What does electrification mean for Lamborghini?
The effects of electrification on the company, customers and fans
What do you think of when you think of a Lamborghini? Most likely a V12. But that could be coming to an end soon with the inevitable electrification of the fleet being announced recently.
The President and CEO of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann, presented the roadmap named Direzione Cor Tauri last week. The plan is ambitious and it seems that the company are heavily invested in electrifying the range. The company are investing 1.5 billion euros over 4 years towards the electrification of the brand. They plan for the whole range to be hybrid by the end of 2024 and have revealed that there will be a new all- electric model in the second half of the decade. Rumours have rumbled on for a while that there will be an all-electric saloon in 2025, which will be based on the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-tron GT.
The changes were inevitable with stricter emissions laws and the ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 in the UK, as well as the sizeable investment by the VW Group, as they continue to reveal more and more electric cars. The focus of the cars seems to be moving towards performance, as Winkelmann assured fans that future cars would only be faster. However, he did state that the new models would stick with the brand's DNA. It would seem hard to keep the driving experience of a Lamborghini without the insane engine sat behind you. Furthermore, the overall experience could be worsened by the additional weight from the batteries, although Winkelmann stated that Lamborghini have always strived at maintaining a high power-to-weight ratio. The challenge would be keeping the weight down with a large engine and the batteries added on to it.
How can Lamborghini keep the same fundamental driving experience without the loud engines? If speed becomes the only redeeming feature of a Lamborghini then the company will lose out to companies like Tesla, who have more knowledge in the electric scene and, with the Roadster coming to market soon, their cars will be faster.
Also, what will the switch do to the reputation of the company in the future? Many young people will say that their dream car is a Lamborghini, but how will that change now that the cars can no longer be as flashy, as they won't have an engine that lets people know that you're there before anyone can see you.
The brand's identity seems to be changing, but they seem to be going about the switch the right way, making models hybrid first, rather than just completely electrifying them straight away and they are using the Sian and the Terzo Millennio concept as tests. For now, the current range seem to be the last of their kind for Lamborghini but, as Winkelmann said, there may be a surprise or two. It also seems likely that the new models will feature motors and other components from other cars in the VW Group, as shown with the Urus.
With the possible introduction of Porsche's synthetic fuel in the next few years, there is hope that the combustion engine could be saved. However, with such a large investment into electrification, there is a possibility that Lamborghini won't turn their back and return to the combustion engine but stick with electricity. In the event of a return to the use of combustion engines, Lamborghini would most likely opt for a mix of combustion engine cars, hybrids and all-electric.
Lamborghini may learn a valuable lesson soon: speed is nothing without enjoyment.
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