• Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 - The Race Car That Cannot Be Raced

The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 will let you experience the full thrill of driving a race car, but without the actual racing

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The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is one of the craziest spin-offs of the now-discontinued Lamborghini Aventador. While the standard lineup of the Raging Bull is exciting enough for most, those craving the genuine, visceral feel of a proper race car can opt for the radical Essenza SCV12. But, there lies the problem. The Essenza is a track-only race car, but it has no racing series to compete in.

The Essenza SCV12 is a track-only vehicle, manufactured by Lamborghini’s motorsports division. Only 40 units were planned, with each costing $2.5 million. Earlier, when we said “Aventador spin-off”, we meant that it was (very) loosely based on it. It’s underpinned by a heavily modified carbon-fiber chassis and has a carbon-fiber monocoque strenghtened to FIA’s hypercar race class, without the need for a roll-cage.

Drivetrain & Performance

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 - The Race Car That Cannot Be Raced Exterior
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Powering the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is the company’s treasured, 6.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-12. In this trim, it packs 819 horsepower and 516 pound-feet (702 Nm). Interestingly enough, the engine has been reverse-mounted, compared to the Aventador, and sends power to the rear wheels only, through a six-speed X-Trac sequential transmission.

The entire rear suspension, which has multi-adjustable dampers, is mounted directly to the transmission, which necessitated a web of metalwork in order to connect the transmission to the monocoque. Because the SCV12 has very few body panels, it has a curb weight of just 3,042 pounds (1,380 kg).

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 specifications
Engine 6.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-12
Power 819 HP
Torque 516 LB-FT
Transmission six-speed X-Trac sequential
Weight 3,042 lbs


Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 - The Race Car That Cannot Be Raced Exterior
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The exterior of the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is, arguably, the most radical of any Lamborghini that has a fixed roof. The body features front and rear clamshells, both of which can be fully detached for easier access to the car’s mechanicals. Vast cooling ducts can be found on the side as well as the entire front fascia.

Speaking of the front, the SCV12’s headlights are positioned at the lower part of the fascia, similar to a Porsche 935 Moby Dick – another race car - which, unlike the Essenza, actually witnessed racing. At the rear, the “Lambo” features the obligatory tall rear wing.


Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 - The Race Car That Cannot Be Raced Interior
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Although, technically a race car, the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 interior is not as bare-bone as a proper competition car. While the lack of a roll-cage makes getting in and out of the car much easier than in cars that actually compete, the view from the tight, carbon-fiber bucket seat is no different. There’s also a yoke steering wheel, where many of the buttons are located.

The rest are positioned on the thin center console, tilted towards the pilot. Among them are scroll-wheels, for adjusting the ABS and traction control intervention and a rotating knob for adjusting the differential preload. Inside the cockpit, you will also find plenty of “naked” carbon fiber and design elements, inspired by aeronautics. And let’s not forget about the red, engine-start button.

The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is an expensive toy

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 - The Race Car That Cannot Be Raced Exterior
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The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is not the first track-only car without a dedicated racing series. The LaFerrari FXX K, Pagani Huayra R, and others are, essentially, race cars without a racing series. The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is among them, which makes it a very expensive toy. Sadly, like the rest of the above-mentioned machines, the SCV12’s engine does not meet emission standards.

It’s also not built to comply with noise or other regulations, including where the headlights should be or how tall they must be. On the plus side, if you are rich enough to own one, there’s a good chance you can make your own racing series. But, until then, the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 remains, at least on paper, one of the greatest race cars that aren’t allowed to race.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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