Lamborghini will turn to hybrid tech for its sports cars early next decade.Lamborghini has been reluctant to make the switch to turbochargers, but the Italian sports car maker has confirmed that its followup to the Huracan, due out in 2022, will utilize a hybrid powertrain.Unlike rival Ferrari, Lamborghini has been unwilling to adopt turbo technology as a way to boost fuel economy while maintaining performance. That's because the company believes its customers demand the linear acceleration provided by a naturally-aspirated engine. So with forced induction off the table, Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali says the company will turn to hybrid tech.
"The [next] Huracan - that car will need hybridization. Hybridization is the answer, not [full] electric," he told Autocar.
Lamborghini's upcoming Urus SUV will be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, but the Huracan successor, which will be the first hybridized Lamborghini sports car, poses a new set of challenges for the company. Packaging a heavy hybrid system in a large SUV isn't overly difficult; putting that system into a lightweight sports car that's intended for the track is a whole different story.
"It's easier in our first plug-in hybrid, the Urus, because the ambition of the car in terms of packaging and weight is not so difficult," Lamborghini R&D head Maurizio Reggiani said. "But this is one mission. It's not the Lamborghini super-sports car mission."
He added that today's battery technology is also limiting for super car applications. "The issue today is the storage of energy. If I go to a track, I need to run all the laps that I want. But today, the problem is that if you go, you are only able to run one and a half laps [flat out]."
Lamborghini stablemate Porsche has been working on developing solid-state batteries, which could solve the issue of energy storage. Work is still ongoing on the solid-state batteries, which explains why Lamborghini will wait until 2022 to launch its next-generation Huracan model.
Lamborghini's next flagship V12 model, meanwhile, will skip the move to hybridization. The company's Aventador successor is due out before the new Huracan, but an official launch date has not been locked down.