Spy Shots: Lamborghini Jota set to replace Murcielago in 2011

2011 Lamborghini Jota – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nine years ago the Lamborghini Murcielago replaced the Diablo as the marque's biggest bull, and in the automotive world – even in the rarified supercar realm – that's a lifetime and a half. Given the Murcie's age and the planet's ever-tightening emissions standards, it should come as no surprised that Lamborghini is hard at work on the Murcielago's successor. And along with a new name, the Jota will pack more power, less weight and a range of high-tech appointments.

Although the camouflage doesn't divulge much in the way of the Jota's exterior, expect certain elements of the Reventon to carry over to the largest Lambo. However, we suspect that advanced aerodynamics (and likely some active elements) will find their way onto the Jota, toning down Lamborghini's patented extreme styling (think McLaren MP4-12C with more creases and LEDs).

More important than the exterior (or the interior, which will reportedly ditch the offset driving position), is the all-new V12 nestled amidships. Early reports indicate that the new 7.0-liter V12 will put out over 700 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque to a new seven-speed automated manual transmission, with a sequential 'box with the same number of ratios available as an option. Lamborghini has apparently deemed the use of a dual-clutch tranny to be too much of a hastle, and as reported previously, a traditional gated manual won't find its way into future Lambos.

With a curb weight of around 3,300 pounds, it's safe to assume that the carbon fiber chassis Jota will be able to break the 60 mph mark in around three seconds, hit 100 mph in around six ticks and top out at 220 mph. In keeping with recent tradition, all-wheel drive will be standard – this time an adaption of Audi's Quattro system – complete with a new torque-vectoring differential measuring power to the rear wheels.

Considering the current pace of development and Lamborghini's penchant for unveiling a new model at every major auto show, the Jota should make its debut later this year at the Paris Motor Show or sometime in early 2011, with sales beginning in the middle of next year.

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