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Car and Driver: No Hybrids, No Turbos for Lamborghini Aventador, Huracán—Says CEO

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Lamborghini’s replacement for its chiseled Gallardo was the third-fastest car we had ever tested at Lightning Lap, behind only the Porsche 918 Spyder and Mosler MT900S. Well, that was on Day One anyway.

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Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has told us that he is determined for his company to be the most innovative supercar manufacturer, but that this doesn’t mean following rivals into either turbocharged engines or hybrid powerplants for its supercars.

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2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV

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The Aventador (above) and Huracán (top) will remain naturally aspirated for the foreseeable future.
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Although Winkelmann admits the company is considering a hybrid version of the upcoming Urus SUV, he’s says there are no corresponding plans to put electrified powertrains into either of what he describes as the brand’s “super-sports cars”—the Huracán and Aventador—until he’s forced to do so.

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“Lamborghini is all about innovation, but for the engine side we want to be there at the right time,” he told us at the launch of the Huracán LP580-2 in Qatar, “so we say on the super-sports cars we still believe that the naturally aspirated engine is the one to beat. Yes, the Urus will have a turbocharged engine, but it is a different sort of car that is designed around different priorities.”

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Winkelmann admits that, ultimately, tighter fuel-economy and emissions standards are likely to put pressure on Lamborghini to use forced-induction engines, hybrid systems or both. We’ve previously reported that Audi is considering a turbocharged engine for the R8, which shares the Huracán’s platform, but Winkelmann insists that Lamborghini will consider future powertrains on the basis of their driver appeal rather than environmental performance. “There may come a time when we think that a turbo is the next step, and there may be a time when electric cars are better than others. But that has to be across the board, in terms of range, in terms of performance, in terms of weight and last but not least in terms of emotion,” he says. “It will always have to be something that is credible, a car that buyers will believe is a proper Lamborghini.”

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He appeared to rule out a Lamborghini version of the Audi R8 e-tron, suggesting he thinks this fails this credibility test. “A Lamborghini has to be about noise, about excitement. For the time being we have our own strategy.”

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Winkelmann’s view of the limited ability of even the most advanced hybrid systems to add significant performance was supported by Lamborghini’s R&D boss, Maurizio Reggiani, who cited the Aventador SV’s 6:59 lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife earlier this year, within two seconds of the record-holding Porsche 918 despite having neither turbochargers nor an electric motor. “I think that shows there is not much wrong with the way we are doing things at the moment,” he said.

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