Lambo boss confirms our suspicions.
We can now officially confirm what we suspected for some time now. The successors for both the Lamborghini Aventador and Huracan will be plug-in hybrids. Automotive News recently sat down to chat with Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali and not only confirmed this major change for the Italian supercar company, but also when the technology will debut on a production car.
"Probably around 2021, with the Aventador replacement that will add a motor to its V12 engine," Domenicali said. "The same will happen later also on the V10 family, when we replace the Huracan. A plug-in model is the only way to maintain performance and keep Lamborghini's engine sound while also reducing emissions." The latter bit about "engine sound" is also worth noting.
Lamborghini could simply utilize turbocharging technology, just like arch-rival Ferrari has done and will continue to do for the foreseeable future but engine sound is vital for a Lamborghini. The sound of a naturally aspirated engine cannot be fully replicated by anything else. And yes, Ferrari is fully aware of this and to its full credit has gone to great lengths to make turbocharged engines sound amazing.
But Lamborghini has figured out an alternative, and that's plug-in hybrid tech. It's still too early to know whether an entirely new V12 engine will be required, but we predict the current 6.5-liter unit will be heavily updated instead. After all, this was an all-new engine for the Aventador, the first time Lamborghini built a new V12 from scratch in decades. It wouldn't make much sense to completely ditch so soon. Connecting it to a plug-in hybrid system should be entirely feasible. Same goes for the naturally aspirated V10 currently found in the Huracan.
But what about the new Urus? After all, it doesn't have a naturally aspirated engine but rather a twin-turbo V8. Will it also receive the plug-in hybrid treatment? "We are still working on this, but we have realigned our priorities," Domenicali added.
"First and foremost, we have to boost production of the Urus, and adding a powertrain variant that is extremely complex to build doesn't help. Secondly, we have seen that a V-6-powered plug-in did not offer the performance level a Lamborghini should deliver. We began working on a V-8 plug-in, but we are not there yet."
As far as we're concerned, as long as Lamborghini retains naturally aspirated engines for its supercars we'll be happy.