While we are still several years from Lamborghini’s replacement of the Huracán—the latest Performante Spyder version just launched at the Geneva auto show—we can already bring you some fascinating details on the company’s thinking about its next junior supercar. The best of the good news is the company’s determination that it will continue to offer a naturally aspirated V-10 engine.
Lamborghini first offered a V-10 in the Huracan’s predecessor model, the Gallardo, in 2003 when most observers were anticipating a V-8 for the junior car that fit in below the V-12 Murciélago. A reversal of that decision is not in the cards.
“I think in the field where the Huracán is, the effect of having two cylinders more than all the other competitors will be a big difference,” Lamborghini chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani told Car and Driver at Geneva. “When we made the Gallardo with the first V-10, people thought we were crazy because of packaging, the weight, the cost, everything. And it was a storming success. For me I need to say thanks to the Gallardo engine, and it is clear that this is part of my vision for the DNA of the super-sports-car field of Lamborghini.”
Reggiani said he is determined to continue to offer naturally aspirated engines in the company’s supercars, in marked contrast to competitors’ increasing use of turbocharging, but he also said he sees no need to reduce cylinder count, even in the company’s less expensive supercar and even though the Urus SUV brings a turbocharged V-8 to the company’s stable.
“My question is, why do I need to do something different?” he asked. “If I trust in the naturally aspirated engine, why do I need to downgrade my powertrain to a V-8 or V-6? I am Lamborghini, I am the top of the pinnacle of the super sports car. I want to stay where I am.”
With the Aventador replacement seemingly set to use a hybrid system in conjunction with a V-12, it seems likely that its smaller sibling will also gain some form of electrical assistance, something Reggiani hinted at: “Afterward, I need some support [to meet regulatory demands], but the emotion is sound, and the reaction you have in a 10-cylinder engine you cannot have from any other kind. This is what our customers love.”
While few Gallardo and Huracán customers have chosen the option of the rear-driven versions it offered, Reggiani said Lamborghini wants to continue to offer the choice alongside the more popular all-wheel-drive variants in whatever comes next. “There are people who are the most expert, and they love a car which is much more oversteering,” he said.
“If you have all-wheel drive, you must really put the car into an extreme condition if you want oversteer, because you have the center differential that moves torque to the front. But there are some who enjoy the drifting; two-wheel drive is for some customers, and we are always a slave to our customers.”
However, Reggiani was adamant that Lamborghini won’t introduce any kind of switchable all-wheel-drive system. “You have to take account of the weight penalty,” he said. “If you have an all-wheel-drive system and then press the button to go to two-wheel drive, you are carrying [88 pounds] that is doing nothing, and you have the same suspension setting for all-wheel drive, which is not correct. [It means] you must make a compromise and that is not the best that you can offer. For us, that is not an option.”