Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann announced on Tuesday that the Italo-German supercar brand will officially be transitioning to electric vehicles, with the last traditional internal combustion model coming before 2024.
But these kinds of proclamations rarely adhere to observable reality, otherwise, we’d all be riding around in flying cars that can navigate autonomously. What Lamborghini is really promising is an intent to abandon models that rely exclusively on combustible fuels while it builds a bunch of them in the interim. It’s kind of like saying you’re going on a diet next month and gorging yourself on chocolate cake as you brag to your friends about how healthy you’re about to become.
Most manufacturers have been walking an identical path, with the term EV being used interchangeably with PHEV. As far as the world of automotive marketing is concerned, plug-in hybrids should be considered fully-fledged electric vehicles. But it’s strange that Lamborghini is bent on slashing emissions by 50 percent by 2025 (it’s stated goal) when it provides a minuscule number of automobiles to wealthy people whose lifestyles probably create more unnecessary pollution in a year than anyone reading this could manage in their lifetime. Studies from Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute have even estimated that (between 1995 and 2015) that the top 1 percent of earners were already responsible for twice the amount of emissions as the bottom half of the world put together. While we don’t begrudge anyone a private jet, the reality is that Lambo EVs are largely symbolic unless we’re talking about possible performance advantages.
Some of the best modern supercars have had some form of electric assist and Lamborghini will undoubtedly be trying to make hybridization enhance vehicle dynamics before fretting over whether or not it’s eco friendly. They just won’t be shouting that in any interviews.
But what does this look like for the lineup? While the official announcement was brief, Winkelmann spoke with Car & Driver to provide some additional details about how this would reshape the brand. The Huracán will be abandoning the V10 for a twin-turbo V8 with some amount of hybridization, possibly with an electric motor at the front axle.
The Urus will also become a hybrid. Since Lamborghinis are now badge-engineered VW products, look to the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid for inspiration. On the upside, the current model’s 670 combined horsepower and 633 lb-ft of torque ought to make it the most exciting crossover in history. Because there’s absolutely no chance that the Lamborghini hybrid will debut with less power.
That just leaves the Aventador, as we know the supercapacitor-equipped Sián wasn’t ever going to be more than a flashy, limited edition showpiece. Though we hope the $3-millon bauble inspires Lamborghini’s future design choices. The Sián, along with the Terzo Millennio (below), represent some of the coolest and most forward-thinking automotive designs we’ve seen from any manufacturer. They make the Huracán look like a mid-90s Toyota Corolla.
Oh, that’s right, I was talking about the Aventador. Its successor is supposed to keep the V12 but with some hybrid enhancements, which is old news.
There will be a new addition to the lineup. Sometime between now and eventually (after 2025), Lamborghini plans on introducing a totally electric vehicle. That means no internal combustion engine whatsoever. Our guess is that it’s going to have a lot in common with the Porsche Taycan, though we’ve heard literally nothing other than what Lamborghini has told us.
“We want to have a new model line in the second half of this decade,” Winkelmann explained. “It cannot cannibalize what we have today, but my dream is to have the best of two worlds, to try to have a car which is a four-seater two-door like the GT cars of the Fifties and Sixties.”[Image: Huang Zixing/Shutterstock, Lamborghini]