The forthcoming Lamborghini supercar will combine a lightweight V12 with three electric motors – but don’t expect to do the daily commute on battery power alone.
Lamborghini is entering a new era, with the Italian supercar company detailing its most powerful engine to date.
The new car quotes a total power output of 747kW, thanks a 6.5-litre petrol V12 assisted by three electric motors – two 110kW/150Nm e-motors driving the front wheels, and a third that feeds power to the gearbox at the rear axle, while weighing just 18.5 kilograms each.
The gearbox itself is a transverse-mounted (across the width of the car) eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – only the third transverse gearbox ever from the manufacturer – which can decouple from the engine to allow all four wheels to be driven with electric power only.
At 218kg, the engine weighs 17kg less than the V12 found in the outgoing Aventador, making it the lightest 12-cylinder engine ever produced by the company.
This lightweight philosophy extends to its compact gearbox, which comes in at just 193kg, helped by it not having reverse gear – as reversing duties are left to the electric motors – while the electric motor mounted at the gearbox also takes the place of a starter motor.
The hybrid V12 will be the centrepiece of Lamborghini’s next supercar, codenamed LB744 – the replacement for the Aventador – which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
While the LB744 will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the model uses a relatively small 3.8kWh battery pack – mounted along the centre of the car, where the transmission tunnel would normally reside – which can be completely recharged in 30 minutes using a home wallbox up to 7kW, as well as via regenerative braking, or directly from the V12 engine in as little as six minutes.
Using plug-in hybrid mid-size family SUVs as a guide – which offer about 50 to 60 kilometres of electric-only driving range from 10 to 15kWh battery packs – it’s likely the Lamborghini will only be able to manage a few kilometres of low-speed electric driving before the V12 springs into life.
Despite commuting on electricity being ruled out, the advantage is owners should be able to drive out of their garages and away from residential areas silently on battery power before switching to petrol power.
Stay tuned to Drive’s coverage of the new-generation Lamborghini supercar in the coming weeks.