To many, the introduction of the Lamborghini Miura heralded the birth of the “supercar” as we know it. Prior to its introduction in 1966, there were of course many cars that offered incredible levels of performance and exclusivity to the privileged few, but there were none like the Miura. It offered a thrilling combination of not only performance and tremendous speed but also design and technical innovation that were meant to shock and awe, as well as a price tag to match.
Its Bertone bodywork was penned by Marcello Gandini, and the development team included two brilliant engineers that were privileged enough to work on the Miura at the start of their long careers, Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani. Additionally, the Miura’s chassis was carefully tuned to provide excellent handling and control the Miura’s horsepower, which came at the hands of Bob Wallace, whose name would become inextricably linked with the brand from Sant’Agata Bolognese. Its mid-engined layout revolutionised the industry, and whilst the Miura was the only performance car of its kind in production, other manufacturers, including Ferrari, would quickly follow suit to remain competitive against this talented upstart.
Nineteen sixty-eight heralded the introduction of an updated Miura: the P400 S. This model retained the same gorgeous Bertone design penned by Marcello Gandini and featured the ongoing updates that were applied over the course of the production run of the original Miura P400.
Visually, what differentiated the P400 S from the P400 were bare-metal headlight bezels and its chrome-plated exterior window trim, as well as the addition of an “S” badge to the rear. Inside, the P400 S benefitted from higher-quality interior trim throughout and a revised instrument layout with power windows. Adding to interior comfort was air conditioning, which was made available in later models. Similarly subtle changes followed for the drivetrain, which resulted in 20 more horsepower being coaxed from the Miura’s 4.0-litre V-12, bringing total output to 370 horsepower. This was possible thanks to the installation of higher-lift camshafts with revised timing and the utilisation of four Weber 40IDL-3L carburettors. Additionally, the Miura’s splined driveshaft system was replaced with constant velocity joints. For the suspension, the Armstrong shocks were replaced by Koni shock absorbers.
Just like its predecessor, the P400 S’ performance was astounding. Road & Track tested a new P400 S Miura for their April 1970 issue and clocked a 5.5-second 0–60 mph time, as well as a top speed of 168 mph, whilst a later test by Autocar magazine that August cited a top speed of 172 mph.