Previous Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann told CarAdvice more than once that the Italian manufacturer ‘would have to consider turbo charging in the future’, but it seems new boss Stefano Domenicali is a little less enthusiastic for the end of Lamborghini’s long line of high-revving, naturally aspirated V12 engines.
“Our position in the [Volkswagen] group must be different, and a naturally aspirated V12 engine is part of that difference,” Domenicali said at the launch of the Aventador S in Spain.
“I don't think we will be left behind at all by not adopting turbo charging. There is space for us to be different.”
Domenicali is obviously keen to emphasise Lamborghini is looking at the future and what it holds, but isn’t ready yet to turn its back on a history that dates back to the very first V12 Lamborghini engine from 1963.
“We look at new models, of course, but Aventador - or that high-level super sports car - will remain a very, very specific car,” Domenicali said.
“It is totally different, because it remains our reference point for being Lamborghini. Our position within the group must be different from the others and the more we go to electrification, for example, the more the cars will be the same.”
While Lamborghini design and style is undoubtedly unique, it is also important for the super sportscar manufacturer to stay true to that philosophy across the board. “It is important for us to stay different in terms of style and technology yes,” Domenicali said. “Our aim is to be the stimulator, to see our niche and to see how we can stay unique.”
He concedes, however, that electrification is in the company's future.
Nonetheless, it only takes a short drive on track to remind us why a high-revving, naturally aspirated engine is such an intoxicating experience, and Domenicali knows that it is a crucial part of Lamborghini’s DNA.
“I think that the V12 is still alive, to be extended, because it is such an important part of our tradition and heritage. The future of the V12 is still important,” Domenicali said.
“Emissions are important of course, and our goal is always to improve the efficiency of the engine, but with our numbers we don’t see realistic issues in the short term.”
Lamborghini fans around the world were quick to worry when great rival Ferrari went all turbo, but it seems those fears are unfounded - for the medium term at least.
“We want to be different, we don’t want to follow the route of the others,” Domenicali said. “We are puristic in that respect. The top priority for us is to retain the feel from a naturally aspirated engine.
"The Aventador has more than five or six more years to run and the next platform also has a V12 at the centre of the project.”
Pushed on the span of the Aventador as we know it now, Domenicali is adamant it has plenty of life left in it yet.
“There is still space for us to extend the life of this iconic car for us,” he said. “We know that one element we can’t ignore is the speed with which we are on the market with the right product. This is the right answer for the future of the Aventador.”