Lamborghini is one of the last car companies heroically clinging on to natural aspiration. It produces not one but two supercars powered by atmospheric engines, but you can’t help but wonder how much longer that’ll go on for.
However, while the future for engines that buck the downsized turbo trend isn’t looking so rosy, Lamborghini is sticking to its guns. Speaking to Pistonheads, the company’s chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani confirmed that Sant’Agata Bolognese is committed to its legendary V12. The replacement for the Aventador won’t just be packing a 12-cylinder engine, it’ll also be one that goes without forced induction.
The key to making this possible will be hybrid technology. “The V12 has been part of the story of Lamborghini since the very beginning,” Reggiani, adding, “It has been present in every year of our history, which is why our strategy and our vision for the future is to continue to have a V12 coupled with a hybrid motor”. He later added: “The very soul of our car will be based on the naturally aspirated V12 engine.”
It’s understood this won’t involve an atypical supercapacitor-type system as used by the Sian hypercar, since a greater level of electrification will be necessary to get the emissions figure down sufficiently. Reggiani, who’s been at Lamborghini nearly 25 hears and has been in the top engineering job since 2006, admitted there will be a weight penalty with this approach. However, he noted that there will be benefits, touting the possibility of a front motor setup allowing for strong torque vectoring forces, similar to what we’ve seen in the Ferrari SF90 and Honda NSX.
If all of this sounds quite familiar, it’s because Lamborghini has touted the use of hybrid assistance as a way to keep its glorious 6.5-litre V12 alive before. That was a couple of years ago, though - since then, the outlook for these kinds of units has become even bleaker. For Lambo to commit itself to a nat-asp V12 when the next Aventador is potentially in the early stages of its development is heartening news.
“For a purist, for a lover of engineering, an engine with a regular firing order is perfection, and with a V12 you have for every sixty degrees a spark and everything is self-balancing,” Reggiani said. Preach.