There's simply no way of getting around it.
The end is near for the Lamborghini Aventador. Its 10-year production run will come to a conclusion sometime next year ahead of the 2020 debut of its unnamed successor. Slowly but surely, details regarding that new Lambo are starting to trickle in and Autocar has confirmed what we suspected: the car will be heavier than the Aventador. Why? Batteries. While Lamborghini has gone on record stating the naturally aspirated V12 engine will remain, there will still be one key difference: it’ll be mated to an electric motor to improve performance and efficiency.
Translation: a plug-in hybrid, V12-powered Lamborghini. This hybridization, however, will have one major drawback: added weight, and there’s nothing Lamborghini can do about it.
Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani, estimates the hybrid system will add between 330 pounds to 440 pounds even with various incorporated lightweight solutions. Batteries and electric motors are just heavy. And because of this, the Aventador’s successor will have that additional weight to hulk around. “I always say that I prefer to have 10kg less rather than 1hp more, even if the power-to-weight ratio remains the same,” Reggiani said. “But I imagine the starting point of the car will be heavier, no doubt. What will be the end game? We don’t know. Improvements will happen.”
Another significant drawback to adapting this hybrid powertrain will be gunning for Nurburgring records. Weight is always the enemy. One potential solution Reggiani has in mind is, as Autocar describes it, is to “split the hybrid system with an electrically powered front axle rather than a blended set-up with electric power sent through a conventional transmission.”
The problem with electric drive is that it’s not as effective as speed increases, but utilizing a gearbox in that way could work. “It would be easy to have full torque vectoring at the front, to help compensate again for the increase in weight with more agility,” Reggiani said. Having a gearbox in front “can be much more manageable to have an electric motor in the front because you don’t need any kind of propeller shaft. I think it can be the best solution.”
We’ll get a much clearer idea what Reggiani will ultimately decide when the limited edition LB48H hypercar, this generation’s Reventon, debuts sometime next year.