Earlier this week, we got behind the wheel of the 759bhp Nurburgring-crushing Aventador SVJ – the most extreme version of the Aventador, featuring the most powerful V12 Lamborghini has ever created.
The ‘SV’ stands for ‘Super Veloce’, which means ‘super speed’. You don’t have to possess Alan Turing levels of brainpower to crack that code. The ‘J’ bit? Well, that stands for ‘Jota’. It dates back to 1970 when Lamborghini wanted to get the Miura into racing, so chief test drive/engineer Bob Wallace got hold of the FIA rulebook and turned to Appendix J – the section that dealt with homologation specials and one-offs.
Although the Miura never raced, the name (the letter J in Italian is pronounced Jota) stuck. It’s a name that has only ever been applied to the most extreme versions of Lamborghinis, starting with the original 1970 Miura P400 Jota.
It’s been used very sparingly since: neither the Countach nor the Murcielago ever wore it, but in 1993 Lamborghini created the Diablo SE30 Jota and two years later a one-off Diablo Jota to homologate two race cars for the Japanese GT championship.
Essentially cartoons masquerading cars, SV cars are a lighter, harder and faster version of already hard, fast V12 Lamborghinis. And the SVJ, which follows the SV Roadster which follows the SV Coupe, followed in the footsteps of, well, quite a few rather excellent Super Veloce models, actually.
Lamborghini has long harbored a fondness for taking its big V12s, and making them even more bombastic: more power, more aero, more, um, veloce.
So here are the Aventador SVJ’s ancestors, and it all started with the most famous Lamborghini of the bunch…