Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini MiuraThe Miura grew out of the desire of Dallara, Wallace and Stanzani (the main designers at Lamborghini) to go racing. They developed a new chassis with a mid-mounted transverse engine in the hope of persuading Lamborghini to race it. That attempt failed, but the chassis was displayed on the Lamborghini stand at the 1965 Turin Motorshow and Lamborghini asked Bertone to design a body for it to use as a show car.

The design work was carried out by Gandini and Giugiaro (both at Bertone) and revealed to the world at the Geneva Motorshow in 1966. Although having had no plans to produce it, Lamborghini took 17 deposits at the show and so production was go. Significant development was again necessary to turn a basic race car into a road car, the main problems being the heat and noise of the engine, being mounted directly behind the occupants heads. The wheelbase was increased slightly, a vertical rear window (double glazed) and lots of insulation inserted behind the occupants, a slatted cover replaced the window over the engine, extra air ducts forced air around the engine and and the front radiators were mounted vertically.

Lamborghini MiuraWhen the car entered production, it used a chassis comprising a central section, including the floor, given strength by the large sills and centre tunnel, and extensions front and rear for the suspension and engine and suspension respectively. The engine was basically a 400GTV unit, with the same vertical carburettors and 350bhp. A Sprint verion was also available with (a claimed) 430bhp - probably nearer 380. The main difference was that the transmission housing was cast together with the crankcase, the gears being housed below the engine in the sump. The steering adopted a rack-and-pinion layout. The interior of the Miura reverted to the more traditional (ie rather poor) Italian style, rather than the plush trim of previous Lamborghinis.

Lamborghini Miura cockpitThe Brussels Show of 1968 saw Bertone reveal a spider version, the Roadster, but nothing came of that project. In 1968 changes to the production model included more power (up to 370bhp), a larger boot (due to a revised exhaust system), new seats and a slightly improved interior, chrome trim around the windows and headlights and electric windows as standard. In this form the car became known as the Miura S.

This continued in production until 1971 when the Miura SV was revealed. Using many of the features improved in the Jota (see below) the SV had 385bhp, a strengthened rear chassis, wider wheels and larger tyres, some suspension modifications and a variety of detail changes such as the loss of the 'eyebrows' over the headlights, new secondary front lighting and revesing lights at the rear. The most significant change was the new engine where the sump and gearbox were finally separated, allowing different oils to be used, but the brakes also got ventilated discs (as had the last S versions).

A total of  474 P400's, 140 P400S's and 141 P400SV's were built until 1973, as well as the one Roadster, one Jota and four SVJ's (or factory Jota replicas).

Lamborghini Miura - view of the engine installation
Lamborghini Miura - view under the 'bonnet'

Technical Details
Engine 3929cc (82x62mm) 60deg V12 with dohc (per bank) and 350bhp @ 7,000rpm
'S' with 370bhp @ 7,700rpm
'SV' with 385bhp @ 7,850rpm
Suspension  front : double wishbone and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : double wishbone and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
wheelbase : 2500mm
track (front/rear) : 1412mm/1412mm (SV : 1410mm/1540mm)
Brakes discs all round with servo assistance, later cars had ventilated discs
mechanical handbrake operating on the rear wheels
Transmission 5 speed manual
single plate dry clutch and ZF locking differential
Steering rack-and-pinion (by ZF)
2.75 turns lock-to-lock
Empty weight original - 980kg; S - 1050kg; SV - 1305kg

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The Jota

Lamborghini Jota - a factory built replicaWorth a brief mention on its own is the Jota, despite the fact that only one prototype was built and then written-off, followed by three replicas (with less powerful engines). It came into being as a 'private' project of Wallace's, still keen on racing. Basically a Miura re-engineered for racing, it featured major use of lightweight materials, including an aluminium floor and bodyshell. The latter also featured significantly larger wheelarches to cover the bigger wheels and tyres. The suspension featured competition style adjustable components whilst the brakes got ventilated discs. The powertrain was modified to separate the engine and transmission oil supplies, the former getting a dry-sump system. Numerous other modifications were made to reduce the weight and cope with the increased performance.

Lamborghini Jota - a factory built replica

Lamborghini Miura Roadster Return to the main Lamborghini page, use the buttons at the top to navigate further, or 


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