Lamborghini Developing Hybrids, Biofuel EnginesS

Under pressure to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy, Lamborghini says it's developing hybrid engines and researching biofuels. Would you drive a Lamborghini Hybrid?

The news is buried deep in a press release about solar panels on factory roofs, using recyclable implants in booth babe's breasts and all sorts of nonsense about CO2. But here's the key paragraph for ADD-addled readers.

At this point, Research & Development activities will continue in the following directions:

- decreasing vehicle mass
- improving combustion
- reducing friction
- Start-and-Stop systems
- hybrid drive train solutions
- biofuels

The Italian supercar maker has previously discussed the possibility of future hybrid powertrains, most likely on the Lamborghini Estoque, should it reach production. At last year's Paris Motor Show, Lambo President and fashion icon Stephan Winkelmann said about the Estoque, "a particularly economical, but nevertheless dynamic, variation would be a V8 with a hybrid module or an extremely high-performance TDI."

Since Lamborghini is owned by Audi, it's reasonable to assume that hybrid technology could be borrowed or adapted from cars like the Audi A1 Concept while a diesel engine would likely come from the Audi Q7 V12 TDI.

The reason both Ferrari and Lamborghini are suddenly hoping on the hybrid bandwagon is increasing pressure from US and European governments to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for all automakers over the next decade. Even though Ferraris and Lamborghinis make up only a fraction of one percent of vehicle miles driven and therefore don't contribute significantly to pollution, they could get factored in to the overall average of their parent companies Fiat and VW, respectively. Like the performance-oriented Ferrari Hybrid, we'd expect any eco-friendly Lambo to be big on badass and short on the emasculated wimpyness of cars like the Toyota Prius.

The press release follows:

LAMBORGHINI ANNOUNCES NEW, AMBITIOUS PROGRAMS FOR REDUCING CO2

• 35 million Euros investments
• The construction of a large photovoltaic plant, combined with an energy-saving project, will achieve a 30% reduction in the factory's CO2 emissions by 2010
• Modifications to vehicles will result in a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2015

Automobili Lamborghini announces its intention to complete its program of environmental sustainability in record time by presenting new plans which will enable the company:

• to achieve a 30% reduction, by the year 2010, in the CO2 emissions produced by its factory
• to achieve a 35% reduction, by the year 2015, in the CO2 emissions produced by its vehicles

The plans for reducing emissions will thus involve two areas: modifications to the Lamborghini factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese, and development in vehicle design.

To redefine its industrial processes in accordance with its policy of environmental sustainability, Lamborghini has just begun a project to complete installation of a large photovoltaic system by the end of 2009.

The roof-top plant will produce 1,582 Megawatt hour (MWh) of "green" energy per year, which translates into a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions (-1,067,820 Kg/year) by 2010.

The photovoltaic systems will have a total installed power rating of 1,4 Megawatts and will extend over 17,000 m2 throughout the entire industrial area. The new system will be built by Sinergia Sistemi S.p.A.

At the same time, an equally important energy conservation project involving insulating the production facility's whole roof, improving lighting and heating and introducing destratification systems for heated air will be completed, thus resulting in a 10% energy usage reduction by 2010.

These projects represent the next step in a program that began last year with the opening of the new Lamborghini
Logistics Center. The Center has already contributed to diminishing the impact caused by heavy truck traffic on the roads between Anzola and Sant'Agata Bolognese. It is calculated that this facility has achieved a reduction of emissions by over 75 kg per annum, and nitrogen oxide by over 750 kg (Sources: Standard Euro 3).

In April 2009 Lamborghini obtained the UNI EN ISO 14001 certificate, meeting the international environmental standards. It is also the first firm in the Italian automotive sector to be close to registering for the EMAS environment certificate, having successfully completed the program: EMAS regulations are set by the European Union to support organisations in their effort to evaluate and improve their own environmental efficiency.

These recent achievements support Lamborghini's commitment to protecting the environment in which it operates, and its desire to make all stakeholders aware of its actions in a transparent manner.

With regard to Lamborghini vehicles, the CO2 reduction plan aims for an additional 35% decrease in emissions by the year 2015.

The program reached its first milestone with the Gallardo LP 560-4. Introduced last year, the new car's technical advancements resulted in an 18% reduction in CO2 emissions.

At this point, Research & Development activities will continue in the following directions:

- decreasing vehicle mass
- improving combustion
- reducing friction
- Start-and-Stop systems
- hybrid drive train solutions
- biofuels

Lamborghini's commitment and its sense of social responsibility regarding the environment is evidenced by the numbers and by the sheer size of the investments that are planned. 35 million Euros will be appropriated over the next five years for this purpose.

Stephan Winkelmann, the President and CEO of Lamborghini, has said, "Despite the difficult situation in today's global economy, Lamborghini is committed to its policy of environmental management, since we are well aware of the great opportunities that derive from it. We have an objective to reduce CO2 emissions to the greatest possible degree. We have also set compulsory annual goals that are part of an integrated approach both considering the automobile as an element which is more considerate of the environment, in terms of emissions and the use of resources, to the accomplishment of a series of corresponding measures such as modifications to our factory. This is an important action for Lamborghini and a central opportunity for our long term corporate and product development."

European Parliamentarian Guido Sacconi, President of the European Commission on Climate Change, recently paid a visit to Lamborghini headquarters in Sant'Agata. At that time, he said that, "The commitment shown by Lamborghini with its efforts to reduce environmental impact and develop vehicles with less polluting technologies confirm the company's goal of following the right path toward complying with the directives of the European Union. To safeguard the DNA, history and technology of niche car manufacturers on a European level, a series of exceptions have been passed for manufactures of 'specialty' vehicles (with fewer than 10,000 new cars made per year) who run their own production facilities and design centres, even though they are part of a group of associated producers. This is the exact situation in which Lamborghini finds itself. We have been particularly satisfied with the actions it has taken thus far, because they illustrate this company's desire to embrace a new industrial vision which combines competitiveness and performance with social responsibility."

[source: Lamborghini]