One-off supercars typically fall into two categories. One, as the halfway interesting result of a special order placed by someone with more money than God. Or two, a manufacturer’s tribute to something it perceives as important. Of course, what it thinks is important doesn’t always align with the world beyond the factory gate thinks - but when the car in question has been created specifically to mark the end of the ‘V12 supercar era’, it’s probably safe to say that Lamborghini has our attention.
Actually, there are two cars - one, the Invencible, is a coupe, the other, Auténtica, is a roadster. They earn new names partly to signify their importance as the final models to feature the sensationally good 6.5-litre V12, but also to distinguish them from the Ultimae, the limited-edition - and supremely good - variant that not so very long ago capped off Aventador production. It isn’t unusual for owners of run-out cars to bristle at the arrival of something newer and more exclusive than the version they’ve just forked out for; presumably, the name change and celebratory nature of the latecomers are intended to head them off at the pass.
Regardless, the Lamborghini V12 has well-earned a final parting shot. Even without the impending, hand-wringing switch to a plug-in hybrid replacement, the rapaciously powerful naturally aspirated unit was already mounted on the shoulder of giants. The firm has been building such an engine since its inception, and while the 6.5-litre version was very much a new design - effectively retiring the long-running Bizzarrini-designed V12 upon its introduction - it has still underpinned Lamborghini’s flagship model for more than a decade.
“The V12 engine is one of the pillars of our history and our marque’s success,” said Lamborghini boss, Stephan Winkelmann. “As we head towards embracing a new era of hybridization at the heart of our Cor Tauri strategy, this is the Lamborghini way of celebrating the naturally aspirated V12 with two one-off vehicles that perfectly represent our concept of excellence in personalisation.”
Ah, yes - personalisation. This accounts for the new look. As you might expect, this is the handiwork of Lamborghini Centro Stile, and is said to have drawn influence from the ‘high-octane circuit environment’ found at track days, as well as standout moments from the brand’s recent design DNA - specifically the Sesto Elemento, the Reventón and the oft-forgotten Veneno - while retaining the firm’s obsession with its hexagon motif.
Structurally, of course, both coupe and roadster share the Aventador’s carbon fibre monocoque and all the new bodywork is built from the stuff, too. The interior of both cars is easily recognisable, as well - although the removal of the infotainment screen from a lowered centre console is a masterstroke - with Lamborghini promising to ‘focus attention on pure driving enjoyment’, even though you’d need to pull over to fully take in a multitude of detailed colour and material trim changes.
As ever, quite how much either car can expect to be driven is down to the people who were invited to commission them. Lamborghini makes no mention of their identities (assuming it has selected a brace of lucky souls to be the recipients, and isn't keeping them for itself) nor how much it has opted to charge for the pleasure of taking delivery. But black-and-white confirmation that ‘the Invencible and Auténtica are the very last cars to be produced by Lamborghini equipped with a 12-cylinder 6.5-litre engine mounted longitudinally in the rear (Longitudinale Posteriore: ‘LP’) before the transition to a hybrid era’ will certainly have ensured a fantastical seven-figure asking price.
On the basis that you get the same 780hp from the V12 offered in the Ultimae (connected to the same single-clutch automated manual, powering all four wheels in the same way, and therefore probably the same 0-62mph-in-2.8-second performance) it is obviously possible to regard both cars as superfluous cherries atop an already lavishly iced cake. But, definitively, they remain the finishing touch on a captivating breed of modern supercar. Make of that what you will.
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