Lamborghini’s Next Hypercar Getting Triple-Digit HP from Hybridized V-12
Lamborghini is turning the next-generation Aventador supercar’s powertrain on its head—mostly by turning its V-12 engine 180 degrees, but also by forcing three electric motors into the big twelve’s service. Yep, as expected, the Aventador replacement is going hybrid, but there are a few twists in how it’s getting there. Among new details Lamborghini is revealing about the hybrid powertrain destined for the yet-unnamed Aventador successor that so far is codenamed “LB744” are its power output, motor count, and engine specs.
Three Motors, One V-12, a Lot of Power
For starters, the headline figure for the LB744 is its horsepower total: 1,000. Lamborghini is so far listing that power output in CV, but converted horsepower, that 1,015 CV comes to a nice and even 1,000 American ponies. Peak power and torque from the 6.5-liter L545 V-12 engine alone is listed at 814 hp and 535 lb-ft, while each front electric motor (there are two) delivers 148 hp (110 kW) and 258 lb-ft.
Per Lamborghini, the third electric motor that assists the V-12 in spinning the rear axle delivers the same 148 hp as the fronts but a lower 111 lb-ft of torque. It also doubles as the starter and a generator for replenishing the battery. The front motors alone can power the LB744 in an EV-only, front-wheel-drive mode, though Lamborghini notes that a “synchronizer” on the rear motor physically changes its coupling to the transmission, and in one such position, can make the LB744 an all-electric, all-wheel-drive machine. Those two front motors also individually power each front wheel, allowing for torque-vectoring capabilities on the front axle for sharper, more aggressive steering.
The other electric motor is integrated into the transmission and assists the V-12 “on demand when needed.” We take that to mean that third e-motor assists when accelerating from a stop and during max-attack drag race runs, filling in l0w-end torque for the V-12, which makes its peak torque at a dizzying 6,750 rpm.
The V-12 spits out its peak hp at 9,250 rpm, by the way, so if you figured it sounds like God’s underpants ripping at that speed, you’re likely correct. Lamborghini notes that “particular attention has been lavished on the ‘soundtrack’ of the new L545 [V-12 engine] to emphasize the tone of the engine, already melodious at low revs and then rising to a natural harmonious crescendo.”
Lamborghini hasn’t simply added electric motors to its V-12 engine and called it zappy, either. The gas engine is 37.5 pounds lighter than the Aventador’s V-12, can rev to 9,500 rpm, and has a higher compression ratio of 12.6:1 versus 11.8:1 in the maximal versions of the old car. The engine remains pointed north-south along the LB744’s axis, but now faces the opposite direction.
A new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (pictured below) is scooched up behind it (rather than in front of it) and mounted transversely behind the rear axle; not only does this take up less space than the old Aventador’s single-clutch automated manual, it will probably be a lot smoother in operation, too. Happily, this new eight-speed unit is going to spread throughout Lambo’s lineup. It includes a few tricks beyond electrification, namely a function by which holding the downshift paddle calls up multiple downshifts at once and the aforementioned coupling mechanism for the e-motor. There is no reverse gear—backwards action is handled by the electric motors.
Oh, It’s a Plug-In Hybrid, Too
The electric motors are fed by a 3.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack made up of pouch-type cells that runs along the Lamborghini’s centerline, between the seats. Using a household AC outlet or Level 2 charger, the battery can be charged up externally in as little as 30 minutes.
Alternatively, regenerative braking can replenish the charge, or in a thrillingly gas-intensive-sounding function, Lamborghini says the V-12 engine can “directly” charge the battery in only six minutes. We’re looking forward to that V-12-as-generator mode, and finding out whether it acts more like Jeep’s 4xe powertrain—leaving the engine running even when the vehicle stops, and at a slightly elevated rpm to spin the starter/generator motor and charge up the battery—or if it does something noisier and cooler, like let you just rev the engine while stationary for six minutes, a decidedly more Lamborghini-owner-friendly setup.
As thrilling as a 1,000-hp Lamborghini sounds, we’re just as interested in what it looks like—something we’ll all need to wait a while to find out. Lamborghini will show the Aventador’s replacement sometime early this year, but expect more teasers and previews of its features before the sheet is fully removed from the latest raging bull.
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