Lamborghini plugs in: how Sant'Agata will electrify every range in the run-up to 2028's Lanzador EV | CAR Magazine

Lamborghini plugs in: how Sant'Agata will electrify every range in the run-up to 2028's Lanzador EV

Published: 30 January 2024 Updated: 30 January 2024

► Latest on Lamborghini electric plans
► Hybrids galore – and an EV by 2028
► Check out how Sant’Agata is plugging in

Even supercar brands aren’t immune from the electrification pressures reshaping the automotive industry – living proof is the growing plethora of Lamborghini electric cars waiting in the wings. It’s gearing up to launch the Lanzador EV later this decade (above), with a smattering of hybrid and plug-in cars as stepping stones in the interim.

The company’s CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, has updated CAR magazine on the Direzione Cor Tauri – the decarbonisation strategy embraced by Sant’Agata since 2021. The Cor Tauri is the brightest star in the Taurus constellation, referencing the brand’s bull symbolism. It’s the guiding light for Lamborghini’s electrification programme, as it seeks to retain its visceral sports car roots in the age of silent electric motors.

Lamborghini is on something of a roll right now, posting its first annual sales total in five figures in 2023 – selling 10,112 new vehicles last year. More than half of those were Urus SUVs and those crossovers are about to become increasingly hybridised.

Lamborghini Lanzador: the first fully electric Lambo

The Lamborghini Lanzador was unveiled at the 2023 Pebble Beach concours, providing a very good look at the shape of the brand’s first EV under development for launch by 2028.

Lamborghini Lanzador EV due by 2028

‘The Lanzador is our first EV and the first in a new bodystyle for us,’ said Winkelmann. ‘It’s something of a new design language. Our studies suggest the bodystyle was accepted – the design is recognisable as a Lamborghini, but we need to deep-dive much more on the electrification. We will do a clinic this year with Lanzador. My big open topic on this side is, if you look at the car, you want to buy it today. But we need to project it forwards into the next five/six/seven years.

‘The power output is important. At least one megawatt, that is for sure. The combination of repeated acceleration, top speed and range – they must all be at the highest level. Range we have to work on at Lamborghini. We might have a bit of a discount because our customers have a lot of cars in their garage, so they are not dependent on one car to do all their daily activities. But for repeated acceleration, it is almost a commodity for us.’

Lamborghini is hiring extra staff to accelerate its adoption of electric powertrains. ‘We have 2300 employees and we will hire another 500 in the next few years [to improve our skills base in] digitalisation and electrification,’ Winkelmann revealed in January 2024.

Hybrid Lamborghinis: a stepping stone to full EVs

The brand’s revamped, tree-hugging line-up will include hybrid versions of the Huracan supercar and Urus SUV – both launching in 2024 – following in the wake of the Revuelto plug-in supercar.

Lamborghini’s spending on electrified technology has increased hugely since the company’s previous update.

lambo range

He said: ‘We have earmarked €1.8 billion [£1.5bn], but in reality it will be much more – the biggest investment in the history of Lamborghini Automobili. The investment will be huge because we have to face the full electric era while maintaining the values of Lamborghini’s DNA. It will be a very difficult challenge.’

Winkelmann is well aware Lamborghini faces tough times ahead as it shifts towards electrification – currently, the main reason people buy his company’s cars is for their mad styling and for the racket made by their petrol engines. Despite this, he says electrification is essential, saying: ‘There’s a new generation of customers which would not otherwise sit at your table anymore.’

What comes first from Lamborghini?

2022 was the last year Lamborghini sold only internal-combustion-engined cars and every model from now on will have electrified powertrains, in varying degrees of purity. Rest assured: many Lambos in the next few years will retain some degree of combustion power, the CEO confirmed.

‘It’s three different engines: Urus has the V8, the Revuelto will have a V12, for the Huracan we are not yet disclosing what type of engine it’s going to be, but it’s a completely new engine, nothing in common with the Urus or Aventador engine.’

Lamborghini supercar prototype front three quarter

‘With hybridisation it’s important that you combine the two things and you do it right. It’s about cutting emissions for sure, but you have to ensure the performance is better. You have to keep the sound of the engine, a powerful engine, delivering the performance you need.’

We expect the electrified Huracan due to be revealed later in 2024 will stick with a V8. But why is Winkelmann saying the powertrain will be different to the Urus’s? Well, our sources suggest that it’ll be an engine Lamborghini has developed itself (i.e. not a derivative of an existing Audi or Porsche engine).

The new engine will have a 10,000rpm redline and has been designed to run on synthetic fuel – something Lamborghini’s fellow brand Porsche is working on diligently. Which is handy. Total system output is expected to be around 850bhp, which should put the new Huracan hybrid well ahead of the 671bhp McLaren Artura hybrid in terms of performance.

And the Lamborghini EV?

Winkelmann says that, regardless of legislation, there’s a new generation of buyers that want and expect electrified vehicles. Lamborghini has devised a two-pronged response to the movement. First, there’ll be supersports hybrids that will have the look and feel of a traditional Lamborghini to appeal to petrolheads. That’s the new 2024 Lamborghini Huracan.

Then, for the more eco-conscious audience, there’ll be the Urus hybrid and the new fourth model previewed by the Lanzador. This latter vehicle will be a pure-electric grand tourer which Lamborghini first announced during its Cor Tauri press conference in 2021, complete with a veiled teaser (below).

lambo 4th model

Winkelmann said he and the leadership team were driving a lot of electric rivals as they prepare for the first Lamborghini EV. ‘The power unit is one thing but the set-up, the driving experience, brakes, suspension, power-to-weight ratio is going to be even more important in my opinion than today.

‘These things are going to be accepted by most of our customers.’ Many fears about EVs would, he predicted, ‘dissolve into nothing’ in the same way that anxieties about introducing different types of transmission were soon forgotten.

‘People are moving. It’s not about what they think today, it’s about what they say when the things are going to be ready. This in my opinion is paramount for the success of a company like ours.’

lambo electric gt

CAR’s earlier artist’s impressions showed a slinky four-door GT (above). Can the Lambo design aesthetic be rolled out across different bodystyles? It’s a brutal look not for shrinking violets, but the runaway sales success in 2023 suggests that a larger range with every which powertrain could fuel growth heading towards 15,000 cars a year by the end of the decade.

The move to electrify every model range is designed to cut the CO2 levels per car by 40% based on the original emissions recorded back in 2021.

Lamborghini’s recently appointed chief technical officer Ruben Mohr is, said Winkelmann, ‘very enthusiastic’ about the project. ‘He’s very committed to the future. He knows what needs to be done. He’s a young engineer with a lot of power. I wish him all the best. We will test him – there’s a lot to do.’

Lambo Lanzador was unveiled at Pebble Beach 2023

Although Mohr is ex-Audi, that doesn’t mean the electric Lamborghini will be a rebadged e-Tron. ‘We have such a technological advantage in the Group compared to our competitors that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s important that we find the right balance between make or buy, but this is always the case.

‘We have to define what is very much Lamborghini-like. I’ve found in him somebody who has his own mind. Everybody at Lamborghini knows the value of the Volkswagen brand, but everybody of us also knows the value of the Lamborghini brand.’

The Lamborghini Lanzador EV will be positioned between the Urus and Huracan, the boss confirmed. ‘It will sell less than the Urus [around 6000 a year],’ Winkelmann said. ‘It has to fit perfectly into the Lamborghini brand. A GT car with this type of bodystyle has been missing for decades for us.’

Read our Lamborghini reviews

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words