse Drivers Lab" by Tecnobody to offer athletic training programs similar to those followed by the official Lamborghini racing drivers, so owners are really buying into a full-blown race-training experience.
The track calendar is scheduled to start in 2021 with "arrive and drive" events held at numerous FIA Grade 1 circuits. Assistance will be provided by the Squadra Corse technical staff with the support of Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an impressive tutor for the customer-drivers. Marco Mapelli, Lamborghini Squadra Corse Factory Driver, will also help out.
And if you are an Essenza owner and miss seeing your little racing treasure, the storage program includes webcams to allow customers to monitor their cars 24 hours a day using an app. Nice to know for about $3.5 million it comes with its own baby monitor.