When Lamborghini unveiled the 350GT back in 1964, everyone was impressed and the car turned out to be a huge success. But Ferruccio Lamborghini decided he can do even better. He wanted the car with perfect design and technology, a car to impress and create sensation. And he had all this with the Miura launched in 1966. Maybe the Miura name says it all: it is the name of a Spanish ranch whose bulls have a proverbial attack instinct.
Until then mid-engined layouts have been used by Ford, Porsche, Abarth and Ferrari especially to dominate the race-tracks. But Ferruccio had no interest in that. He wanted a car for the road. So, he asked a team of three men to create his car: Giampaolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace. After more than a year of work they have come with a first prototype at the 1965 Turin Auto Show. And even if people were excited about it, many of them doubt the car will ever see production.
But only one year after Lamborghini brought the production version at the Geneva Motor Show where it created a sensation. The first production model was delivered in December 1966, after three prototypes have been created (one of which destroyed in a road accident). Miura was and still is in the top three most beautiful cars in the world.
Ferruccio wanted his car to be limited to only 30 units, but because of the huge demand he had to reconsider his decision.
Miura featured a sensational design: retractable headlights surrounded by slatted black eyelashes, a flamboyant bodywork and unusual engine and clam-shell opening hoods on both the front and rear of the car.
Lamborghini built three different Miura series: P400, S, and the SV, each of them coming with aesthetically and mechanical changes.
1966 - 1969 Miura P400
The first Miura models were known as the P400 (Posteriore 4 litri). They were powered by the same 4,0 liter V12 engine used in the 400 GT. The engine was mounted transversely and produced 350 hp.
The Miura P400 entered production in March of 1967 and was priced at $20,000. Between between 1966 and 1969 Lamborghini delivered 275 units.
In 1968 at the Brussels Motor Show, Lamborghini revealed the Miura P400 Roadster. It featured a targa-topped cockpit, re-profiled rear bodywork, new tail facia and custom back light clusters. There was only one Roadster produced and is currently a collectors car.
1969 - 1971 Miura S
In 1968 at the Turin Auto Show, lamborghini revealed the new Miura series. It was called P400 S (or Miura S) with S standing for Spinto (’Pushed’ or ’Tuned’). Most of the changes were mechanical and not aesthetically: chrome plating replaced the matte black window frames, it featured a Miura S logo on the rear, while on the interior it received a redesigned roof-mounted console, electric windows as standard and rocker command switches. Customers were also able to opt for to air conditioning and full leather trim.
The engine’s output has been increased by 20 hp to 370 HP. The Miiura S could hit a top speed of 177 mph, being the fastest Lamborghini at the time.
1971 – 1972 Miura SV
Having become a legend with the Miura and Miura S models since their production began in 1966, in the spring of 1971 Ferruccio Lamborghini surprised the world with the new Super Car Countach LP 500. Because the demand for the Miura was still high and preparations were still underway for the mass production of the Countach LP 500, the company decided to present the evolution of the Miura, the SV model (Sprint Veloce), with its wider mud guard and greatly revamped 385 HP engine with separate lubricating systems for engine and gearbox.
The SV can be distinguished from its predecessors from its lack of "eyelashes" around the headlights, wider rear fenders to accommodate the new 9-inch wide rear wheels and Pirelli Cinturato tires, and different taillights. Also the carburetor changed the intakes were larger.
The Miura SV could hit a top speed of 186 mph.
After 150 units produced, the last Miura SV was delivered on 15th January 1973 to the son of the car manufacturer Ferdinando Innocenti.