Pin your eyelids open; you won’t want to miss a single millisecond of your chance to gawp at the very first hybrid Lamborghini.
The Sian displays a uniquely Lamborghini-ish approach to electrification with an even further uprated 6.5-litre V12 that has titanium intake valves, a tweaked ECU and a new exhaust that help bump raw ICE power to 774bhp at a giddy 8500rpm.
Then there’s a feeble-sounding but surprisingly potent 34bhp electric motor, which boosts peak power to 808bhp but also makes the Aventador SVJ seem like a pedestrian hatchback when it comes to response at lower speeds. The instant torque from its motor punches the Sian from 43mph to 75mph (70-120kph) an eye-opening 1.2 seconds faster than the SVJ.
This is not just the most powerful Lamborghini ever made; it’s also the fastest. From rest it will haul ass towards the horizon at a frightening pace. The benchmark sprint to 62mph comes about in “less than 2.8 seconds” on the way to a top speed of over 217mph (350kph).
The e-motor incorporated into the gearbox applies extra torque all the way up to 81mph. As Lamborghini points out, the whole electrical propulsion system, including an innovative supercapacitor, only weighs 34kg and therefore on its own offers a power-to-weight ratio of 1bhp per kilogram.
Of course, that’s silliness because without a chassis and wheels it can’t actually go anywhere, but who are we to get in the way of Italian press release madness? The point is that this is Lamborghini’s way to achieve the maximum performance boost for the minimum possible weight penalty, and we’re totally on board with that.
The Sian takes its suitably mental design cues from a futuristic reinterpretation of the Countach, despite being inescapably related to the Aventador, whose basic chassis it shares. The supercapacitor in the Sian, though, can store 10 times the power of the prototype in the Aventador. It’s three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a battery producing the same power. It’s located in the bulkhead between the cabin and the engine, in the middle of the car.
Using a supercapacitor like this one means power can be regenerated as quickly as it is used, unlike in lithium-ion batteries that need to charge more slowly than they can be discharged. Lamborghini says the Sian’s energy storage is therefore fully replenished every time the driver brakes with any gusto. That energy is then instantly on hand when you get back on the loud pedal.
Only 63 will be made, to mark the company’s birth in 1963. All were pre-sold before you read this and all will be customised to the exact tastes of their buyers. Interestingly, this is the first Lamborghini to adopt a new naming convention: instead of taking the names of famous fighting bulls from history, Sian means ‘flash’ or ‘lightning’ in the local Bolognese dialect around the factory.
We’re also pleased to be able to add that this hybridisation secures the medium-term futures of the V12 and V10 engines we love so much. Expect to see similar applications with less power in the next Huracan – or whatever its replacement may be called.