Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Driving with with style - Lamborghini (Miura)
The Lamborghini Miura is a sports car produced by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1966 and 1972. The car is widely considered to have begun the trend of high performance, two-seater, mid-engined sports cars. While the mid-engined layout had been used successfully in competition in cars such as the Ford GT40 and Ferrari 250 LM at Le Mans, the Miura was the first viable road car sporting the layout.
The Miura was originally conceived by Lamborghini's engineering team, who designed the car in their spare time against the wishes of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, who showed a preference towards producing powerful yet sedate grand touring cars, rather than the racecar-derived machines produced by local rival Ferrari. When its rolling chassis was presented at the 1965 Turin auto show, and the prototype P400 debuted at the 1966 Geneva show, the car received a stellar reception from showgoers and motoring press alike, who were impressed by Marcelo Gandini's sleek styling as well as the car's revolutionary design. Lamborghini's halo car, the Miura received periodic updates and remained in production until 1972, and was not replaced in the automaker's lineup until the Countach entered production in 1974, amidst tumultuous financial times for the company.
The last and most famous Miura, the P400SV or Miura SV featured different cam timing and altered carburetors. These gave the engine an additional 15 PS (11 kW; 15 hp), to 385 PS (283 kW; 380 hp). The last 96 SV engines included a limited slip differential which required a split sump. The gearbox now had its lubrication system separate from the engine, which allowed the use of the appropriate types of oil for the gearbox and the engine. This also alleviated concerns that metal shavings from the gearbox could travel into the engine with disastrous and expensive results.
The SV can be distinguished from its predecessors from its lack of "eyelashes" around the headlights, wider rear fenders to accommodate the new 9-inch wide rear wheels and Pirelli Cinturato tires, and different taillights. 150 SVs were produced.
There was a misprint in the SV owners manual indicating bigger intake valves in English size (but correct size in metric). The intake and exhaust valves in all 4 liter V12 Lamborghini remained the same throughout all models. This intake size misprint carried forward into Espada 400GT and Countach LP400/LP400S owners manuals as well.