Lamborghini is gearing up to launch the long-awaited replacement for the Aventador in 2022 – and the new V12 supercar will, unlike its predecessor, feature a hybrid powertrain as one of the first steps the brand is taking to ‘reinvent’ itself for the electric age.
Aventador successor likely to use supercapacitor technology with the V12 engine
Huracan replacement arriving in 2024 or 2025
The firm is currently “finalising its plans” for an all-electric model
The new flagship machine from the manufacturer based in Sant’Agata, Italy is due to be revealed this year and will go on sale shortly after the arrival of a plug-in hybrid version of the Urus SUV. It is set to be the final series-production Lamborghini supercar to use the firm’s fabled 6.5-litre V12, with the subsequent generation likely to adopt electric power.
Lamborghini’s Aventador successor to feature Sián hypercar’s hybrid technology
Lamborghini boss, Stephan Winkelmann, said the initial focus this year is the market launch of the Huracán Super Trofeo Omologato, but he hinted that two new V12 machines will be revealed in 2021.
Although Winkelmann would not be drawn on specific details about these models, sources suggest one is a final Aventador-based special using similar supercapacitor technology to the 819hp Sián FKP 37 hypercar – and it is possible that the other will be the first glimpse at the Aventador’s replacement.
The next-generation V12 flagship has been delayed several times, in part because of the impact of the coronavirus but mainly because of Lamborghini’s push to develop hybrid technology that will suit the needs and character of its supercar.
“The challenge is how to match the requests of the legislators while not diluting the expectations of customers in the coming years,” said Winkelmann. “This is what we are working on right now.”
Lamborghini technical boss Maurizio Reggiani has previously confirmed that the Aventador successor will retain a naturally aspirated V12, with a hybrid element used to add extra power and efficiency and forego the need for a turbocharger. Reggiani also hinted that the firm was considering a four-wheel drive system similar to the Ferrari SF90’s, with the V12 driving the rear axle and an electric motor on the front wheels and torque vectoring used to balance the power.
The extra weight of an expansive hybrid system and its resulting impact on a supercar’s performance remains a concern for Lamborghini and it is thought the firm is working on a system pairing a lithium- ion battery with a supercapacitor for boosting.
Lamborghini has invested heavily in its supercapacitor technology, developed in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as it seeks to maintain the character of its supercars while meeting increasingly tough emissions legislation.
In the Sián, the V12 is tuned for 784hp, with the supercapacitor, which is built into the gearbox, able to deliver an extra 33hp. The system weighs 34kg, considerably less than that of a traditional hybrid. However, although a supercapacitor can store more power than a comparably sized lithium- ion battery, it is only designed to rapidly charge and discharge power, making it unable to offer electric-only running and limiting its effectiveness at reducing emissions.
Winkelmann said,: “The Sián is a success story, because we understood you have to sell electrification by giving a benefit to the owners of supersports cars.” He added that “this approach is just a small step into what we’re going to do in the future”.
Although exact technical details of the next-generation model have not been disclosed, it is likely to offer something close to the 819hp output of the Sián powertrain.
Lamborghini’s electric strategy for the future
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Lamborghini posted the second-best financial results in its history in 2020 and company boss Stephan Winkelmann, who recently rejoined Lamborghini after spells at Audi Sport and Bugatti, told Autocar UK that 2021 is a “moment of stabilisation” before it “starts pushing for the next level” in 2022.
Beyond that, Winkelmann said a key priority is to develop “a clear vision” of what electrification means for the brand. “We have to do this so that we remain Lamborghini by reinventing Lamborghini – to change everything not to change anything,” he said.
As well as the Aventador replacement and updated Urus, Lamborghini will replace the V10 Huracán, probably in 2024 or 2025. Beyond that, the focus is on the brand’s future strategy, with emissions legislation pushing car firms to become electric only. Winkelmann told Autocar UK, “My biggest challenge is to have a clear strategy for what is happening after 2030, to follow up the next generation – not only in terms of product but to have a clear vision of what this means for the brand. The first step is what this means until 2030.”
“Without doubt, the legislation part will tell us what we cannot do any more. The door will be very tight and there will be a bottleneck we have to pass,” he added.
Asked about a fully electric Lamborghini, Winkelmann said the firm is currently “finalising its plans”. He added,: “It’s not only what we talk about. It’s walking the walk that is the tough thing, so we are looking into the financial situation to see year on year what we are able to do. It’s clear I can have a dream, but it must be a real one.”
As previously reported by Autocar UK, Lamborghini has been considering adding a 2+2 grand tourer as a fourth model line and could make that model electric only.
Winkelmann said his “focus is on the existing models and their next generation” but added that “given our success and the analysis of the market, a fourth model is something that, in my opinion, is very possible for a brand like ours”.
Lamborghini in India
The Italian manufacturer also launched the Urus Pearl Capsule Edition in India. The Urus Pearl Capsule Edition is a preconfigured Urus that’s available in a two-tone colour scheme and with many other interesting bits. There are three unique paint options exclusive to this edition – Giallo Inti (yellow), Verde Mantis (lime green) and Arancio Borealis (orange) – while the body skirting, wheel cladding, outside mirrors, roof and fender embellishments are gloss black.