New 4WD hypercar will mix electric power with a normally aspirated V12 in 2020
20 December 2018

Lamborghini is readying a replacement for the Aventador for 2020 – and is set to adopt a hybridised version of its iconic V12 engine. It will be one of two 2020 series-production Lamborghinis to use electrification, along with a plug-in hybrid Urus SUV, and will be previewed by a low-volume, £2 million hypercar due to be revealed next year. 

Codenamed LB48H, the limited-run hypercar was shown to prospective buyers in model form in June. The biggest news is the powertrain, with the car serving as a prelude for the next Aventador’s set-up by featuring a naturally aspirated V12 engine mated to an electric motor to boost performance and efficiency. 

At the launch of the Aventador SVJ earlier this year, chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani threw more light on what to expect when the new car arrives in 2020. 

Hybridisation has come from necessity, rather than choice. “The law will determine what level of pure-electric driving you need,” Reggiani told Autocar. “There are several discussions ongoing. Some say 20km, some say 30km and China is suggesting 50km – and normally we only develop one car worldwide.” 

Using a hybrid system will add weight, with Reggiani estimating that even a lightweight solution will add 150kg to 200kg. Even with savings made elsewhere, that means the next-generation car is likely to be heavier. 

Our Verdict

Lamborghini Aventador

The Lamborghini Aventador is big, bullish and ballistic, but it isn't perfect

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

“I always say that I prefer to have 10kg less rather than 1hp more, even if the power-to-weight ratio remains the same,” Reggiani said. “But I imagine the starting point of the car will be heavier, no doubt. What will be the end game? We don’t know. Improvements will happen.” 

One side effect of the switch to hybrid powertrains is that Nürburgring Nordschleife records will become substantially harder. Reggiani thinks the Aventador SVJ’s 6min 45sec production car lap record could stand for some while. But it also means Lamborghini is considering using a split hybrid system with an electrically powered front axle rather than a blended set-up with electrical power sent through a conventional transmission. 

“My personal idea is that this is the best concept, to give the best control and management of the chassis,” he said. “It would be easy to have full torque vectoring at the front, to help compensate again for the increase in weight with more agility.” 

The challenge with direct electric drive is that it becomes less effective as speeds increase – a clear problem for a Lamborghini – but Reggiani admits that using a transmission (as BMW has done with the i8) is a workable solution.

“I think yes, you could have a gearbox in the front. This is my vision,” he said. “It can be much more manageable to have an electric motor in the front because you don’t need any kind of propeller shaft. I think it can be the best solution.” 

The naturally aspirated hybrid powertrain will give the Aventador an edge over rivals that have achieved similar performance through turbocharging or downsizing. “For me, turbo engines have a reduction of emotion,” Reggiani said. 

It is not yet clear what the Aventador replacement will be called, although a bull-related name for each new model is usual. But there will be another leap in straight-line pace, with four-wheel drive retained, and a dramatic body design.

Join the debate

Comments
18

20 December 2018
It would be excellent if Lamborghini (or someone else) offered the option of a post-sale removal of this elecric nonsense and associated weight.

They should make it as easy to remove as possible.

289

20 December 2018

Sad day.....Lamborghini sell its soul to the devil. Kind of Automotive Faust!

Lamborghini has already used the name Diablo (Devil), perhaps this Hybrid could be called Beelzebub or Mephistophilis?

20 December 2018

Especially in the use of the phrase “electric nonsense”. Unless you’ve been absent from this planet for a while, you should know cars ARE going to be electric.

However. I thought there was a low volume exemption from emission regulations and, if there isn’t, there ought to be. I can’t believe the emissions from the tiny number of Lamborghinis, especially V12’s, will make an appreciable difference to climate change.

Robbo.

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

wmb

20 December 2018

...about small volume automakers with emissions, but with Lambo being apart of the VW Group and run by Audi, that could remove them from exemption. But with Audi having no future plans for the R8 as it is today, therefore no longer twinning it with the Huracan, will Lambo go back to their original scheme to share engineering and a platform with the next Huracan and the Aventador replacement?

20 December 2018

The reduced efficiency at speed is naturally that without gear-box the electric motors spin ever faster, there are friction losses and there is build up of heat - both of which get worse that higher the rate of spin; clearly a solution that can work is a gearbox - reducing the spin thus decreasing losses through friction and heat. That way there is no reason why electric power-trains can't be efficient at high speeds as well. That probably would imply if power-train has two motors one at front one at rear, two gear-boxes would bee needed.

20 December 2018
Supercars do not need to be electric The majority of cars are NOT supercars. Its the every day cars that could benefit from some alternative propulsion and NOT necessarily electric we have been brainwashed into accepting what we havd been told to accept.

289

20 December 2018

I agree Dog.

This is just pissing into the wind.

Even if it is a plug-in hybrid...how many wealthy owners will bother? And anyway a few short full-bore squirts down the Kings Road and the battery reserve will be gone.

Better to worry about other pollution areas... no one mentions for example, the explosion in demand for Cruise holidays....In Southampton the pollution from these ugly leviathans combined with the thousands of cars queuing to get into the docks is a real issue creating huge air quality spikes....but no one has targeted the Marine industry and made them use batteries!!

20 December 2018
Supercars do not need to be electric The majority of cars are NOT supercars. Its the every day cars that could benefit from some alternative propulsion and NOT necessarily electric we have been brainwashed into accepting what we havd been told to accept.

20 December 2018
Supercars do not need to be electric The majority of cars are NOT supercars. Its the every day cars that could benefit from some alternative propulsion and NOT necessarily electric we have been brainwashed into accepting what we havd been told to accept.

20 December 2018
That was not intentional

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week