Electrification could come when it's relevant, the Lambo honcho says
Despite the push for fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions, the V12 is still a staple of high performance. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and yes, Lamborghini maintain fleets of these monstrous dinosaur engines. And for Lamborghini, that's not going to change.
CEO Stefano Domenicali sat down with Autocar and explained in no uncertain terms that his company will continue to offer V12s for the time being. "Our major customers and dealers around the world say: 'Please do not touch the V12,'" Domenicali told Autocar. "So we will continue to work in that direction."
But there's more than just customer demand driving Lambo's V12 loyalty. According to Domenicali, the company's niche is small enough to weather V12-ruining storms.
"In the short term, there is still a lot of development potential in the V12," Domenicali told Autocar. "Of course, we need to understand what the market is doing in terms of emissions and legislation, but I don't see that will be a problem. We are always very open to how the market might evolve."
That evolution, lately, has tended toward electrification. The flagship of Lambo's arch-nemesis Ferrari pairs a 12-cylinder engine with a hybrid system for blistering performance. Then there's the stuff happening with the V8-powered Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1. These three hybrids are in an entirely different and more potent performance (and price) class than Lamborghini's hottest model, the Aventador LP750-4 SV. Hybrids are the future of performance, for Lamborghini included... eventually.
"We cannot be disconnected to the world of the future but we want to be balanced," Domenicali said. "We need to make sure that as soon as the technology of electrification is relevant to our car at a cost level, and will add value, we are flexible to shift in that direction."
Finally, Domenicali addressed advanced connectivity systems while parrying Autocar's question about autonomous vehicles. "If you own a Lamborghini, you want to have the passion of driving it and we need to keep that. But new technology could have some relevance to the driver. For example, if you are on a race track, you could have a head-up display which shows you how to maximize your performance [around a corner], using the telemetry we have now," Domenicali told AC. "That's an approach where I see that technology could be very useful for our customer."