Lamborghini showcases the Sian Roadster
Automobili Lamborghini has introduced the Lamborghini Sian Roadster: a limited-edition, open-top version of the Sian hybrid super sports car. As with the fixed-roof version, the Roadster employs Lamborghini’s iconic V12 engine, which the brand claim is its most powerful engine thus far, and combines it with hybrid tech.
The Lamborghini Sian Roadster takes cues from Lamborghinis of the past, and translates them into the modern world. The aerial view of the Sian Roadster, for instance, traces its lineage to the iconic Periscopio line inspired by the first Countach, running diagonally from the cockpit to the rear and culminating in the aerodynamic airstreamers behind the driver and passenger. The car’s low front, with integrated carbonfibre splitter, houses the Y-shape headlights, an iconic Lamborghini element also seen in the taillights of models like the Huracan and Aventador.
The Sian’s long sculptured contours and characteristic exaggerated Lamborghini aero elements help direct multiple airflow channels through the front splitters, side air intakes and outlets, and over the rear spoiler. This not only helps the Sian Roadster cut through aerodynamic drag effectively, but also helps achieve this with no loss of aerodynamic efficiency from the roadster’s roofless design. Active cooling vanes on the rear, operated by the reaction of smart-material elements to the temperature generated by the exhaust system, provide a functional yet lightweight cooling solution.
The extreme and strong rear of the car incorporates Lamborghini’s evocative hexagon design, including six hexagonal taillights inspired by the Countach. The rear wing is integrated within the profile and extends out only during the driving to enhance the performance, similar to the movable intakes which helped cool the engine in the Murcielago.
The Sian Roadster makes its debut in the Blu Uranus paint scheme, selected by Lamborghini’s Centro Stile, which together with the Ad Personam department works with every Sian client to entirely personalise the color and finish of their Roadster. The car is finished with Oro Electrum wheels: the color chosen by Lamborghini to signify electrification. The complementary interior is an elegant combination of white with Blu Glauco detailing and aluminum elements in Oro Electrum: new-design air vents produced via 3D printing allows customisation with a client’s initials.
Under the hood: hybrid tech
‘Sian’ in local Bolognese dialect, meaning ‘flash’ or ‘lightning’, referring to the Sian Roadster’s electrification as part of the future hybrid strategy, while maintaining the extraordinary emotion and dynamic performance inherent in naturally aspirated Lamborghini super sports cars. As mentioned, the Sian Roadster’s hybrid system provides the highest power possible via the lightest solution, with a V12 engine which incorporates titanium intake valves, uprated to 774bhp at 8500 rpm.
Moving now to the electrification aspect, and the Sian Roadster sports Lamborghini’s supercapacitor application, which the brand claims stores ten times the power of a lithium-ion battery. Located in the bulkhead between cockpit and engine, it ensures perfect weight distribution. Three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and weighing only 34 kg, it gives a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 1bhp/kg. Symmetric power flow ensures the same efficiency in both charging and discharging cycles: the most lightweight and efficient hybrid solution. Making an additional 34bhp, the electric system is incorporated into the gearbox to provide immediate response and improved performance.
The Sian Roadster, hence, delivers a combined output of 808bhp, with 0-100kmph coming in a scant 2.9 seconds (owing to an electrically modulated increase in traction force of up to 10 per cent in third gear), and a top speed excess of 350 kmph. The e-motor also supports low-speed maneuvers such as reversing and parking with electric power.
But there’s more to the Sian than just brute force. The use of a supercapacitor, means it can be charged and discharged with the same power, unlike normal Li-Ion batteries. This means the Sian’s energy storage system fully charges every time the vehicle brakes, with the energy stored is an instantly-available power boost, allowing the driver to draw immediately on increased torque when accelerating away, up to 130 kmph when the e-motor automatically disconnects, and making the Sian more than 10 per cent faster than a car without this system.
“The Sian Roadster encapsulates the spirit of Lamborghini,” says Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “It is the expression of breathtaking design and extraordinary performance, but most importantly embodies important future technologies. The Sian’s innovative hybrid powertrain heralds the direction for Lamborghini super sports cars, and the open-top Sian Roadster affirms a desire for the ultimate lifestyle Lamborghini as we move towards a tomorrow demanding new solutions.”
With the Roadster, Lamborghini is in rarefied air, with only other open-top hybrid super sportscar being the Porsche 918 Spyder. This gives both the Volkswagen family brands’ cars an upper hand, as it were, over the likes of the Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1. But as with every arms race, it’s only a matter of time for cutting-edge tech to be democratised. Yes, it may be at least decade or so before we can see this tech on more affordable run-abouts, but the mere prospect of it already has us salivating!