Lamborghini’s New Hybrid V12 Powertrain Will Have Over 1,000 Horsepower
Part of what makes Italian supercars joyous experiences is the raw, redlining shrill of 12 cylinders under maximum acceleration. Yet, the revered acoustics are threatened by the global shift toward eco-friendly drivetrains. Ferrari once opined that it had no interest in hybrid or electric-powered cars, but the money-making process forced the company to acquiesce. It’s a different story with Lamborghini, however. As the perennial fire-spitting wild child of European brands, how does the word “hybrid” fit into its brand? Fortunately, Lamborghini stays true to form with its recently unveiled hybrid V12 powertrain that punches horsepower numbers into the four-digit range.
When is Lamborghini going electric?
The famed supercar and tractor maker is set to debut their foray into electric cars (at least partially) at the end of March. But they decided to release some facts and figures on what will power the new model. Dubbed the LB744 internally, at the heart of Lamborghini’s next-generation flagship is a full, fat 6.5-liter V12. Many may think it’s the same powerplant pulled from the outgoing Aventador, but it isn’t. Lamborghini says their new supercar features an “unprecedented layout” underneath.
Whereas most electrically-assisted vehicles with more than one motor split them between the front and back axles, Lamborghini won’t. Two of the motors will be located on the front e-axle. The third is integrated into the all-new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, thus providing all-wheel drive capabilities. In a first, Lamborghini situated the gearbox transversely to the V12. The company says the subsequently empty transmission tunnel is now home to a new lithium-ion battery.
What Lamborghini has the most horsepower?
The outgoing Lamborghini Aventador 780-4 Ultimae has a raucous 769 horsepower and 531 pounds-feet of torque, going to all four wheels. As a goodbye to internal combustion-only supercars, Bologna-based engineers made it the most powerful road-going Lambo ever made. But just because electricity comes into the mix doesn’t mean power drops. Quite the opposite, actually.
Lamborghini says their all-new hybrid V12, without counting the triple electric motors, puts down 813 horsepower and 535 pounds-feet of torque. Enthusiasts also shouldn’t worry about the soundtrack taking a back seat to climate initiatives. Whereas the old V12 stopped shouting at 8,500 rpm, the hybrid V12 sings all the way to 9,500 rpm. That redline may trouble wearisome passersby on the Sunset Strip or induce a fracas on Saville Row. To mitigate inner-city disturbances, the Lamborghini’s three electric motors create an electric-only driving mode for areas with emission restrictions.
The next-generation Lamborghini will have 13 driving modes, including Città (City), designed for everyday driving in urban centers. Electric-only power output is just 177 horsepower, a bit less than what is offered when mated with the V12. Despite its girth, the outgoing Aventador weighs just a few hundred pounds more than the average compact sedan. Lamborghini has already dropped the weight of the new hybrid V12 by approximately 37 pounds over the previous L539 engine. More weighing shedding is expected, so the City mode will likely provide ample power to putter around downtown. The 3.8-kWh battery may not be able to handle daily driving requirements, but who wouldn’t want to hear that hybrid V12 scream to recharge the battery?
Is the new Lamborghini the only hybrid V12 supercar?
Most would point to Ferrari’s LaFerrari as the hybrid V12 supercar. However, there’s a big difference in the electrical assistance systems between the two Italian heavyweights.
Lamborghini’s new hybrid V12 has three separate motors, all of which can be used without the engine itself. On the other hand, the LaFerrari utilizes a Formula 1-derived Kinetic Enginery Recovery System (KERS). Its 950 horsepower can’t be split between internal combustion or electricity. Therefore, Lamborghini takes the cake with the world’s first hybrid V12 with over 1,000 horsepower.