In 2022, the Lamborghini brand celebrates the birth of the legendary V12 engine. It is this engine block that has provided power for the company’s top iconic supercar models for nearly 60 years. One of them includes the Espada 400 GT – Lamborghini’s first 4-seat car and the best-selling model for many years.

The car was built to incorporate a distinctive approach to technical innovation thanks to the front-mounted Lamborghini 4-liter V12 engine. The “pure” V12 internal combustion engine will stop production before the end of 2022 when the last Aventador Ultimae rolls off the production line. From next year, the Aventador successor will be equipped with a new plug-in hybrid version of the V12 engine.

Ferruccio Lamborghini from the beginning pursued the goal of creating a sports car that was not only fast, but also comfortable and luxurious. Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968, the Espada 400 GT embodied this idea perfectly for more than a decade. The Espada can comfortably seat four adults and the rear has more space for both luggage and passengers compared to the 400 GT 2+2 and Islero 400 GT 2+2.

In addition, the Espada also has impressive finishes with a variety of leather and other refined materials as well as the option to install air conditioning. Power steering was introduced as an option in 1969 and was made standard from 1972 onwards. A version with automatic transmission was also available from 1974. The technical basis of the Espada was a 60° V12 engine first produced in 1963 with a capacity of 3.5 liters, which was later increased. to 4 liters in 1964.

This engine block is capable of providing 325 horsepower at 7200 rpm when first equipped on the Espada. This was increased to 350 horsepower at 7500 rpm in the Espada Series II introduced in 1970. The model also had six Weber 40 DCOE sidecar carburetors, a V12 engine with a compression ratio of 9, 5:1 (increased to 10.7:1 from Series II onwards) and two chain-driven camshafts. This engine block weighs only 232 kg thanks to the significant use of aluminum in the construction of not only the cylinder head but also the crankcase and pistons. It was mounted at the front in a slightly forward position compared to the previous Lamborghini 350/400 GT engine, to make the interior more spacious.

In November 1968, an Espada “Lancomat” with air suspension was displayed at the Turin Motor Show. Espada is an extremely fast large passenger car, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 245 to 260 km/h, an impressive number not inferior to its “big brother” Miura.

When it was first launched, the Espada was the fastest four-seater car in the world. A total of 1226 cars were produced in the past including 176 Espada 400 GT Series 1 between 1968 and 1969, 578 Espada 400 GTE Series II between 1970 and 1972, and 472 Espada 400 GTS Series III between 1972 and 1978. The Espada VIP was introduced in 1971. The model was based on the Espada 400 GTE Series II and only 12 were produced.

The first models in this special range come in a special orange color and are upholstered in orange and black leather. Later cars were created with other color combinations. Inside, the Espada VIP has a mini bar, a refrigerator in the back seats and a Brionvega Algol 11 TV to entertain rear passengers. VIP is one of the most sought after car models by Espada collectors today.

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