Lamborghini has several masterpieces under its belt when it comes to cars that deliver on the thrill craved by the enthusiast or those that star in a poster adorning our bedroom walls. And not to mention, those that create music for the ears. So, what goes into taking powertrain decisions at Lamborghini, what is the future of V10s or V12s and where does Lamborghini plan to go with its naturally aspirated engines. We got in a conversation with Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer at Automobili Lamborghini to better understand the manufacturer's stand in the current wave of electrification in the global automobile industry.
What is the future of the naturally aspirated engines that Lamborghini currently uses? Will they be upgraded to meet future emission norms or just entirely phased out?
Lamborghini will stay with its current strategy for the naturally aspirated engines from its next-gen supercar. Every car has a mission and based on that mission you have to choose the right engine. For the Urus SUV, the decision was turbo, but we will continue to choose natural aspiration for the super-sports cars. In the future, we will need to take account of fuel consumption and emissions. I am convinced the naturally aspirated engine coupled with a hybrid system can be the right answer
Lamborghini is very open to new technologies. This has been shown also with the concept car Terzo Millennio and today with Sian FKP 37 as our first step towards electrification.
How much of customer feedback is implemented in a powertrain that Lamborghini builds? How different/similar is it from the process followed at the other brands in VAG?
Customer feedback is constantly taken into consideration in the creation process. For instance, the Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) which is a Central Processing Unit that controls every aspect of the car’s dynamic behavior, fully integrating all of the car’s dynamic systems and set-up to anticipate the next move and needs of the driver, interpreting this into perfect driving dynamics. This technology was developed based on customer feedback and through our constant R&D effort. Another example is the Alston SC18 – the first one-off created by Lamborghini's motorsport division – was designed in conjunction with the customer by Centro Stile Lamborghini and loaned for the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 to show off its track prowess running up the hill.
One of the secrets of Lamborghini's success since it became part of the Volkswagen Group through the acquisition by Audi back in 1998, is the autonomy it enjoyed. On one hand, we benefit from high-quality standards and economies of scale which are vital in a complex business like making cars. On the other hand, we are a 360 degrees company with in-house resources for design, engineering, manufacturing, quality. We maintain our identity and our “being Italian”. Nevertheless, we are working closely together with the group brands in the areas where it makes sense.
World over, the mantra is downsizing including for the VW group? Does it clash with what customers want or for the sake of common parts, Lamborghini is going to cut on its V12s and V8s for more powerful V6s?
The super sports cars remain Lamborghini’s crucial business and the company was profitable already before the introduction of the Urus. Both super sports cars car model lines, V10 and V12, delivered record sales performance: 2,780 Huracán delivered to customers in 2018 (+5%), 1,209 Aventador delivered to customers in 2018 (+3%) and reached new production highs with over 8,000 Aventador produced in seven years and over 11,000 Huracán produced in four years.
For a brand like Lamborghini exclusivity and high residual values, also for pre-owned Lamborghini’s are key. Brand image and desirability are more important than short-term and fast growth. We focus on stable growth for the next years in which we want to consolidate our three model lines.
SUVs with diesel powertrains are the need? Manufacturers, even the premium ones like Bentley have a diesel engine under the hood of their SUVs. Will we see one in the Urus?
For our product range, the direction will be the use of PHEV technology, to be applied in the next generation of Aventador and Huracán, and later in the Urus.
How far is Lamborghini from introducing an all-electric model? Let's say even a sedan version of their vehicles more than sportscars or now an SUV?
A completely electric Lamborghini is not planned in the short/medium term. Our road to electrification has been defined starting from the Sian introduction with hybrid technology.