Lamborghini is just days away from revealing its successor to the Aventador, a new V-12 supercar equipped with a plug-in hybrid system boasting a trio of electric motors.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain has provided Lamborghini with new opportunities for how to direct power to and from the wheels, and has enabled engineers to cook up 13 different driving modes.
The flexibility, Lamborghini says, means the car, which carries the codename LB744, will deliver strong performance and confidence-inspiring handling across various driving situations and grip conditions.
The LB744 features a newly developed 6.5-liter V-12 mounted in the middle of the chassis. It's paired to a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mounted behind the engine in a transverse position, instead of longitudinally and in front of the engine as in the Aventador. One electric motor is integrated with the transmission and drives the rear wheels together with the engine, and two more are located up front to power the front wheels in independent fashion and add all-wheel-drive capability. Instead of a driveshaft running down the middle of the car for the all-wheel-drive system, a 3.8-kwh lithium-ion battery sits there.
The configuration delivers a peak 1,000 hp and means the LB744 can operate with electric all-wheel drive for short distances. Reverse is also electric, though it's handled by the front motors only. The electric motors also enable electric torque vectoring, a first for a Lamborghini.
Lamborghini has taken advantage of the configuration to provide the driver with access to three powertrain modes—Recharge, Hybrid, and Performance—and four drive modes—Città (City), Strada (Street), Sport, and Corsa (Race)—via controls on the steering wheel. These seven modes combine to deliver a total 13 possible configurations for vehicle setup.
Lamborghini Aventador successor's V-12 plug-in hybrid powertrain
Recharge mode makes maximum use of the car's energy recovery ability; Hybrid optimizes the use of the engine and electric motors to boost efficiency; and Performance uses all power sources to deliver maximum performance. The additional drive modes control a variety of vehicle systems including the suspension, steering, and aerodynamics.
The most potent setup is the combination of Performance and Corsa modes. Here, the powertrain delivers its full 1,000 hp, with the V-12 engine always active to ensure the battery has a charge. The chassis systems are also set up to deliver their sharpest responses. For ultimate performance, the driver can also disable the electronic stability control in this mode so no power is cut to the wheels while driving at the limit.
Lamborghini LB744 rolling chassis
Spy shots of prototypes show a car with a similar shape to the Aventador, and sporting Y-shaped taillights and high-mounted quad-exhaust tips. The side intakes are also much larger than on the Aventador.
A newly developed carbon-fiber tub sits under the body, and mounted to the front is a carbon-fiber frame that's lighter than the Aventador's aluminum front frame but also stiffer. The front frame also incorporates new carbon-fiber crash structures. The rear frame is made from aluminum, like on the Aventador.