► Cash earmarked for new range of electrified cars
► Fresh hybrid line-up set for launch by 2024…
► … and Lamborghini’s first EV to arrive before 2030
Lamborghini is perched on the precipice on an electrified revolution. The company’s CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, recently told the Italian business newspaper Il Sore 24 Ore that his firm will spend €1.8 billion (around £1.5 billion) to produce a fresh range of hybrid vehicles by 2024.
The brand’s revamped, tree-hugging line-up will include hybrid versions of the Huracan supercar and Urus SUV, while the replacement for the aging Aventador will adopt plug-in hybrid power. It’s also worth noting that this €1.8 billion figure doesn’t include the money Lamborghini needs to produce its first electric car, which will hit the showrooms before the end of the decade.
Lamborghini’s spending on electrified technology has increased hugely since the company’s previous update. In January 2022, the brand said it was expecting to spend €1.5 billion on its hybridisation project – and Winkelmann expects the figure will keep growing.
He told the paper: “We have earmarked €1.8 billion, 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?
Winkelmann walked us through it. “We are almost sold out for the entire year of 2022,” he said. “And 2022 will be the last year when we are launching internal-combustion-engined cars only. There will be two derivatives from the Huracan coming up. And there will be a facelift that will be split into two for the Urus. So, there will be four new products that we present this year.”
We’re already aware of the two Huracan derivatives. The first is the Huracan Tecnica, which is being pitched as the mid-point between the standard Huracan Evo and the track-bashing Huracan STO. Think of it as a rival for the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Shortly, we’ll also see the finished version of the off-road biased Huracan Sterrato.
The plug-in hybrid Aventador
Stop frothing at the mouth. If Lamborghini’s going to stick around, it needs to adapt. After years of speculation, Winkelmann confirmed to CAR Magazine in January 2022 that the replacement for the Aventador will feature a plug-in hybrid V12 powertrain. Our spy photographers have also caught a glimpse of a development mule for the new car (pictured below).
Winkelmann said: “‘In 2023 we will have the follow-up for the Aventador, which will be the first plug-in hybrid, with a complete new V12 engine. And then in ’24 we will have the Urus and the Huracan follow-on as well, plug-in hybrid cars. This will close the first step of our strategy, which will cut CO2 emissions by 2025 compared to today by at least 50 per cent.”
“It’s three different engines: Urus has the V8, the Aventador 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.
“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 will also have 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.
Then, for the more eco-conscious audience, there’ll be the Urus hybrid and a new “fourth” model. This latter vehicle will be a pure-electric grand tourer which Lamborghini first announced during its Cor Tauri press conference, complete with a veiled teaser (below).
Winkelmann also says he and his team are 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.”
The Lamborghini EV does not currently exist. “We are still in the strategy planning, we are still in the phase where we are putting together all the numbers. We are looking into volumes, we are looking into geographical distributions, we are looking into the financials, all these things, but we have a pretty good idea where this is going to end. I’m pretty convinced that we will find a good solution, a good way to do it.
“The team as a whole – we are here 2000 people – has embraced it and really see that this is a big opportunity for the future growth of this company.”
Lamborghini’s recently appointed chief technical officer Ruben Mohr is, says Winkelmann, “very enthusiastic” about the brand. “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.”
Although he’s 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.”
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