Lamborghini set to keep iconic V12 engine alive, for now

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Words: Matthew Hansen
27 Nov 2020

As manufacturers around the world move to phase out their high-power, high cylinder count engines in favour of more tightly wound electrified powertrains, Lamborghini has confirmed that its naturally aspirated V12 is set to hang around for a while yet. Sort of.

Speaking to American outlet Car & Driver, Lamborghini chief technical officer Maurizo Reggiani let slip that a replacement for the firm’s Aventador is just around the corner. And, it will still feature a 12-cylinder engine under the rear hatch.

Reggiani confirmed that the engine will remain naturally aspirated, but added that it’s going to feature an electric motor and hybrid system. The presence of electrification helps “fill in the weaknesses of the naturally aspirated engine, especially where torque is weak,” he said.

Reggiani wouldn’t dive too much deeper in the chat, although he did mention that the electric motor is likely to be mounted in the front. “If you have the possibility to use an electric front axle with torque vectoring left and right, you can do something truly exceptional in terms of helping the driver for traction and handling.”

The notion of an electrified V12 engine might sound a little blasphemous. But it’s perhaps the only way a company like Lamborghini can keep an engine like his alive in today’s age of stringent emissions regulations. “V12 has been part of the story of Lamborghini since the very beginning,” Reggiani added, noting the importance of keeping the 12 cylinder in the raging bull’s line-up.

The current Lamborghini Aventador S produces 544kW of power and 690Nm of torque from its naturally aspirated 5.4-litre V12; capable of hitting 100km/h in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 350km/h. It’s tipped that an electrified V12 Aventador will present a huge leap forwards on those already impressive numbers.

 

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