Moving across to an all-electric platform is a technical challenge for every manufacturer, but when your entire reputation has been built on the largest, most visceral, fossil-fuelled engines – then you risk moving away from everything that makes you special. But the market for new ‘V-engined’ monsters is coming to an end and – on race tracks and proving grounds across the globe – hypercars that rely on petrol are being left for dead by the new kids on the block. Lamborghini will use this week’s Monterey Automobile Week at Pebble Beach in California to give the world a preview of what’s to come, with the public revelation of an all-electric concept car.
The event will attract over 35,000 fans, many of whom will be interested to see one collection in particular. Concorso Italiano is an integral part of the Monterey event and will detail the history of Italian sports car design, with over 1,000 cars dating back over the last 100 years. There will also be a glimpse into the future with the revelation of ‘Spaceship GT’ – the informal project name for Lamborghini’s first all electric product.
The most expensive Lamborghini so far, is the Veneno – which has a price tag close to £3 million. As well as gorgeous lines, it also shares a 0 to 60 timing of ‘just under 3 seconds’ with the more widely available Aventador. In a straight line, in perfect conditions, both of these cars would be squinting at the number plate on the back of a 4-door Tesla Model S Plaid.
So how can Lamborghini retain its position in the hearts and minds of drivers across the globe, if it struggles to keep up with cars that are on sale for a fraction of the Italian marque’s price tag?
Lamborghini has to move forward. Enter parent company VW/Porsche.
With a launch date expected to be around 2028, Lamborghini doesn’t want a faster, future EV model to be impacting its ability to sell fossil-fuelled cars. So, purely from an aesthetic point of view, Lamborghini’s first EV is unlikely to look like a ‘demon’ on the road. The lines will likely be more sedate, taking a leaf from Porsche and Tesla’s page.
Roadsters will follow, for sure, but the first EV from Lamborghini will focus on things like the ability to pick up a full-speed charge at 350kW or better. Which brings up an intriguing possibility. “Will Lamborghini target megawatt charging?”. Companies like ChargePoint are already looking at how megawatt charging will work with commercial transportation. Given that Lamborghini started life as a tractor, would it be so unusual for it to pioneer commercial-speed charging for sports cars?
For a time, Lamborghini and others looked at hybrid models – where electric motors augment petrol engines to add extra horsepower. This approach gave the 2019 limited edition Sian around 819 hp, but the 0 to 60 was still locked at ‘just under 3 seconds’.
Lamborghini’s first all-electric concept vehicle was called the Terzo Millennio. It looks exactly how you would expect an electric Lamborghini to look, except for huge air intakes at the front. While this kind of feature looks awesome on traditional vehicles, they are going to have a negative impact on a pure EV – so are unlikely to remain when Lamborghini finally releases a pure EV sports car.
The most likely reason for the delay until 2028, is battery technology/capability. Launching late with an EV that gets left in the dust by rivals costing a fraction of the price, won’t be appealing to
Head of Design, Mitja Borkert, recently told media that his EV will embody 1000% the design DNA of Lamborghini. Based on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) architecture initiated by VW, Porsche engineers will be taking it to a different place with the ‘Sport’ variant. SSP and SSP Sport will underpin designs for vehicles as far apart as the new Lamborghini, next-gen Porsche models and even high-end Bentleys.
We look forward to seeing Borkert's vision.