Lamborghini has revealed its next-generation hybrid drivetrain, to be used by an upcoming replacement for the Aventador supercar.
Although the car itself won’t be unveiled until later in 2023, the Italian company is ready to share details on its new hybrid system, which comprises a 6.5-litre V12 engine, a battery pack and three electric motors.
To produce a combined 1,000 horsepower, the plug-in drivetrain sees the V12 engine mounted longitudinally behind the passenger compartment, with a new eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox positioned transversally behind the engine.
Mounting the gearbox at the back frees up space along the spine of the car, where the transmission tunnel would normally be. This is now home to a 3.8 kWh battery pack that powers three 18.5kg electric motors; one fitted to the gearbox and one driving each of the front wheels. This layout also means more space for storage behind the two occupants, the carmaker says.
The upcoming supercar, which currently uses the codename LB744, can be all-wheel-drive, or just use the front electric motors when cruising. These motors are also used when reversing, while the rear motor can help out if needed – when there’s a lack of traction under the front axle, for example.
Despite the added complexity compared to a regular engine, Lamborghini says this V12 engine weighs 17kg less than that of the Aventador.
The company says the engine alone produces 814 horsepower at 9,250rpm (just short of the sky-high 9,500rpm rev limiter) and 535 lb ft of torque; each motor produces 147hp and there is torque vectoring between the front motors, where power and torque can be shuffled between the front wheels to improve traction and handling.
The battery pack is relatively small compared to other hybrid cars. At 3.8 kWh it is around half the size of the 7.45 kWh battery used by the Ferrari 296 GTB. Lamborghini doesn’t quote an electric-only range, but says the system can be charged at 7kW from an AC socket in 30 minutes, or from the engine while driving and using regenerative braking in as little as six minutes.
As rivals like Ferrari and McLaren switch from V8 to V6 engines with larger battery packs and efficient turbocharging, Lamborghini is resolutely sticking with its naturally-aspirated V12 configuration. It claims the new plug-in hybrid drivetrain emits 30 percent less CO2 than its predecessor, the Aventador Ultimae.