What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “hybrid”? Chances are it has nothing to do with actual performance. We are used to associating the word with efficiency, economy, environmental concerns, and so on. After all, the Prius (which made hybrids popular) was marketed exactly like that.
Then come the full EVs. Everyone who has ever been in such a vehicle would tell you how surprisingly powerful they are. The electric motor accelerates in a different way, which always leaves people with thoughts of sheer power.
Recently, Lamborghini decided to prove that there is no need for a contrast in marketing between hybrids and full EVs. On top of that, the supercar company did not only come up with an amazing hybrid – they made it their most powerful car to date. Let us see what makes Lamborghini Sian so special and why the car manufacturer even decided to make it a hybrid!
What you need to know about Lamborghini Sian
The Sian is an exclusive car with only 63 units planned for production. It is meant to commemorate Lamborghini’s founding in 1963. Why now though? I will answer that in a second. First, we need to learn a thing or two about this new beast.
The staple Lamborghini aesthetic has always been a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. It is aggressive, sharp, and polarizing. Naturally, the Sian model follows the same trend, and I would say that it even steps it up a notch. This is the most futuristic design the company has ever made, looking like it will cut you to pieces just by staring at it.
People have compared it to its Aventador brother (on which the Sian is based). But come on – that one is a happy little kitty, compared to the new vehicle. I guess the translation of the name is quite fitting – flash, or lightning.
That being said, we all know that an aggressive design does not mean a fast car. We should then take a look at the specs to see what monster hides underneath the mean looks. Here are some of them:
- Staple V12 Lamborghini engine – This is nothing new for the company, although they have bumped up the horsepower to 785 bhp. That is still impressive, even if it is not new tech.
- Supercapacitor instead of a lithium-ion battery pack – This may not tell you much, but all you need to know is that a supercapacitor delivers more power at less weight. It powers a 48-volt motor that gives an additional 34 hp. However, the electric motor only ever works alone when parking. The rest of the time it serves to keep constant power to the wheels even when switching gears.
- Top speed of 220mph – This is a speed that only a few people in the world will experience, but the interesting thing is that it is actually an arbitrary limit. It is possible that with some mods the Sian will be able to exceed it.
- Supercar-worthy acceleration of 2.8s to 60mph – Obviously, this acceleration is nothing to scoff at, though it does not break the barrier to enter the top 10 fastest cars ever made.
These specs look impressive on paper, but I noticed something that made me question the whole Sian marketing. It is being touted as the most powerful Lambo ever, yet it is not even the fastest. What gives? I will try to unravel that mystery!
Understanding the hybrid supercar
We have already started seeing the trend of electrified sports cars. Porsche Taycan, for example, stormed the scene with grand promises of unparalleled performance. Other manufacturers are also looking for ways to beat the king – Tesla Roadster. Obviously, the move towards sports EVs has already began.
However, all of those new concept vehicles focus strictly on full electric motors. So why did Lamborghini decide to come out with a hybrid on a limited run of 63 cars? And why do they claim it is the most powerful car in their lineup if it is not the fastest? After all, their own 2017 Huracan Performante achieves 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, beating the Sian by a good margin.
Strictly speaking, the Sian deserves the claim – the engine has combined horsepower of up to 819 bhp. When you actually think about it though, you realize how meaningless such figures become.
Sure, it is technically the most powerful, but good luck reaching those 220 mph during regular driving. Acceleration is more important in real world scenarios and the Sian gets nowhere near Tesla Roadster’s 1.9s for 0-60 mph. Could it be that the Sian’s idea is actually a bit different?
What is the goal of Lamborghini Sian?
One may think we are splitting hairs when talking about the outrageous power outputs of supercars. Who will ever notice half a second of difference? While I understand this remark, it actually misses the point. Indeed, nobody would care, if it was not for Lamborghini’s own claims of power.
The limited-edition Sian run was sold out even before the car was officially presented. Obviously, the buyers do not concern themselves with many technical details. On the other hand, Lamborghini understand that their time to come up with a competitive model is running out – hence the Sian.
This car’s idea is not to prove it is the fastest. Nor are Lamborghini trying to make it a best-seller. In my opinion, Sian’s whole purpose is to serve as a worthy placeholder and buy the automaker some time. With it, the company shows us that it’s definitely paying attention, embracing the EV future one step at a time. Only it is not quite there yet.
In all likelihood, we are going to see the Sian’s engine tech in the next Aventador. While Lamborghini have stated that no other model will follow the visual design of the Sian, its technology will be put to good use. I suppose that the company’s engineers will try to perfect the hybrid engine even further, using it to transition to an EV-filled lineup. Or will they?
Lamborghini’s plans about electric vehicles
It may be a bit soon to tell whether Lamborghini has any serious plans in adopting the EV as a whole. However, the automobile maker is under the Volkswagen AG umbrella. Do you know who else is there? Audi and Porsche, which are both working on future EV design and tech.
In fact, in recent news, we have heard that the first Lamborghini EV will be based on Porsche Taycan. That means two things – firstly, Lamborghini is probably not working on its own EV platform right now; secondly, its first EV will likely not be a stab at Tesla at all.
We know that the Taycan will not be able to beat the competition when it comes to acceleration. Porsche’s main focus is developing a platform that can charge much more quickly and still deliver good performance. To be honest though, Porsche makes sports cars, not supercars like its Lamborghini cousin. What may work as a good addition to the former, may be an underwhelming one for the latter.
This is where the Sian comes back into the picture. With its supercapacitor technology, we can actually expect Lamborghini to put its own spin on any future EV platform. So not only is the company showing us it is actively working on proper hybrids, but it is also hinting at future surprises.
The reason I believe I am right is because of certain things Lambo representatives have said. One such thing is their claim that no EV will come out of the company if it cannot at least match the performance of their current models. And since the news for adopting the Taycan platform came shortly after their Sian presentation, I think everything lines up quite well.
What do you think of Lamborghini Sian?
I usually like sharp designs, but even for me the Sian is a bit over the top. Honestly, the Aventador aesthetic, paired with some Sian tech, sounds like the dream to me. I think it will have the potential to be one of the company’s most successful vehicles to date.
What is your opinion though? Do you think Lamborghini is using Sian as a way to wink at us for its upcoming EVs? Or is it just a last-minute attempt to save face when every other company is coming up with an electric vehicle? To be fair, it will not be a surprise if both are true!