With ever-tightening emissions regulations, a large capacity, naturally aspirated V12 engine is among the more unlikely survivors, though the Lamborghini Aventador replacement will continue to feature this engine configuration with the help of hybrid assistance.
The natural aspiration and layout of this engine configuration are critical to the character of a flagship Lamborghini, chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani told Car and Driver. “The V12 has been part of the story of Lamborghini since the veery beginning. It has been present in every year of our history, which is why our strategy and our vision for out future is to continue to have a V12 coupled with a hybrid motor,” he told the magazine.
The Sant’Agata Bolognese supercar maker has previously already indicated this electrified direction for its V12 models, with Reggiani saying that ‘hybrid is everything’, followed shortly thereafter by the arrival of the limited-run Lamborghini Sián, making 819 hp from its V12 engine paired with a 34 hp electric motor housed within the gearbox. Arriving as a coupe, a 19-unit run of a Roadster version followed.
Reggiani is certainly a proponent for preserving the free-breathing engine as long as possible. “When I started working in Modena, the people I learned from told me that naturally aspirated engines are how you prove engineering is good, because nothing helps you. You must be able to suck as much air as possible and then, based only on this, put more fuel inside the combustion chamber to generate power,” he said.
Natural aspiration remains critical to the sound of an engine because turbochargers act as dampers on sound, said Reggiani, “and you end up trying to use artificial sound to reproduce what should be spontaneous and natural,” he added.
The use of electric drive also does away with the need for a propshaft, said Reggiani, hinting that such a system will be used for the Aventador replacement. This will enabling torque vectoring on the front axle, which forms a sort of collaboration between developments for powertrain and chassis, “making a car that can stay exactly on a radius without any form of correction. This is like a dream for engineering,” he said.
This will ensure that the Volkswagen Group will have a twelve-cylinder engine in its product range for the foreseeable future, given that luxury brand Bentley will be going fully electric in 10 years’ time.
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