Stephan Winkelmann talks about the future for Lamborghini
We were all eagerly awaiting the release of an announcement where Stephan Winkelmann, President, and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, talked about the future of Lamborghini, what direction they are taking the Raging Bull brand and what we can expect in the not so distant future from the cars built in Sant’Agata, the headquarter of Automobili Lamborghini SpA … and it’s all about electrification, what else?
Lamborghini calls it “Direzione Cor Tauri”, in plain English this consist of the plans to ‘decarbonize’ future Lamborghini models, the plan is to cut down CO² emissions by 50% on all Lamborghini cars by 2025, achieving such a reduction won’t come easy, and it will mean we will have to say goodbye to the glorious V12 and V10 naturally aspirated engines … but didn’t we already knew about this?
Such an announcement has been in the making for years now, legislation is changing on a global scale, and high-power gas-guzzling V12 engines are getting out of fashion in a hurry with the powers that rule, so we should all get a car that goes “woosh” and runs on batteries … but that’s not why we love Lamborghinis so much, we actually love the grunt from those massive exhaust pipes at the rear, coming from a large displacement V12 engine, because, let’s face it, the late Ferruccio Lamborghini got it right, a ‘real’ car comes with a V12.
But let’s not panic too soon, the entire ‘road to electrification’ will go through three phases according to Stephan Winkelmann, step one will make sure the naturally aspirated engines we’ve known since 1963 will go out in style, and will remain the highlight for the flagship from Sant’Agata until 2022, the first actual hybrid production model will be introduced in 2023 only, not any time sooner.
If you think about that statement, some other things are made obvious … the Aventador will stay in production, with its massive V12 engine, until the end of 2022, Winkelmann again confirms we’ll be seeing two new V12 cars later this year, which, even if they are limited edition models, will have to be built well into 2022 to satisfy demand, when they introduce the successor, which as we all know, will be a hybrid, it will be 2023, so most likely the final Aventador model, whatever it may be called, will leave the Sant’Agata assembly line by the Summer of 2022, after which they convert the line to build the first pre-production versions for the successor.
With the Lamborghini Huracán EVO and EVO RWD being introduced recently, it is highly unlikely this model will be replaced in 2023 with the first hybrid production series model Stephan Winkelmann talks about, but as he mentions: ‘the entire range will be electrified by the end of 2024’, the Huracán will be replaced by a successor only one year after the Aventador, in early 2024 I guess, which will mean the end of the naturally aspirated V10 engine.
So what’s up with the Urus then? We’ve already seen the test-mule for the facelift version, which is bound to be unveiled any time soon, but will it also come with a new, Urus Ibrido version? Ever since the Lamborghini Urus was introduced, the rumor was that this would be the first production Lamborghini to get help from electric motors … so is that the car Winkelmann refers to for the 2023 launch? I highly doubt that to be honest, the car is still selling extremely well, so perhaps a higher power output version of the Urus will be released first with a facelift, but it is clear the Aventador is getting old, and really needs a replacement as soon as possible, so my money is on the Aventador replacement for 2023.
So the second step is the complete move to hybrid by the end of 2024, the intention is to have the entire range of Lamborghini cars available in hybrid form in a little over three years, to achieve this feat a massive investment of 1,5 billion Euro over this period is foreseen, so Lamborghini engineers can develop ways to reduce weight as much as possible to counteract the addition of electric motors and batteries to the cars, but still offer mindblowing performance and handing, something that is just part of the Lamborghini DNA for decades, and that is their first priority to retain when creating a hybrid Lamborghini.
This will mean the end of the V12 and V10 naturally aspirated engines for Lamborghini, something that can’t be avoided with the evolution of laws around the world, but if there’s one bright star at the skies, for now, the V12 is destined to remain for that 2023 hybrid series production car, it will get help from electric motors, but there will still be a V12 engine fitted … if it will be the same 6.5-Liter version we know from the Aventador today isn’t so sure, and honestly, I think it’s highly unlikely. My guess is we’ll be seeing a smaller displacement V12 engine with one or more electric motors to get a power output close to, or even over the 1,000 hp mark, the flagship model from Sant’Agata will keep its V12 engine.
For the Huracán replacement things might be a lot different, the chances of the V10 engine remaining are slim to non-existent we’ve been told, once the successor turns to hybrid form, the chances of fitting a smaller V8 or even a V6 engine are very high, this would be an easy way to reduced weight so the added electric motors and batteries don’t add too much overall weight in the end, and with power outputs from other makes using a V8 with a hybrid add-on reaching some very impressive numbers, it wouldn’t be unfeasible to have an Huracán replacement hybrid with 700 or more horsepower, even with a V6 engine.
And now comes the kicker … phase three. In 2025 Automobili Lamborghini SpA plans to add a fourth model to the line-up, then we’ll have seen both the Aventador and the Huracán being replaced by a new model with hybrid power, the Urus will be well into her facelift and offered as a hybrid too … so time to add a GT to the model list, and it will be the first all-electric Lamborghini ever!
Yes, you’ve got it right, by the second half of this decade we’ll have an electric Lamborghini, and no, it won’t be a golf cart, it will be a new, additional model, most likely a Grand Tourer, either two or four doors, but with at least a 2+2 seating configuration, most likely even a four-seater. And I would be really surprised if Lamborghini wouldn’t be using an evolution of the chassis from the Porsche Taycan or Audi e-tron GT we know today … I sure wouldn’t mind seeing an evolution of the beautiful Estoque concept that was destined for production over a decade ago, but got surpassed by the Urus.
Whatever we all were expecting from Lamborghini for the future, I’m sure it has to be a move to hybridization was inevitable, there is no way around that, but I’m also confident we’ll be seeing some amazing new cars emerge from Sant’Agata that will still come with all the legacy and DNA seen in most Lamborghini built since 1963, it’s time for the future, it’s time for a Lamborghini hypercar to take the throne from the Aventador.