The Next Aventador Will Have a Naturally Aspirated V-12 and Supercapacitors

Lamborghini chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani tells us all about its next big V-12 machine.

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Máté Petrány

Back in 2017, Lamborghini showed off an electric concept car, the Terzo Millenio, that used supercapactitors instead of batteries for energy storage. Then we learned it's building a hybrid hypercar with supercapacitors and a V-12, codenamed LB48H. And at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani just told us the Aventador successor is getting similar hardware.

We covered a lot about Lambo's future, so we'll get right to it.

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Máté Petrány

A final Aventador after SVJ Roadster?

Everybody is trying to figure what will be the successor of the Aventador, but we’re still not announcing when that will be. There’s the possibility to have a kind of final Aventador family member, also because the next car will have hybridization, making the Aventador the last purely [non-hybrid] car from Lamborghini with a V-12. It will still have to be decided what to do next. Are we to jump to the successor [after the SVJ Roadster]? I think at the moment, we don’t foresee another [non-hybrid] version of the Lamborghini V-12.

Using supercapacitors instead of batteries:

We were the first to use a supercapacitor in Aventador for the starter battery, and we are convinced that for a super-sports car, this is one of the most suitable solutions. We need to maintain the emotions generated by the naturally aspirated V-12, and it’s clear that the performance gap needs to be filled with electrification. Torque boost can give a much more consistent power delivery, especially at low rpm. It results in much more usable performance, and so I expect our V-12 to remain more or less like it is today, with increased power. I’m convinced that the V-12 still has a long life, even in the era of hybridization.

How to deal with added weight:

We look into technologies that allow us to minimize the weight increase as much as possible, going further than the battery and the electric motor. But another important step is what we’ve introduced with the Huracán Evo, all related to chassis control. They produce the feeling that the car is much more agile, and lighter. This is thanks to the rear-wheel steering, the torque-vectoring, and the possibility to control every aspect of the car much faster. These systems together are able to minimize the perception of weight. Clearly, from a physics standpoint, weight is weight, mass is mass, but with body control, you can reduce the negative effects. For example, when we introduced rear-wheel steering on the Aventador S, the first impression of all the journalists was that the car was lighter. The car is not lighter, but it’s much more agile. In the end, if you added a kilo, that’s a kilo added, but we can offer better chassis control, electronics, and of course we’re also working hard on new technologies such as structural carbon fiber, in order to minimize the added weight of the hybridization.

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Máté Petrány

The "glow-in-the-dark" LB48H

This is a solution we’ve investigated for a small series of cars with the first level of Lamborghini hybrid. It’s a system based on supercapacitors, and offers the most efficiency you can have in terms of power-to-weight ratio. It’s clearly a “first jump” into the new world, and will prove that in a super sports car, it’s possible to have this technology. We’ll also continue with one-offs and very small series cars, as we started first with the Reventón.

Well, there you have it. Lambo wants to store its electric power electrostatically instead of electrochemically, as you would with a lithium-ion battery, taking advantage of a supercapacitor's lower weight and higher power density. And with a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12 somehow still fitting this mid-engined package, Lambos won't get any less dramatic in the 2020s. Maurizio Reggiani's team will make sure of that.

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Máté Petrány
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