- Lamborghini announces a new, hybridized 6.5-liter V-12 powerplant that produces up to 1,001 horsepower.
- It features three electric motors, two in front and one integrated with a new, Lamborghini-designed, eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
- The full car will be shown—and its name revealed—at the end of the month.
We can’t yet show you what the replacement for the Lamborghini Aventador looks like, or even tell you its name—the company only refers to it by the internal code, LB744. But we can share details about its extraordinary new plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The good news is the survival of a naturally aspirated V-12 engine, one that has been at the core of the appeal of the company’s more expensive models since its inception. The new 6.5-litre L545 engine is effectively a heavy development of the one that powered the Aventador, but with more power, more revs, less weight and a compression ratio raised to 12.6:1. Lamborghini says the new engine’s 481-pound mass makes it 37 pounds lighter than the Aventador’s V-12, while its power output has increased to 814 horsepower delivered at a scorching 9250 rpm—with the limiter only calling at 9500 rpm. It also makes a peak of 535 pound-feet of torque at 6750 rpm. But while the Aventador’s V-12 sent power forward to a single-clutch transmission positioned in front of it, the new engine has been flipped 180 degrees, with power routed through a new, Lamborghini-designed eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is. behind it.
But this V-12 is just one part of the new powertrain and is assisted by no less than three electric motors. At the front, a pair of axial-flux motors drive each wheel separately, enabling torque vectoring. There is no mechanical link from the engine to the front axle; the LB744’s four-wheel drive system is always partially electric.
At the rear, a third motor is built into the gearbox, which, thanks to a clever clutch mechanism, can switch between acting as a starter motor and generator or adding power to the rear axle. Each motor can produce up to 148 horsepower, although the combined peak is always less than three times that due to the current flow supported by the battery. The maximum combined output is quoted as an impressively powerful 1001 horsepower – slightly more than the Ferrari SF90 Stradale.
Electrical charge is stored in a compact 3.8 kWh battery pack that sits in what would previously be considered the transmission tunnel in the cabin, allowing for a low seating position on either side of it. Lamborghini has not released a weight claim for the battery, but for reference the claimed capacity is far less than the corresponding figures for the Ferrari 296GTB and SF90, and also the McLaren Artura, suggesting the Lambos should be lighter and less electric kilometers must provide. We do have weight figures for the front motors—41 pounds—and the dual-clutch transmission, which is 425 pounds, including the weight of the integral electric motor.
When depleted, the battery can be recharged from a socket, via regenerative braking with the front motors, or with the V-12 acting as a generator. The latter is claimed to completely replenish the pack in just six minutes. Therefore, it should be possible to be brought back to full strength quickly when riding on track. Lamborghini also says the new DCT transmission will support a “continuous downshift” feature, which holds the left paddle while progressively decelerating and selects the lowest possible gear as speed drops.
Lamborghini promises to reveal more technical details of the new car before the finished version is formally launched at the end of the month. We will keep you posted.
Mike Duff has been writing about the motoring industry for two decades and calls the UK home, although he normally lives life on the road. He loves old cars and adventure in unlikely places, with career highlights including driving to Chernobyl in a Lada.