Is Lamborghini Heading To The Dark Side With An Ex-Ferrari Leader?

Interview

Stephan Winkelmann’s reign is over.

After more than a decade as Lamborghini’s president and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann is prepared to step down from the position and take over as the head of Audi’s Quattro performance division. In an interview with Autocar, Winkelmann reflected on the state of the supercar brand. Winkelmann believes that improved models like the Lamborghini Aventador in 2011 and Huracan in 2014 led the way for the drastic increase in supercar sales. And the key to the automaker’s success is to stay ahead of the competition.

When asked about the future of the super-sports car, Winklemann stated, “It’s a fierce battle, and it’s great for the customer. We think anticipation is key. You have to visualise what people are waiting for and exceed their expectations.” Speaking of looking ahead, Autocar questioned Winkelmann about the automaker’s hardhead when it comes to turbocharging. When asked how long Lamborghini could avoid adding turbos to its supercars, Winkelmann stated, “Going to turbos is about reducing C02, not improving air quality. We can clean our exhaust with after-treatment. So we can go for a while yet.”

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That’s good news for diehard fanatics that love the naturally aspirated engines from the automaker. After seeing a concept for the Urus SUV in Beijing in 2012, it feels like the SUV will never arrive. But Winkelmann took the time to tell Autocar that the SUV will be here in no time. “We’ll be ready to launch the car in 2018 but we still wouldn’t want to lessen the impact of the launch,” stated Winkelmann. “We might show it about a year before, some time in 2017.” With ex-Ferrari F1 team principal Stefano Domenicali poised to take charge of Lamborghini, we can’t help but think what upcoming supercars will be like.

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