Lamborghini is not going to drop the naturally aspirated engines from its next-gen supercars, despite most of the competition having already switched to turbocharging to reduce emissions and improve performance.
The company’s technical director Maurizio Reggiani told Autocar that he is determined to resist any pressure to reduce the number of cylinders in Lamborghini’s future supercars.
“Every car has a mission, and based on that mission you have to choose the right engine,” said Reggiani. “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.”
The 2022 Huracan replacement will likely become a plug-in hybrid, but Reggiani also hinted that the Aventador successor, which will precede it, will also employ some form of electrification.
“We need to reinvent this icon without losing the characteristics of the current car: carbonfibre, the V12 naturally aspirated engine and other components. Looking forward, if it is a hybrid, then in what ways can we compensate for its weight?”
The biggest issue Lamborghini faces revolves around battery density and the need to accommodate a significant number of cells. The Italian supercar maker is currently working in collaboration with MIT on carbon-fiber bodywork that can act as a storage battery, as well as superconductors.
As a first sign of this collaboration, Lamborghini revealed the Terzo Millennio electric concept last year, created with the help of MIT, that showcased next-gen energy storage systems and the use of innovative materials.
Fans of the manic 10-cylinder powerplant in the Huracan have nothing to be afraid of, as Reggianni confirmed that the next baby Lambo will continue using a naturally aspirated V10.
“The reaction you have to a 10-cylinder engine you cannot have from any other kind. This is what our customers love,” he noted. “Why do I need to do something different? If I trust in the naturally aspirated engine, why downgrade my powertrain to a V8 or V6? I am Lamborghini, I am the top of the pinnacle of super-sports cars. I want to stay where I am.”