For all that I love its V8s and V10s, Lamborghini is the V12. It’s an over-the-top option for an over-the-top company, and for decades, Lamborghini only had the money (or desire) to keep developing its original 1960s engine design. But there was one moment of derivation.
That would be the never-produced Lamborghini Marzal, which ran half of a 4.0-litre Lambo V12, a 2.0-litre straight six mounted sideways in Miura fashion. As we wrote in 2011:
The Marzal is the apotheosis of the original Lamborghini ethos. Designed by the same Marcello Gandini of Bertone who designed the Miura and the Countach, it was a dream of space, a dream of a clean and beautiful sci-fi future, a gullwing prototype with 50 square feet of glass and only half an engine.
Like no Lamborghini ever made, the Marzal had a 2-litre straight-six, a single cylinder block from a Miura, all in the name of high speed travel in splendid comfort. The engine was mounted transversely in the rear to maximise interior space, a twist on the way Alec Issigonis approached the Mini. The interior was hexagons run wild, and it was surrounded on all sides by so much glass that when you stand next to the car, it feels more like a fleeting X-ray than a big Lamborghini.
When Lamborghini put this design into production, it just put the V12 in the nose of the thing, making the Espada. The half-12 was a way to cram, basically, a second row of seats where the front bank of cylinders would have otherwise gone.
It’s a dream of a car, see-through and as period-appropriate as a 1967 concept could be.