Lamborghini Sian Shows Off Hybrid Future

  • Jeff Sabatini has written for many publications over his 20 years in automotive journalism, including Car and Driver, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sports Car Market magazine. His lifetime car churn includes 30 vehicles: eight GM cars, five Ford products, four Toyotas, three BMWs, two Jeeps, two Chrysler minivans, a Miata, a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab, a Subaru, and a Volkswagen.

can be reached at jeffsab@gmail.com
  • Jeff Sabatini has written for many publications over his 20 years in automotive journalism, including Car and Driver, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sports Car Market magazine. His lifetime car churn includes 30 vehicles: eight GM cars, five Ford products, four Toyotas, three BMWs, two Jeeps, two Chrysler minivans, a Miata, a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab, a Subaru, and a Volkswagen.

can be reached at jeffsab@gmail.com
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Lamborghini, the Italian automaker best known for its extreme supercars powered by snarling V-12 engines, has introduced a hybrid. Accordingly, this is no frugal gas sipper designed to compete with the Toyota Prius for EPA fuel economy accolades.

  • The Lamborghini Sian is a limited edition supercar; the company will build just 63 examples, all of which have already been sold.
  • By mating a 785-horsepower V-12 engine to a 34-hp electric motor housed in the car’s seven-speed transmission, the Sian makes 819 hp — the most ever for a Lamborghini.
  • Instead of a battery, the Sian’s 48-volt hybrid system stores electricity in a supercapacitor.
  • Lamborghini released renderings of the car, which will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

Lamborghini Sian Rendering
The limited-production Lamborghini Sian is based on the Aventador SVJ supercar. (Image: Lamborghini)

Charge up, put the power down

Lamborghini says Sian means “flash or lightning,” an appropriate moniker considering its unique hybrid technology. Unlike batteries, supercapacitors charge and discharge quickly, and are good for delivering quick bursts of current. Both Lamborghini and Mazda have previously used supercapacitors in cars, but none with the energy storage capacity of the Sian. Lamborghini says its supercapacitor recharges every time a driver brakes, with the energy then used to spin the electric motor during acceleration up to 80 mph.

As in other hybrids, the torque from the electric motor improves low-speed acceleration in higher gears. The electric motor also fills in during gearshifts to minimize any interruption in acceleration. This makes the Sian the quickest Lambo ever, according to the manufacturer, accelerating from 0-62 mph in less than 2.8 seconds.

Lamborghini Sian Rendering
Hidden under those louvers is the Sian’s 819-hp hybrid powertrain. (Image: Lamborghini)

WHY THIS MATTERS

Lamborghini is among the last carmakers to continue building V-12 engines, awe-inspiring powerplants that make horsepower the old fashioned way: Burning lots of hydrocarbons. Yet Lamborghini has said the Sian represents a preview of its future. It’s a telling sign of our rapidly changing times, where even supercars are made more super through electrification.


About the Author

  • Jeff Sabatini has written for many publications over his 20 years in automotive journalism, including Car and Driver, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sports Car Market magazine. His lifetime car churn includes 30 vehicles: eight GM cars, five Ford products, four Toyotas, three BMWs, two Jeeps, two Chrysler minivans, a Miata, a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab, a Subaru, and a Volkswagen.

can be reached at jeffsab@gmail.com
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