It’s readily apparent that electrification is the immediate future of cars, and more than likely our gateway drug to full-on electric cars going mainstream. And that trend may be fine. It’s hard to argue against SUVs and sedans and even trucks going hybrid; they’re normal cars, so why not? But what about high-end performance cars like the Lamborghini Huracan?
Apparently that’s the plan for the next Huracan or its successor, due out in 2022. And while there’s a new “next [Car X] could go hybrid” story out every day lately, this piece from Autocar sure makes it sound like that’s the current plan for this model:
The next Aventador, due before the second-generation Huracán, will retain its naturally aspirated V12 engine, so the Huracán’s successor will be the first Lamborghini sports car to be an advanced plug-in hybrid.
Talking to Autocar, Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali said: “The [next] Huracán – that car will need hybridisation. Hybridisation is the answer, not [full] electric.”
Referring to its current engines, Domenicali said: “There is still a lot of potential for the V12. The right approach for us is to have the V10 and V12 to suit our customers and then be ready to switch [to a hybrid] at the right moment.”
The current Huracan has a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 and around 600 horsepower, depending on the version you get.
That story notes that Lamborghini’s parent company the Volkswagen Group is going big on electrification and EVs in general, and that Lamborghini itself is partnering with MIT to develop lightweight composite materials and new energy storage solutions. The idea is range, Autocar says; an electrified performance car needs to be able to run a ton of laps without losing all its juice early on.
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There’s two ways to look at this news. On one hand, I find it very hard to see a market for an electrified Lamborghini Huracan, even if that is something Lamborghini has to do for emissions and fuel economy and corporate image reasons.
I’ll tell you that Lamborghini desperately wants to be seen as this great track-focused brand, but we all know who really buys these things: YouTube dipshits in Miami and bros whose startups just went public. And none of those people give a shit about hybrid cars; they want to be seen and heard in the Lamborghini and that’s it. (Look at the reactions to the new hybrid Acura NSX too. It’s fantastic, but often totally dismissed by purists who haven’t even driven it.)
On the other hand, I’ve been critical of Lamborghini in recent years for falling behind some of its competitors in terms of technology—and relevance. Compared to the stuff you see from McLaren or Pagani or Koenigsegg or even Ferrari, Lamborghini’s not really the one pushing the envelope anymore.
Going electrified and doing it well could help Lamborghini catch up to some of these hybrid hypercars, and maybe even prove that hybrid performance cars not only work but do have a future in the car landscape. I’d rather see that than brands give up on speed entirely, which is the sense we all seemed to get from the Tokyo Motor Show last week.
Long as they keep the naturally aspirated V12 around too, obviously.