For years, auto enthusiasts scowled at the the thought of hybrid technology taking away displacement, power and tradition in the pursuit of fewer emissions. It's safe to say that is not the case because mad minds like those inside of Lamborghini are using the technology to create faster, more-powerful supercars.
The case in point today is the Lamborghini Sian, which bowed Tuesday ahead of its maiden reveal at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show later this month. The Sian marks a new era for the Italian firm -- one that leans on electrification to not only create more powerful cars, but efficient ones to boot.
Let's start with the electrified heart of it all. Under the striking and jagged sheetmetal is a traditional V12 engine, but rather than a lithium-ion battery that is often the norm, Lamborghini said it's instead installed the first supercapacitor to operate in a hybrid powertrain. The supercapacitor has multiple benefits over a traditional battery. The unit included with the Sian is three times more powerful than a battery and three times lighter than a battery that produces the same power. In supercars, keeping weight out of the equation is always a primary goal.
Weighing just 75 pounds, the supercapacitor and electric motor sit between the cockpit and bulkhead to ensure a perfect weight distribution remains. Speaking of the electric motor, it creates 34 horsepower of the 819 hp on tap. It's also bundled into the transmission for quick response and even better acceleration than the Aventador SVJ. At low speeds, the supercapacitor and electric motor provides enough power to operate the Sián on electric power. Not a lot, though, since Lamborghini mentioned drivers will operate the supercar silently will parking or reversing, for example.
The advanced engineering continues to the regenerative braking system. Unlike a battery, the supercapacitor supports charging and discharging with the same power. Thus, the supercapacitor is totally charged every single time the driver brakes. That energy is stored and provides a power boost and added torque during acceleration up to 80 mph. The traditional engine features upgraded titanium intake valves that help push power to 785 hp at 8,500 rpm -- the most power from a Lamborghini engine ever.
On paper, this electrified bull will do 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, which makes it the quickest accelerating Lamborghini ever. Traction is up 10% in third gear thanks to added torque from the electric motor. Sprints from 20 mph to 40 mph are around 0.2 seconds quicker than the Aventador SVJ and 45 mph to 75 mph happens about 1.2 seconds quicker than today's top Lamborghini. It sounds like the Sian could give the SVJ a run for its money at the Nurburgring Nordschleife; the latter is currently the lap record holder.
Never one to forget about aerodynamics, Lamborghini took care to make the Sian a slippery thing, too. Air flows through the front splitter, hood, side intakes and out over the rear spoiler. Further, the "Periscopio" tunnel in the roof harkens back to the Countach that links with the slats on the engine cover for more aero expertise.
On design, what can we say? This is a Lamborghini, and the firm is notorious for producing some wild designs. The Sian is no different with multiple nods to the Countach (the wedgey contours, diagonal lines in the hood) and Y-shaped headlights first seen on the Terzo Millennio concept car. It's familiar, yet certainly pulls away from current Lamborghini design.
The company will build 63 production cars in honor of its founding year of 1963. Yes, every single one has already been sold.