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Lamborghini Executive Talks Electrification, EVs and More

The 2022 model year will be the last year that Lamborghini launches vehicles powered solely by internal combustion engines. Every vehicle the Italian supercar maker launches in 2023 and onwards will be a plug-in hybrid, including the replacement for the mighty Aventador.

AutoTrader recently had the opportunity to speak with Lamborghini Americas CEO Andrea Baldi about the brand’s electrification push during the Canadian debut of the new Huracan Tecnica in downtown Toronto. While the Italian executive admits many traditional Lamborghini buyers aren’t overly eager to see it abandon pure internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, he hopes the prospect of increasing performance with electric motors will offset any doubts they may have.

“I think the roadmap is very clear for us,” Baldi said. “We have a couple of years to celebrate the combustion engine, to express our love for the mechanical complexity ... but then for us, hybridization will be an opportunity to reduce emissions on one hand and increase power on the other one.”

“So there is an understanding that we need to move into that direction, everybody is aware of it,” he added. “I must say some of our customers are hoping this happens as [late] as possible.”

The first plug-in hybrid model from the Italian manufacturer is expected to be the V12-powered replacement for the range-topping Aventador, which will debut next year, global CEO Stephan Winkelmann said previously. A plug-in hybrid version of the Urus crossover will then launch in 2024, along with the plug-in hybrid replacement for the Huracan. These vehicles will serve as the precursor to the automaker’s first battery-electric model in 2028 – a product Baldi says customers are already expressing a great deal of interest in.

“Everybody gets super excited when they also realize we are going to be fully electric with at least one model by 2028, and they are very curious to see how Lamborghini will manage to preserve the DNA in a super sport car with an electric engine,” Baldi said.

“They understand the challenge of embodying the DNA of the brand into an electric car,” he added. “The driving dynamics of our cars depends a lot on the weight, for example, so clearly that’s one of the challenges with an electric car. The technology is catching up with a vision, and by [2028] I’m sure we will have a car that will be, I’m sure, as pleasant to drive [as an ICE vehicle].”

Baldi said the unnamed Lamborghini EV is still in its early planning stages, as one would expect for a vehicle with a launch date six years out, but the automaker already has a rough idea of what it wants this zero-emission model to be.

“At the moment, we are thinking about a Gran Turismo, a 2+2, but again, this is very general information [and] I’m not telling enough about the car,” he said. “I cannot say more at the moment, but obviously you can imagine we are talking about a car that has some significant volumes rather than being a car at the top of our flagship like the Aventador today.”

All this is not to say that Lamborghini is abandoning the combustion engine. The automaker’s plug-in models will still feature V12s and other high-horsepower large-displacement internal combustion engines, and it’s also looking at ways it could keep these motors alive well beyond 2028, Baldi said. This could include synthetic fuels, which are already being explored by fellow Volkswagen-owned brand Porsche. The executive used this writer’s old wristwatch as an example of how people appreciate and want to use aging technology even after it has become obsolete – a comparison that he believes will apply to ICE vehicles in the future.

“If there is any [technology] that can manage to somehow retain the mechanical complexity of an ICE without having any emission, that could be the perfect solution,” Baldi said. “I can see you have a vintage watch. So clearly you are appreciating something that is timeless, and this is something we’d like to see and explore if this is a possibility. We’ll figure it out.”