The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is the most poweful Lamborghini ever! But you can’t drive it on the road

The 2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is a track-only supercar produced by Lamborghini. Unveiled in 2020, it’s developed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the company’s racing division, and designed by Lamborghini Centro Stile. A bespoke design that looks nothing like Lamborghini’s other vehicles, the Essenza SCV12 is limited to only 40 units and comes with its own racing program. Like other bespoke customer track cars from the past, such as the Ferrari FXX K and the McLaren P1 GTR, all examples of the Essenza SCV12 remain with Lamborghini outside specific customer events. Labeled as a direct descendant to the Miura Jota and Diablo GTR, the Essenza SCV12 is powered by a V-12 rated at more than 818 horsepower, which makes it the most powerful Lambo V-12 supercar developed so far.

Exterior

  • Unique design
  • A full-fledged race car
  • Inspired by 1970s prototypes
  • Headlamps in the bumper
  • Open rear fascia
  • Wide side skirts
  • Sleek cabin
  • Race-spec aerodynamics
  • Massive rear wing
  • Three-piece bodywork
2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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Although most limited-edition Lamborghini's are based on an existing model, the Essenza SCV12 is completely bespoke and doesn't share styling elements with existing cars.

It’s sleek and includes typical Lambo cues, such as hexagonal geometry and Y-shaped elements, but other than that, it stands on its own. Lamborghini says that its design is inspired by 1970s prototypes, while its aerodynamics are inspired by modern racing prototypes.

Up front, the Essenza SCV12 bears just a minor resemblance to the race-spec Huracan, but that’s because the front hood features a double air intake and a central rib. Lambo used this hood because it separates the airflow coming from the radiator and sends cold air to the scoop on the roof. Another notable feature is the fact that the Essenza SCV12 doesn’t have headlamps on the upper fenders, like most production Lamborghini models. The main lights on this model are mounted low and toward the corners of the front bumper, basically flanking the car’s wide and flat grille. The lights feature a hexagonal shape, one of Lambo’s most used modern styling cue.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The Essenza’s profile is very similar thanks to its short nose, canopy-style roof, and long decklid with a sloping engine cover. But the rear fenders are notably taller and wider than other Lamborghini’s, while the side skirts are extended further away from the body. The big vertical fins behind the front wheels optimize the airflow toward the massive vents in the rear fenders, which provide cooling to both the engine and the gearbox. The wheels measure 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear, but unlike on production Lamborghini road cars, they ’’re made from magnesium.

The rear end of the Essenza SCV12 is as radical as they get. Like most prototype race cars out there, the rear fascia is devoid of any panels, leaving the rear section of the drivetrain completely exposed. Only a handful of elements prevent the rear from being a massive, open rectangle, like the thin taillights, the frame of the diffuser, and the mounting area of the wing’s central post. The diffuser features four vertical fins grouped in pairs, and it’s flanked by big, round exhaust pipes.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The engine cover features big louvers placed in the shape of the letter Y, but it’s the massive, two-profile wing that catches all the attention here.

This active aero element contributes to the Essenza SCV12's extreme downforce of 2,645 pounds at 155 mph, which exceeds that of a full-fledged GT3-spec race car.

Lamborghini designed the structure of the bodywork like that of a proper race car. It’s formed of only three elements, which enables quick replacement when necessary during pit stops. Granted, no customer will want to crash his expensive Lambo on the race track, but it can happen, and spare parts will be readily available.

The Essenza SCV12 was unveiled with four different liveries, Verde Silvans, Grigio Linx, Nero Aldebaran Gloss, and Arancio California, all of which are exclusive to this race car.

Interior

  • Unique design
  • Alcantara upholstery
  • Exposed carbon-fiber
  • F1-inspired steering wheel
  • Race-spec seats
  • Ready for any FIA event
  • Red and white accents
2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Interior
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Just like the exterior, the interior of the Essenza SCV12 is unique. There are no traces of Aventador or Huracan designs, and it looks nothing like the Huracan GT3 race car.

Somewhat unexpectedly for a track-only car, the dashboard sports an organic design with complex shapes on the passenger side and layers that overlap each other. That’s rather dramatic compared to other race-spec cars that feature no-nonsense dashboards.

But look close enough, and you’ll notice how Lamborghini used its trademark Y-shaped design cue for the center stack. An asymmetrical Y trickles down from the center dashboard to from the center stack that’s angled toward the driver seat. Made entirely from carbon-fiber, this element houses a big panel of switches and knobs. An Alcantara-covered center console extends from the bottom and runs between the seats.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Interior
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Speaking of Alcantara, this is the number one choice for automakers in race-spec vehicles, and the Essenza SCV12 is no exception from this rule. The upper dashboard, the center console, and the seats are all wrapped in this fabric, as are the steering wheel handles for extra grip. Almost everything else is exposed carbon-fiber, including the lower dashboard, the door panels, and the steering wheel.

The steering wheel itself is a big highlight in this race-spec cabin. Inspired by Formula One racing, it features a display in the center.

The screen shows performance-related information, and it’s flanked by four colored buttons on each side plus four switches at the bottom.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Interior
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The carbon-fiber shell seats are not only heavily contoured to provide solid later support at the track, but they also comply with FIA regulations. The predominantly black interior is rounded off by red door pull loops, red accents on the center console, and white seaming on the seats. Lambo didn’t say whether it will offer Alcantara upholstery in different colors, but it could be an option since glare isn’t an issue with this material.

