Reuniting the Aventador SV with the Miura SV

The reunion of the Lamborghini Aventador SV with the car that began the supercar era signals a poignant moment for motoring.

April 16, 2017

0-100kmh: 2.8 seconds

A short insight into how I like to review cars: I still adhere to the old practice of placing a dictaphone in the car while I drive. Most of the time it records me talking to myself but for the 750bhp, 6.5-litre, V12 Lamborghini Aventador SV there were no words – for a few reasons. 

One was that nothing I could say could top the shrill of that V12 at its 8,400rpm change up point, while another was that I was giggling like a child not believing that I was taming the wild bull in these wet and slippery conditions in Spain on our way to meet its grandfather.

 Yes, 50 years later, the Aventador SV was about to be reunited with the original SV, the Miura and we were to do this on the hallowed, muddy turf of the Miura family’s stud farm in Lora del Rio.

Okay, Lamborghini is Italian and we’re in Spain, so allow me to explain. Italian tractor manufacturer Ferrucio Lamborghini was a fan of Spanish bull fighting and knew the best bulls were the Miura bulls. What he didn’t know was that Miura was the family of breeders and not the actual name of the bull.

So with the prototype, as yet unnamed Miura car, he drove to Spain to find the Miura farm, saw the name on the gate and drove in. As Eduardo Miura told me, “He never met us before, he just drove in thinking that the best fighting bulls were called Miuras so we had to tell him it was our family name. But he was here in the car eventually called Miura as well as an Islero which was also named later after one of our bulls that killed four matadors.”

The common belief is that Ferrucio and the Miura family were known to each other before and long before the car had been built, but here was the real story. In reality it’s merely semantics as nothing could take away from the car that coined the ‘supercar’ term in 1971. Here was its ultimate iteration, the SV Super Veloce on loan from the museum, for the first time, sitting side-by-side with the current SV, the Aventador.

What’s similar? Both are V12s without turbos or any of that new stuff, but that’s about it. As the Miura SV hailed the dawn of the current supercar era, the Aventador sends it off in a grand final farewell as these cars bookend the supercar generation and it’s merely a coincidence that they’re both from the same manufacturer.

With increasing pressure to meet tightening emission standards and downsize, the Aventador could well be the last normally aspirated V12 that doesn’t use hybrid technology to deliver its unrivalled performance. Which brings me back to my laughter recorded on the dictaphone. My car was the SV roadster with its removable roof and fold down back window so that I got the full, untainted V12 roar from behind my head. With no turbo whistle – or lag to interfere nor any of that noise cancelling malarkey that’s in most new cars now, I had nothing but the full aural orchestra of 12 uninhibited cylinders inches behind my head, mixed with a bit of rain and the smell of fuel vapour. 

Heck was this really a 2017 new car? Yes it was and I stepped from the SV with a heavy heart knowing that this is the last of the line for proper, hairy-chested muscle cars that twitched sideways on the upchange and that screamed with such fury my vision went fuzzy above 8,000rpm. Supercar, I will miss you.

Who’s your daddy?

It was time to meet its daddy, the Miura SV. This was a moment I’d been savouring since I was about five years old after seeing Rossano Brazzi for the first time flick those Renauld Spectaculars sunglasses onto his face with a fluid one-handed movement, seemingly at the same time as down shifting the pristine, orange Miura along the snow-capped Stelvio Pass in northern Italy in the opening credits of the 1969 classic movie The Italian Job. Stringback driving gloves were made for this scene alone. 

Firing up the Miura SV on the outer edges of the Miura family’s farm gave a small puff and a smell of unburnt fuel, perhaps too rich on the choke. Then it settled to an idle. Engaging first gear in its classic, polished alloy gated shift with a firm feel and a slip of the clutch I gingerly got going and we were off in a priceless, exotic museum piece.

Unlike the modern Aventador SV, the noise wasn’t (sadly) the sound of that 385bhp, 4-litre, V12 screaming with its six Webber carburetors behind my head, but the whine of the manual transmission on the hefty clutch plate. 

Times have changed indeed as I carefully and slowly slipped it into second, careful not to crunch the gears and totally the opposite of the Aventador’s paddle shift that allows flat out upchanges at redline. Driving the Miura SV was akin to driving your dad’s car for the first time – with him beside you. Utmost respect was the order of the day. For the record I also recorded my thoughts when driving the Miura but it’s hard to convey the genuine breathless moments in your life. Lamborghini has turned 50 and nothing caps five decades of supercars marking the beginning and quite possibly its end, like the SV.

The specs

  • Engine: 6.5-litre, V12
  • Power: 750bhp @8,400rpm
  • Torque: 690Nm @ 5,500rpm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed paddle shift
  • 0-100kmh: 2.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 350kmh
  • Price: AED 1,900,000