- Lamborghini says a V12 is central to the brand
- Dual-clutch gearbox to replace 7-speed, automated single-clutch unit
- Plug-in hybrid version of the Urus SUV on the cards
Having been around for nearly a decade, the Lamborghini Aventador is due to be replaced by an all-new model, which Lamborghini has previously said will have a V12 hybrid powertrain. However, speculation has been rife about the future of the 6.5-litre V12, with the VW Group reportedly reluctant to invest in upgrading the V12 to meet EU7 emission standards. Without the V12, Lamborghini would be forced to go with a smaller engine for the Aventador’s successor, but the company has shot the rumour down, reiterating its stance on the future of the illustrious V12.
No U-turn on V12 power
In a media interaction following the introduction of the Sian Roadster, Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer at Automobili Lamborghini, said the replacement for the Aventador will indeed continue with a naturally-aspirated V12 – paired with an electric motor – as it’s central to the Lamborghini experience.
“Yes, we will have a V12 in the future. The V12 is our pinnacle – it represents the DNA of the brand. Lamborghini was born around the V12, and the engine capacity is another important factor. Electric assistance will be fundamental to achieving the performance, CO2 and fuel consumption targets needed in the future, but V12, capacity and natural aspiration are the three pillars for the engine of future Lamborghinis”, said Reggiani.
Conventional hybrid setup for Aventador replacement
The Sian Roadster’s V12 is assisted by a supercapacitor, but Reggiani confirmed it won’t be used on the Aventador’s successor. The company will instead go with a conventional battery setup to guarantee a notable electric-only range.
Additionally, Reggiani also confirmed the 7-speed, automated single-clutch gearbox of the Aventador is on its way out, and will be replaced by a dual-clutch gearbox.
“The Aventador is probably the last Lamborghini to have the single-clutch gearbox. Based on the different strategy related to electrification, a dual-clutch transmission will be more suitable for that kind of application.”
No second Lambo SUV; Urus PHEV on the cards
The Urus has been a runaway success for Lamborghini, with the super-SUV driving sales for the company to 8,205 units in 2019 – a 43 percent increase over 2018’s sales. The idea of a Lamborghini SUV has clearly found acceptance, but the company is unlikely to be drawn into the idea of expanding its SUV line-up. A fourth (and all-new) model line would be much more preferable, according to Giovanni Perosino, Chief Commercial Officer at Automobili Lamborghini.
“In our group, other brands did it, but I would not recommend this direction for Lamborghini. We are based on three pillars – V8 (Urus), V10 (Huracan) and V12 (Aventador). I would think of a fourth line – a fourth pillar – and not just a downscale of one of the existing lines”, said Perosino.
However, the Urus is set to get a plug-in hybrid variant in the time to come. Adding electrification to the 650hp super-SUV will be a little bit easier than doing the same for a super-sportscar, added Lamborghini CTO Reggiani.
“The hybrid Urus is in our outlook. Our customer wants a hybrid vehicle to be able to travel in city centres without paying cess, it’s much more easy from an engineering point of view because the packaging problem is much less, since the Urus has a lot of space. But we need to also retain the feeling of the Urus. It’s different from all SUVs in the world and the hybrid model will have to deliver a similar sort of performance and feeling”, said Reggiani.
While Lamborghini, too, had to hit the brakes during the lockdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is now seeing demand return to pre-COVID levels in most markets and reported its highest sales in the last 15 months in the month of June 2020.