Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani has gone on record saying that the Sant’Agata brand may offer an electrified V12 engine soon, the details of which could be presented at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.
“We think that the Lamborghini brand is based on the V12. And it’s clear that we need electrification because we need that to reduce carbon dioxide and to have additional power based on electrification,” Reggiani told Motor Authority. When asked if it were to be a hybrid V12, the CTO simply said “yes.”
Contrary to popular belief, the first hybrid application in a Lamborghini will be tuned for performance gains rather than improve fuel economy, because few Lamborghini owners even complain about fuel consumption, if any at all. However, the hybrid powertrain won’t be all about explosive outputs, because the Aventador SVJ’s 770 PS output is right at the limits of grip and traction.
When talking about outright power, the most difficult part is in the way power is being discharged to the wheels and onto the road. “Because the real problem is that in what way you can guarantee that you are able to use all this horsepower,” Reggiani explained.
The likeliest way forward is to deploy an all-wheel drive system, which is a fundamental Lamborghini trait. A through-the-road hybrid setup – an application where electric motors drive one axle and a conventional engine drives another, much like the Honda NSX – has been rumoured to be Lamborghini’s pick, although Reggiani declined to concede the point. “(Through-the-road) is some of the possible solutions that will be investigated,” he said.
There are also rumours of a smaller V12 engine, down from the current 6.5 litre that powers the Aventador range. Reggiani did not specifically rule those out, but explained that any change in engine displacement will be secondary to power output. The current V12 block dates back to 2011, but has roots that go way back to the 1970s.
The good news is, the V12 engine won’t be turbocharged. “Many of our competitors moved in the direction of a V8 turbo, and we decided that natural aspirated is still the best interpretation of the brand’s super sport cars,” Regianni said.
In any case, Lamborghini has already confirmed that the Urus will receive a hybrid powertrain, which will be implemented to improve efficiency and speed. “Urus is a vehicle where space and weight are not so fundamental like in a super sport car. But it is clear that it is a still a Lamborghini and we need to define what is the right interpretation of hybridisation. It can not be a commodity,” he noted.
Meanwhile, a successor to the Aventador will only come around in 2024 or beyond, but the CTO said that the current Aventador still has room for improvement despite rolling out the tyre-shredding SVJ model. He cited further weight reduction, improved chassis controls, and better driver comfort as key areas of improvement.
In fact, Reggiani said the Huracan Evo’s integrated vehicle dynamics system (LDVI), which incorporates rear-wheel steering, advanced traction control, torque vectoring, and all-wheel drive to anticipate driver inputs, may potentially be ported over to the Aventador soon.
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