A supercar with a petrol-andelectric hybrid powertrain has been some time coming from Lamborghini. Ferrari, for instance, did it quite sometime ago when it brought out the La Ferrari. But considering that Lamborghini could fall back on the fact that the emissions its cars created could be offset by the lack of dirty air coming out of the tailpipe of some dinky little car somewhere as the Volkswagen group of Germany was making both the cars. That fleet emission norms that were in force for companies as a whole allowed Lambo to continue to make its highemission petrols that have a huge appeal among buyers.
But that has changed. With the narrowing down of fleet emission standards to particular car brands, Lamborghini has had to relook at how much of greenhouse gases its cars are spewing out and how to reduce that. The solution, unsurprisingly, is to couple the petrol engine with an electric so that the latter does some of the work and also chips in when higher torque or power is required so that the petrol engine doesn’t have to strain itself to cross those humps and the entire exercise can stay clean and green.
In a couple of months Lambo will be rolling out its first hybrid. While anticipation is quite high about it the company has teased the powertrain to whet people’s curiosity further. So as not to let go of its V-12 engine cache, that is being retained in the powertrain, something that we had reported earlier, but now the company has announced what the underpinnings of the new car will be.
A new V12 petrol engine has been used along with three electric motors and is designed to retain the sound. It is also mounted with the gearbox behind it, rather than in front
To begin with, the company is designating the vehicle an HPEV, or high-performance electric vehicle, which is Lambo-speak for hybrid supercar or hypercar, and it is codenamed the LB744. A new architecture has been created for it with a new powertrain that will deliver more than 1,000hp in total, combining the power of a new 12-cylinder internal combustion engine with three electric motors and a new double-clutch gearbox.
The layout is interesting. The naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 mid-mounted engine has one of the three electric motors integrated into the gearbox that is mounted transversely behind the combustion engine. In the ‘transmission tunnel’, there is a lithium-ion battery to power the electric motors. All this is very different from the Sian hybrid of 2019 that stored the electrical energy in a supercapacitor. The LB744 will be a plug-in hybrid with a lightweight lithium ion battery. The new L545 engine has a capacity of 6.5-litres and is the lightest and most powerful 12-cylinder engine ever made by Lamborghini. It puts out around 814hp at 9,250rpm and can spin up to 9,500 rpm. Maximum torque is 725Nm at 6,750 rpm. And Lambo says it has paid particular attention to the sound that the L545 makes, which buyers should appreciate. Coupled with the V12 are three electric motors, two of which are onthe front axle, while the IC engine delivers power to the rear wheels. The third, as mentioned above, is positioned above the gearbox and can supply power to the rear wheels, depending on the selected driving mode and the conditions. Each of the front motors makes 350Nm. The gearbox tries to mimic a few features of the traditional ones and in the P3 position, the LB744 can become an electric fourwheel drive car, depending on the drive mode selected, continuing Lamborghini’s four-wheel drive tradition even with zero emissions.