The top 10 driver’s cars with donor engines

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4

Engine donor: Audi

The shrill yelp of Lamborghini’s V10 had been standing the hairs up on the back of drivers’ necks since the Gallardo was launched in 2003. But it was, in Lamborghini’s own words, at its limit in terms of development. For 2008, a bigger-capacity 5.2-litre V10 made its debut, and it was largely developed by Audi. A new directinjection system helped lift power to 560bhp, and no one was heard to complain about the association with the German parent company.

Pagani Zonda

Engine donor: Mercedes-AMG

When your competitors are Ferrari and Lamborghini, you need something special in the engine department to convince prospective customers to add your supercar to their garage. Which is why Horacio Pagani turned to Mercedes-AMG and its naturally aspirated M120 V12 to power his Zonda.

Over time it would grow from 6.0 litres to 7.0 then 7.3, and would provide no less a spectacular sense of occasion than the best that the Italians could offer.

, The top 10 driver’s cars with donor engines

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

Engine donor: Ford

These days, ‘Aston Martin’ and ‘V12’ are as inextricably linked as fruit and nut, but in the mid-1990s the sports car maker had yet to stretch beyond six- and eight-cylinder lumps and build a V12-powered car. That would all change with 1999’s DB7 Vantage.

The basis of the new V12 engine was the Ford Duratec V6. Ford owned Aston Martin through its Premier Automotive Group, and Walter Hayes, Aston’s CEO, was a former Ford man who was able to smooth the way for the project to get the nod. It was built at Ford’s Cologne factory, in the west of Germany, and went on to power the Vanquish, DB9, DBS and One-77 – but, unsurprisingly, it didn’t feature in the Cygnet.

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