MOTOR’s editor, Ray Leathern, is on the frontlines, bringing you the reveals that matter from this year’s IAA motor show in Frankfurt. Like the jaw-dropping Lamborghini Sian hybrid hypercar.
For real-time updates follow our social media: facebook.com/tfgmotor & instagram.com/motormagsa
Back in 2015 the then boss of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelman, said no Lamborghini would ever have a hybrid powertrain. McLaren P1, LaFerrari, Honda NSX and Porsche 918 Spyder, they were all forging down the hybrid path while he ensured the Aventador and Huracan stuck to their naturally aspirated guns. This bullish stance couldn’t last forever, and so, entered Stefano Domenicali, former team principal of the Ferrari F1 team. And voila, would you believe it, his first real contribution is a hybrid hypercar.
Called the Sian, which is loosely translated to ‘flash of lightning’, it is the Sant’Agata firm’s first venture into electrification, and its first step in a long line of hybrid cars according to the new Lambo boss. With styling inspired by the Terzo Millennio, each of the 63 Sians built will undergo a personalisation process to ensure each one is special. The Frankfurt motor show car pictured wears an ‘Oro Elettrico’ theme, with olive green paint and golden flakes for a brighter sheen.
Being a big Lambo, it boasts a 6.5-litre V12 of course – the most powerful version yet with 570 kW at 8 500 rpm – except rather than using traditional lithium-ion batteries, it has a rather novel supercapacitor energy storage solution. It’s as mild a hybrid system as you can get, a 48V electric motor mounted directly in the middle of the car making just 25 kW. How perfectly Italian is that!?
However, Lambo says that’s the best solution for them, as it is three-times lighter and electric boost can be charged and discharged instantly whenever the car brakes. The e-motor is fitted to the gearbox for immediate torque-fill response between gearshifts and it means the Sian can be reversed and parked on silent, smooth electric power alone.
So it’s a hybrid but how much faster is it? Well, the 0-100 km/h launch is a claimed 2.8 sec, which is more or less what the Aventador SVJ achieves, and the Sian will hit the magical 350 km/h mark just like its big, older brother. It’s in-gear acceleration that’s been given a shot in the arm – with Lambo saying the tractability is 10% improved – making it 1.2 sec quicker than an Aventador SVJ.
As mentioned up top, just 63 are being made and they’re apparently all spoken for. The number 63 is a nod to Lamborghini’s originating year, just by the way. But never fear, this is only the beginning of hybrid hypercars from Lamborghini.