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Limited-edition Sian combines a V12 with supercapacitor tech for 808bhp
Lamborghini has revealed details of its first hybrid model, which is due to be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show later this month. Called the Sian, it will be based on the Aventador’s chassis, but will not replace that model; instead it will be a limited edition that sits above the Aventador SVJ in terms of price, power and performance.
This is no silent-running, eco-friendly Lamborghini, though, as the hybrid system only subtly assists the car’s naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. The system also diverges from other hybrid models by substituting a heavy battery pack (usually lithium-ion) with a lighter supercapacitor.
Supercapacitors differ from traditional battery packs in the way they store and supply electricity: they can absorb and expel energy far more quickly than a battery, but are less effective at holding on to a charge over a long period of time. Lamborghini says that the supercapacitor in the Sian will recharge to full after just one braking application, and although the car isn’t able to run on electricity alone, it does have a 774bhp V12 to help the small 34bhp electric motor out. Combined, the powertrain is rated at a peak power of 808bhp at 8500rpm, likely putting to rest any fears of this being a boring supercar.
What the electric motor does is augment the V12’s power delivery, in particular improving in-gear performance times, as well as torque filling during gearshifts. The Sian’s claimed 0-62mph time of 2.8sec is the same as the SVJ’s, but its 40-70mph time is over a second faster. The Aventador-sourced single-clutch transmission also benefits. This set-up has been an Achilles heel for Lamborghini compared with newer twin-clutch units, with the need to physically cut the ignition during changes as the clutch engages and disengages often leading to jerky progress. In the Sian the electric motor fills in while the V12 is momentarily disconnected, which should help smooth-out the gearchange process.
Where the Sian looks ahead under the skin, its aggressive design is supposedly drawn from Marcello Gandini’s iconic Countach LP400 of 1974, with a clean silhouette defined by modern interpretations of both the Gandini line (the main character line down the car’s flank) and the NACA ducts on each side of the body. Both, you might agree, are quite loose connections to those original elements hidden within the Sian’s complex styling.
The interior is a combination of the Aventador’s underlying architecture with the new Huracán Evo’s portrait touchscreen interface, but otherwise is less of a leap than the exterior design.
Lamborghini will build 63 Sians, all of which are already spoken for, but we suspect this will not be the last time we hear of Lamborghini utilising supercapacitors, as a whole new generation of Lamborghinis get ready to launch in the near future.