Lamborghini is investing in the development of synthetic fuels to keep the V10 and V12 alive

Lamborghini has launched a new research and development program on synthetic fuels, in order to extend the life of its iconic gasoline engines.

Lamborghini has set up a synthetic fuels development project – alongside the synthetic fuels program of VW Group sister brand Porsche – with the aim of satisfying customers of its iconic V10 and V12-powered supercars in an electric future.

Lamborghini has joined the race to develop eco-friendly synthetic fuels – touted as carbon neutral, with cars emitting only CO2 already removed from the environment – in response to customer demand, to help its engines gasoline to live in the electric future.

Lamborghini says the company’s first all-electric vehicle will launch in 2028 and will be a ‘2+2’ (four-seater) ‘crossover’ SUV that will sit below the Urus, possibly with two doors.

Speaking to Australian media at the launch of the penultimate Huracan variant, STO, Lamborghini’s Asia-Pacific region director, Francesco Scardaoni, confirmed that the company had started work on its own synthetic fuel – although VW subsidiary Porsche does the same.

“We…keep the door open to synthetic fuel internal combustion engines. The ideal scenario will therefore be to have purely electric cars – like the fourth model that we will present in 2028 – and super-sports cars, possibly with internal combustion engines running on synthetic fuel.

“That would be the ideal scenario. So that we still have the pure super sports car DNA for Lamborghini, the handling of an internal combustion engine, the emotion in a super sports car.

Scardaoni says the decision to invest in biofuel research and development is recent.

“We [Lamborghini] we have just set up this project, so we have budgeted money for this and we will start operating with an oil company to start the development of this project.

Both Lamborghini and Porsche are part of the Volkswagen Group and have collaborated in the past, most recently with the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus SUVs which are built on the same platform.

“We run on [a] parallel path right now. We are investing in our own synthetic fuel channel and Porsche is doing the same… We wanted to have our own way of designing and developing this potential way to keep our engines alive,” Scardaoni said.

He said customers had played a pivotal role in encouraging Lamborghini to find ways to keep internal combustion on the agenda.

“You know, there are those internal combustion engine purists. Of course, we always listen to the voice of our customers and we also take into consideration existing customers who are serious about having internal combustion engines. [in the future].

“The reason we started [our rollout of] hybridization with the atmospheric V12 engine of the new Aventador [successor] it’s because it will allow us to make it “green” and make customers too [who] are a bit more resistant to this electrification trend [will] always be delighted with the right products that can meet their needs.

“It is important to design the right powertrain that can match our needs, the brand’s DNA and the demands of our customers.”

Lamborghini’s decision not to partner with Porsche may come as a surprise, but Scardaoni says Lamborghini needs to do so to better understand the potential of new fuels.

“At this point, we are still far from understanding what fuel can be and how it can be useful in engines. This is why it is important to have our own synthetic fuel development project.

“But we…just launched the overall plan, the total investment. So we are still a long way off. Porsche is much more advanced.

Scardaoni said all future synthetic fuel-powered internal combustion engines will likely use hybridization rather than turbochargers to deliver Lamborghini’s levels of performance – and the right sound.

“The beauty of having a hybrid system is also to always have the sound of the engine. It will of course be a bridge to a new era which can be electrified or with synthetic fuel.

“So the reason we wanted to start with the hybrid powertrain is to keep the sound of the engines alive.”

When asked if there are any rumors that the Huracan replacement will adopt turbochargers to improve performance, Scardaono declined to comment.

“We can’t release that kind of information yet.”

It has ruled out any single, non-electrified gasoline-powered variant of existing models in the future, as Ferrari has done with the 2023 Daytona SP3 (above) and other models.

“We are really focused on the transition [phase] of this hybridization [plan]. This is [taking] all our focus to create the best cars, cars that perform better than today’s cars in terms of driving emotion and sound.

“For now, we will only focus on the types of production cars that will still have the emotion of sound.”

Scardaoni also said biofuels and hybridization won’t be rolled out separately – so expect future Lamborghinis using synthetic fuels to also be hybridized.

Glenn Butler

Glenn Butler is one of Australia’s best-known motoring journalists. He has spent the past 25 years reporting on cars on radio, television, the web and in print. He is a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most respected motoring magazine, and was associate editor of before that. Glenn has also worked at an executive level for two of Australia’s most prominent car manufacturers, so he understands the care and consideration that goes into designing and developing new cars. As a journalist, he’s driven everything from Ferraris to Fiats on every continent except Antarctica (which he hopes to one day reach) and enjoys discovering each car’s unique personality and strengths. Glenn knows that the price of a car is not indicative of its competence, and even the cheapest car can improve your life and broaden your horizons.

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