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What makes the Miura so special. In 1966 there was nothing like it. Only racing cars and the obscure little French marque named Bonnet Matra Djet which had mid-mounted engines.
Ferrari's road-going mainstay was the traditional front-engined 275 GTB. So when tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini stole the attention of the Geneva Salon crowd with the Miura, people were shocked as much by its audacious mechanical layout as they were by its era-defining and stunningly gorgeous styling.
Ferruccio Lamborghini's bold challenge to Ferrari had begun in 1964 with the 350 GT, but it was the arrival of the Miura-arguably the founder of the supercar class-that established Lamborghini as a major manufacturer of luxury sporting cars.
Prior to the model's official debut at the 1966 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini cars were respected for their impressive mechanical specifications, but they somehow lacked a distinctive persona.
All this changed with the arrival of the Miura, named after Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of fighting bulls.
The Miura project first surfaced as a rolling chassis displayed at the 1965 Turin Motor Show, but was not expected to become a production reality. Nevertheless, by the time of the Geneva Salon the following year, the first completed car was ready for unveiling to an awestruck press and public.
The Lamborghini Miura's technical specifications where breathtaking in its sophistication and complexity. Designed by Gianpaolo Dallara, the Miura chassis carried its transversely mounted engine amidships in a box-section platform chassis, the latter clothed in stunning coupe coachwork styled by Bertone's Marcello Gandini.
Like the contemporary 400 GT, the Miura used the 4-liter version of Lamborghini's Giotto Bizzarrini-designed 4-cam V12. With 350 hp available, the Miura was capable of shattering performance, a top speed of 285 [km/h] being claimed.
Production examples were independently tested at more than 270 [km/h], confirming that the Lamborghini Miura was the world's fastest production car.
Initial Miura development concentrated on chassis strengthening, these and other improvements being consolidated in the - S - version introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1968.
Produced from January 1969, the Miura P400 S featured a more powerful 370 [bhp] engine and was outwardly distinguishable from the preceding model by its wider tires.
Other improvements included a quieter transmission, electric windows, better quality interior fittings, leather trim and a rerouted exhaust system that left room for a larger luggage compartment.
Later, Series II examples benefited from ventilated brake discs that markedly reduced fade. 338 were built before the introduction of the SV version in 1971.
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