A push toward electrification in every model doesn’t faze Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer Maurizio Reggiani.
The lead engineer for the super sports cars that have rolled out of Sant’Agata recently said this month that he expects a naturally aspirated V-12 and hybrid battery combination to appear in a Lamborghini soon, perhaps at the automaker’s scheduled press conference at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show.
“We think that (the) Lamborghini brand is based on the V-12. 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.
Does that mean a hybrid V-12?
“Yes,” he said.
Reggiani didn’t give any specifics about what the future for its current V-12 would be, but said that any change in displacement to the current 6.5-liter engine used by Lamborghini would be secondary to power output. Reggiani didn’t dispute claims that Lamborghini might be developing a small-displacement V-12 to replace the current engine that dates back to only 2011—but said the automaker favors naturally aspirated internal combustion engines. The V-12 predecessor to the Aventador’s engine traced its roots back to the 1970s.
“Many of our competitors moved in the direction of a V-8 turbo and we decided that natural aspirated is still the best interpretation of the brand’s super sport cars,” he said.
Despite reports that the Aventador’s successor may be pushed back to 2024 or beyond, Reggiani said that the current Aventador line has room for improvement beyond the SVJ model that’s currently at the top of the range.
He cited further light-weighting, chassis controls, and driver comfort as areas the Avendator might improve before blasting off into the sunset sometime in the next decade.
Reggiani pointed to 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, as a potential port over to the Aventador soon.
Few Lamborghini owners complain about fuel economy, which is why Reggiani said Lamborghini’s first application of a hybrid powertrain will be for performance gains.
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster
Eye-popping horsepower numbers won’t be the point for Lamborghini’s first hybrid, Reggiani said. The Aventador SVJ’s 759 horsepower is in line with the limits of grip and traction.
“Every time you need to take into consideration that we talk about power, but the most difficult item is in the way you can discharge the power on the street,” he said. “Because the real problem is that in what way you can guarantee that you are able to use all this horsepower.”
All-wheel drive, a fundamental Lamborghini trait, is how he plans to use the power created by electric motors, but Reggiani didn’t say what kind of hybrid system Lamborghini would use. A through-the-road-hybrid setup, where electric motors drive one axle and a conventional engine drives another similar to the Acura NSX, has been rumored to be Lamborghini’s pick, although Reggiani didn’t commit.
“(Through-the-road) is some of the possible solutions that will be investigated,” he said.
In the Urus, which Lamborghini has already confirmed will have a hybrid powertrain, Reggiani said the automaker will push for better 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 hybridization...It can not be a commodity,” he said.