It’s no secret that large displacement, naturally-aspirated engines are on their way out. In fact, aside from both Audi, Lamborghini and the Corvette, there really aren’t a lot on the market anymore. One of the last great champions of the free-breathing engine is Lamborghini, who still uses a naturally-aspirated 6.5 liter V12. Conventional wisdom would say that such a big V12 would soon go the way of the Dodo but it seems as if Lamborghini might save it after all, using hybrid technology of all things.
Lamborghini has been adamant that a proper super sports car should not have turbocharging. According to the people in Sant’Agata, turbocharging lacks the sort of throttle response and purity desired for a supercar. Admittedly, Lamborghini went with a twin-turbocharged engine on the Urus but that’s a super SUV and not a real-deal supercar. Still, Lamborghini can hate on turbocharging but it still faces an emissions problem moving forward.
To solve the emissions problem, Lamborghini might use hybrid technology, so it can keep its mighty V12. Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali recently spoke at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and said “It’s clear that we want to stay with the V12 to have with the top car [referring to the Aventador’s replacement]. Then we can discuss what would be the right engine for the future for the Huracan. Of course, V10 would be the first priority but we have the time to discuss it.” So he wants to keep the V12.
Domenicali also went on to say that “The value of our brand is based on our top end product. It must be really the pure interpretation of a supersport car. We are sure that one of things you must offer on a supersport car is a V12 naturally aspirated engine. The car needs to be engineered for hybrid or not for hybrid. The supersport car cannot be a compromise.”
It’s actually a sensible route to go, as a hybrid powertrain would retain the same razor sharp throttle response of a naturally-aspirated engine, or even enhance it, as it would only just provide electric torque from zero rpm. It would also enhance the power output while keeping emissions lower and increasing fuel economy.
We know it seems crazy to think of a hybrid Lamborghini but people probably thought the same thing about the Ferrari LaFerrari and look how that turned out.