Drivetrain

  • 6.5-liter V-12
  • 818 horsepower
  • No torque info
  • Six-speed sequential gearbox
  • Likely hits more than 210 mph
  • Gearbox is a structural element
  • New carbon monocoque
  • Push-rod rear suspension
  • Bremo braking system
  • Slick Pirelli tires
2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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Although it's not based on any existing Lamborghini model, the Essenza SCV12 features the company's tried-and-true V-12 engine.

Lambo did not release the full specifics yet, but this track car is probably powered by an upgraded variant of the naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter V-12 that motivates the Aventador. It’s not clear whether the company’s engineers had to increase displacement to squeeze more power, but Lambo did say that the mill pumps out 830 PS (818 horsepower) thanks to a ram air induction system.

Is the 2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 more powerful than the Aventador?

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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At 818 horsepower, the Essenza SCV12 is notably more powerful than any existing version of the Aventador. The current Aventador S comes with 730 horses on tap, 88 below the Essenza. The most powerful version of the Aventador, the SVJ, generates 759 horsepower, 59 horses less than the SCV12.

But the Aventador wasn’t Lambo’s most powerful V-12 car until now. That title went to the Sian FKP 37, which features a V-12 that generates 774 horsepower. That’s still 44 horses below the Essenza SCV12. Actually, the Sian’s combined hybrid output is still below the Essenza’s at 807 horsepower. This means that the Essenza SCV12 is not only the most powerful V-12 Lambo ever built, but it’s also the most powerful Lambo with any drivetrain configuration.

Is the 2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 faster than other Lambos?

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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Lamborghini has yet to release performance figures, but the Essenza SCV12 could be the quickest and fastest Lamborghini produced so far. Given the extra oomph and revised aero, the Essenza SCV12 should be a tad quicker than supercars like the Aventador SVJ and Sian FKP 37. Both hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, so the Essenza SCV12 could hit the benchmark in 2.6 clicks. As far as top speed goes, the Aventador SVJ hits 219 mph, while the Sian is limited to 217 mph. It remains to be seen is the Essenza SCV12 is faster, and this depends a lot on the aero setup, but this supercar will definitely hit at least 210 mph.

The Essenza SCV12 also features a new exhaust system design by Capristo. It reduces back pressure and helps improve performance, but it also enhances the sound of the engine. The V-12 mates to a new X-trac, six-speed sequential gearbox that’s also a structural element within the chassis.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Interior
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But the biggest news here is that the Essenza SCV12 features a new-generation monocoque chassis without an internal roll cage, and it’s the first GT car developed to comply with FIA prototype safety regulations. The push-rod rear suspension is installed directly on the gearbox, a solution adopted from racing prototypes that ensures maximum agility and stability on the race track.

Stopping power comes from brake discs and calipers by Brembo Motorsport, while the magnesium wheels are wrapped in slick Pirelli tires developed specifically for this model. Regular tires aren’t available since customers won’t be able to drive the Essenza SCV12 on public roads.

Racing program

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The Essenza SCV12 is the kind of car that the customers won’t be able to take home with them.

Just like the Ferrari FXX K and the McLaren P1 GTR, the Essenza SCV12 will remain with Lamborghini between track sessions.

But Lambo has developed a special racing program for it. Essentially a club for the 40 owners, this racing program will enable customers to drive their cars on the most iconic circuits in the world. There’s no list to talk about just yet, but it should include tracks like the Nurburgring, Spa Francorchamps, Silverstone, Laguna Seca, and Suzuka, among others.

The program also includes a storage service in a new hangar that Lamborghini built in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Each car will have a personalized garage and a range of dedicated services, including webcams, to allow customers to monitor their cars 24 hours a day using an app. The same facility houses Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s "Drivers Lab," which offers training programs similar to those followed by the brand’s official racing drivers.

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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Lambo says that the track calendar will start in 2021 with "arrive and drive" events held at "numerous FIA Grade 1 homologated circuits." All customers will be assisted by the Squadra Corse technical staff with the support of Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Marco Mapelli, Lamborghini Squadra Corse Factory Driver.

How much does the 2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 cost?

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The Essenza SCV12 will reportedly cost €3 million, which converts to around $3.5 million as of August 2020. That’s a lot of money for a car that you can’t take home, but I’m pretty sure Lambo won’t have a hard time finding 40 rich enthusiasts to pay that amount for the experience. In all, Lamborghini will make around $140 million with these cars, but a large amount of it will probably be needed to cover development costs.

The Essenza SCV12 is the second-most expensive Lamborghini ever produced. The title goes to the Veneno, which was sold for $5.3 million a piece.

The Roadster version of the Veneno was even more expensive at a whopping $9.5 million.

Does the 2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 have any competitors?

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The Essenza SCV12 doesn’t have any competitors, and that’s simply because it’s not road legal, and it won’t race against other cars but itself on the track. Lamborghini’s racing program is pretty much a one-make series that will see up to 40 owners go head-to-head on the race track.

Conclusion

2021 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Exterior
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The Essenza SCV12 is a car that Lamborghini should have built years ago. Ferrari, its biggest competitor, has been offering similar supercars with racing programs since the early 2000s, so it was about time that Lamborghini followed suit. But it’s better late than never, and needless to say, unlike Ferrari’s track-only cars based on road-going models, the Essenza SCV12 has nothing in common with Lambo’s current vehicles. It’s more unique and more exclusive, so that must count for something.

  • Leave it
    • Not road-legal
    • Extremely expensive
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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