2017 Lamborghini Aventador S
The Lamborghini Aventador is a technological marvel, with its Formula 1-inspired inboard dampers, all-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering, and V-12 engine.
The stunning supercar dates back to 2011, so it's due for replacement fairly soon. We have reported that 2020 could be the target date for an Aventador successor. By that time, nine years will have elapsed between generations, and changes in the market could mean changes for the next generation of Lambo's flagship supercar.
Lamborghini showed its Urus SUV to a North American audience for the first time this week on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. At that event, I had the opportunity to interview the company's Research & Development Director Maurizio Reggiani about various aspects of the brand.
When I asked what challenges would face the Aventador successor, Reggiani implied that the car would be electrified in some way, but keeping weight down would be crucial.
"With the new Aventador we must decide what will be the future of the super sports car in terms of electric contribution. What way to manage the weight coming from electrification, and to be able to guarantee every way to have the DNA of a super sports car," he said.
When I asked if a V-12 was part of the future, Reggiani didn't mince words. "Yes. About V-12, I say, yes, yes, yes, yes," he said emphatically.
That means whatever comes after the Aventador will likely get a V-12 aided by an electric motor or motors. The current Aventador S makes 730 horsepower from it's 6.5-liter V-12. Add power from electric motors and total output could reach 1,000 horsepower or more.
What about that single-clutch transmission that wasn't entirely outdated in 2011 but is widely panned today?
"It is not a problem of a single-clutch. It is a problem of what way will we handle and manage what I described before: weight. For me, everything that contribute to the weight is an enemy, and I need to decide what is better to put effort into and what to sacrifice. I am fully with you that a double-clutch is a marvelous solution. I have only one problem—additional weight."
Despite sitting at the top of Lambo's supercar lineup, the Aventador is not officially the fastest Lamborghini. That honor goes to the Huracán Performante, which had the production car record at the Nürburgring until it was bested by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS late last year. The reason? The Performante's Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva, or Lamborghini Active Aerodynamics system that increases downforce when needed for cornering and reduces drag in straights to improve top speeds.
It sounds like the ALA system could be in the Aventador's future, either for this generation or the next.
"Aero vectoring was never used in Aventador. That means it's a big potential that we have in our pocket," Reggiani said.
With more power, aided by electrification, and the possibility of active aero on board, the successor to the Aventador will certainly be the most advanced Lamborghini supercar ever, and it will very likely be a able to beat the Huracán Performante around the Nürburgring...if it can keep the weight down.