The Lamborghini Miura was the first great supercar. The Miura, named after a breed of Spanish fighting bulls, was filled with revolutionary ideas. It was designed by a young Marcello Gandini, who had yet to make his name in styling. It was powered by one of only two V12 engines available (the other was in use by Ferrari), and was the first to mount it transversely. It was the world's first powerful, mid-engined sports car. Automotive fans and press raved after a prototype was shown at the 1965 Turin Automobile Show. This was astounding indeed, as the prototype was simply a chassis and mockup engine. Upon showing the first complete Miura, Lamborghini immediately received 10 orders, a third of what they had expected to sell over the model's entire life!
1967 saw the first production Miura. The Miura P400 (Posteriore 4-liter) sold for just over $19,000. For comparison, a Mustang GT-350 cost less than $3,000 (says Transitional Man)! The P400's V12 engine produced 350 horsepower, while the vehicle weighed less than a ton! The factory estimated its top speed at 300 km/h, but in reality it was much lower. At the end of 1968, Lamborghini unveiled the P400 S (Spinto). The only immediate changes were the addition of chrome trim and a 20-horsepower boost to the engine. Over the life of the S model, it came to include ventilated disc brakes and an upgraded rear suspension.
In 1971, the last and greatest model was shown at the Geneva Auto Show. The Miura SV (Sport Veloce) had a wider rear stance and a more powerful engine. Some SVs were also equipped with a split sump lubrication system separating the engine and transmission, while very few received a limited slip differential. All SVs have subtle styling differences when compared to earlier models. Fewer than 800 Miuras were built by 1973, when production ceased to retool the factory for the Lamborghini Countach.