No matter how much your Lamborghini-daydreaming younger self would try to cast you out like the devil was in the house if you told them, Lamborghini SUVs are already here and hybrids are on the way. It’s true, you tell your younger self, that Lamborghini is rolling with the trends of practicality and more efficiency.
“The horror,” your younger self gasps quietly while looking around at all of the Lamborghini posters taped on their bedroom wall, with too empty and confused of a reaction to warrant an exclamation point.
Lamborghini has been hinting at its hybrid future for awhile now, saying both the Aventator and Huracan replacements will be plug-in hybrids. It’s already got the SUV thing down, with the Lamborghini Urus debuting in December of last year and apparently, but not surprisingly, selling like most other crossovers and SUVs sell—like snow cones at the first hint of warm weather.
But the company hasn’t gone through with hybrids yet, other than potentially showing off a limited-run hybrid to about 200 customers. Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali’s interview with AutoExpress at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was probably the best look into the company’s plans yet, with Domenicali confirming and elaborating on some of the hybrid news we knew already:
“The next Aventador will be hybrid, with a V12. A decision is made on that and this is something that will keep us different from the others and this is very important.
“The next step is that not only the Urus but Aventador and Huracan will be hybrid, that’s for sure. Then we need to see how the solution will evolve. With regard to the super sport car brand, it’s clear that we want to stay with the V12 to have with the top car. Then we can discuss what would be the right engine for the future for the Huracan. Of course, V10 would be the first priority but we have the time to discuss it.”
AutoExpress reports that Lamborghini engineers’ main focus right now is on the Aventador replacement and its hybrid V12, and that Lamborghini’s research and development boss Maurizio Reggiani said the end product will be “true” to the Lamborghini brand.
From the story:
“The value of our brand is based on our top end product. It must be really the pure interpretation of a supersport car. We are sure that one of things you must offer on a supersport car is a V12 naturally aspirated engine.
“The car needs to be engineered for hybrid or not for hybrid. The supersport car cannot be a compromise”, Reggiani added, confirming that the Aventador replacement will be offered as a hybrid only, with no pure combustion option.
No pure combustion option—a hybrid or bust. That’s intense.
But Domenicali said Lamborghini isn’t going all in with electric power just yet in the form of an all-electric car. He said EVs are something to look into after the next generation of hybrid cars, and that it’s “premature to say that we will see a full electric Lamborghini in the short term. I don’t see that.”
Battery technology and weight needs to improve before Lamborghini’s ready to commit, since power-to-weight ratios and being able to run multiple laps on a track without the batteries overheating are important aspects of a sports car. Here’s what Domenicali and Reggiani told AutoExpress:
Domenicali confirms that the firm is looking at alternatives to lithium ion batteries, including fuel cell technology, in a bid to reduce the weight of any future EV.
“When we’re talking about performance, the killer of performance is weight. But the more you go for new technology the more you have to counterbalance to ensure you keep the weight under control.” ...
As Maurizio Reggiani says: “For us, the super sport car must be able to do the fastest Nurburgring time, but it must be able to repeat this two or three times, it cannot be one shot”, he explained.
Reggiani told AutoExpress that current EV technology means a driver can “have power for one lap at high speed, or energy for more laps but slower speed” and said that concept doesn’t fit with Lamborghini’s supercars. It’s probably best to wait out the development period of EVs given that concept, since people paying Lamborghini money for Lamborghini vehicles probably don’t want to have to choose between power and efficiency.
If they did, they could just go look at a different car.