Lamborghini has revealed that the current Huracan’s successor, which is due in 2022, will be powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The second-gen Huracan will feature “next-generation” battery technology in order to minimise weight and provide electric-only capability as well.
The Italian marque is known for its aversion to move away from naturally aspirated engines, though has confirmed that the upcoming Urus SUV will be offered with a hybrid powertrain. However, no concrete details have been revealed as yet.
Having confirmed that the next Aventador will retain its naturally aspirated V12 motor and will launch before the new Huracan, the smaller model will be Lamborghini’s first hybrid supercar. Talking to our sister publication Autocar UK, Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali said: “The [next] Huracán – that car will need hybridisation. Hybridisation is the answer, not [full] electric.”
Referring to its current engines on offer, Domenicali said: “There is still a lot of potential for the V12. The right approach for us is to have the V10 and V12 to suit our customers and then be ready to switch [to a hybrid] at the right moment.”
Lamborghini commercial head Federico Foschini has told Autocar UK earlier in 2017 that there is currently little demand for hybridisation from its customers. “When they come to Lamborghini, they are asking for the power and performance of our naturally aspirated engines,” he said. “That’s why we have already decided that the next-generation V12 will stay naturally aspirated and it is one reason why the [Aventador] remains unique.”
Although the current range of engines will remain in the mid-term plan, the Italian supercar maker is already investing in the research and development of future powertrain technology for 2022 and beyond.
In 2017, the brand announced an alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a project that “intends to write an important page in the future of super-sports cars for the third millennium”. That partnership is likely to focus on lightweight materials, as well as alternative energy and battery storage technologies.
The manufacturer’s R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani told Autocar UK in September that the major problem currently hindering the brand’s integration of hybrid technology is driving range and range anxiety, but he hoped to have a solution for a super-sports car within “four to five years”.
He said: “The issue today is the storage of energy. If I go to a track, I need to run all the laps that I want. But today, the problem is that if you go, you are only able to run one and a half laps [flat out].”
Reggiani said plug-in electric technology is still not effective enough for use in a supercar that can be driven at pace for long periods of time. “Imagine if you went to the Nordschleife with a hybrid. It will be faster on the 0-100kph time [than non-hybrid cars] but it will not be faster over a lap – or at least won’t be able to do more laps,” he said.
Porsche, a Volkswagen Group stablemate of Lamborghini, has been evaluating the use of solid-state batteries for its future performance cars and Reggiani said this is something Lamborghini is also thinking about. However, he believes that the definitive characteristics that make a Lamborghini supercar could mean that integrating tech from a sister marque won’t be as simple as it has been with the Urus.
“It’s easier in our first plug-in hybrid, the Urus, because the ambition of the car in terms of packaging and weight is not so difficult,” he said. “But this is one mission. It’s not the Lamborghini super-sports car mission.”
Reggiani said Lamborghini is working with multiple industry experts, including MIT, to investigate what type of battery system can offer the best answer to the hybrid challenge.
“We have different partnerships with the most important researchers in the world because we need to scout [for future ideas],” he said. “I think the new frontier of the super-sports car will move more and more to the hybridisation, although there are still some questions relating to the weight and the packaging of the batteries.”
Also read: All-new Lamborghini four-door model coming in 2021