Manufacturers like Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren have broadly embraced turbocharging, but it seems, for now at least, Lamborghini will persist with its legendary atmo V12.
“It is true, that at some point in the future, we will need to think to change to turbocharging [for flagship models], but for this moment, a large capacity, naturally aspirated engine is for us,” Lamborghini R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani told Australian media in Spain at the launch of the latest V12 super sportscar, the Aventador S.
The upcoming turbocharged V8 Urus SUV, and content-sharing arrangement with parent company Audi (which has a multitude of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines) highlights the fact things will have to change for Lamborghini in the future.
Counter that though, with the Audi R8, which persists with a 5.2-litre, naturally aspirated V10 engine.
The new Audi SQ7, on which the Urus will be partly based, provides a pointer to group technology with its innovative electric compressor system.
“Theoretically yes, we could use an electric compressor as well, but they bring with them a heavy 48-volt system and ours will need to be as light as possible,” Reggiani said. “The priority must go to keeping it as light as possible, and we won’t consider diesel at the moment either.”
Will the Urus be a pointer for potential supercar development in the future? “It is fair to say, the Urus will be the first Lamborghini that will adopt a PHEV system,” Reggiani said. “A PHEV system is currently ideal for packaging in an SUV platform, but the technology right now doesn’t allow us to set up a super sports car with PHEV the way we would like to.”
Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali sees the future the same way for the manufacturer from Sant Agata. “We can certainly have a naturally aspirated V12 and electrification, but at the right moment,” Domenicali said.
“It could be complementary to the V12, but we won’t have a full electric vehicle anytime soon, for sure.”
Domenicali is keen to emphasise the Urus as the platform for working out these alternative technologies.
“We are already working on the next-generation super sports car platform, but for sure, the second engine of the new SUV will be hybrid,” he said.
“That is the right way to go and that decision has been taken. The first engine will be the V8 twin-turbo, which has been developed in our group obviously, but to our specification.”
Domenicali also thinks the Urus is the platform to use to consider electric compressors like that of the new Audi SQ7. “I think there is interest internally for the 48-volt system like that which Audi uses.
“There is attention to things like the 48-volt system, we watch what they are doing, and we are actively involved.”