When even Lamborghini, the last bastion of mid-engine V12 supercar madness, announces a strategy to electrify its future vehicles, it’s a sign the EV revolution is truly upon us.
This week, Automobili Lamborghini laid out a roadmap for the electrification of its future cars, as well plans for a fully-electric model, which is a tantalizing prospect. The 58 year-old company doesn’t just want to reduce its emissions, it wants to be at the forefront of this technological revolution. The idea is to set Lamborghini up for the future, so it can continue delivering the sorts of eye-popping machines its customers have come to expect.
“Lamborghini’s electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically-changing world,” said Stephan Winkelmann, the company’s president and CEO.
In 2023, the brand will launch its first series-production hybrid car, and by the end of 2024 every Lamborghini will be a hybrid. Following that, sometime in the second half of the decade, the brand will launch its first all-electric vehicle. There are no details yet, other than the fact it will be a completely new model line, separate from the current Aventador, Huracan and Urus.
Such an ambitious electrification plan doesn’t come cheap. Lamborghini is investing $1.5 billion Euros over four years – the largest investment in the company’s history – to make its electrification strategy happen. By 2025, the company is aiming to reduce its product CO2 emissions by 50 per cent.
In the more immediate future, over the next two years, Lamborghini will be, “celebrating the combustion engine.” Two new V12-powered supercars are coming later this year. “This phase will be characterized by the development of combustion engines for versions that pay homage to the brand’s glorious history and iconic products past and present,” according to a statement by the company.
When we last spoke to Maurizio Reggiani, the company’s chief technical director and an absolute legend in the supercar world, he told us fully-electric powertrains are heavy, which is fine for an SUV but less so for a supercar. His preference, at least back before the pandemic, was to keep combustion engines in the supercars whilst adding lightweight, high-power hybrid systems to reduce emissions.
The current range-topping Lamborghini Sian is exactly that. It’s an 800-horsepower hybrid supercar, powered by a V12 engine and a supercapacitor, a lightweight device that can rapidly store and release electrical energy. Lamborghini has dabbled with electric concepts before the Sian too, with the 2014 Asterion plug-in hybrid, and the fully-electric totally-stunning 2017 Terzo Millennio.
Lamborghini is not alone. Over the last 18 months, nearly every major automotive brand has announced a new or updated electrification strategy. The industry is taking EVs seriously now, which means this decade is going to be an exciting one.
Ultimately, it’ll be drivers who reap the rewards. Lamborghini, like all other supercar makers, exists to make machines that push the boundaries of technology; they’re at their best when they’re looking forward, not back. Sure, we’re going to miss internal-combustion engines when they eventually disappear, but that’s a long way off yet. We’ve experienced first-hand what Tesla and Porsche can do with electric motors, and it’s spectacular; we can’t wait to see what happens when Lamborghini gets its hands on this technology.
In other hybrid-supercar news, McLaren just launched the Artura, a mid-engine V6 hybrid, which you see in-depth here.