Lamborghini's plug-in hybrid Aventador successor won't lose its iconic V12 sound

Rear view of the Lamborghini Aventador
(Image credit: Lamborghini)

The Lamborghini Aventador is on its way out and a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model will soon be here. 

Earlier this year, we found out that Lamborghini is working in PHEV drivetrains for its three existing models - all of which are due to be electrified by 2024 - but now more information have been revealed about the future of the V12-powered Aventador.

That's the message CEO Stephan Winkelmann delivered to Autocar in a recent interview. Following a big-engine run of almost 60 years, Lamborghini won't make another 12-cylinder engine without some form of electrification.

After an almost 11-year run, the Aventador is due for a permanent vacation. A limited-production Ultimae edition will be the car's swan song and will also be Lambo's last V12 without electric assistance. 

The yet-to-be-named successor to the Aventador will still carry a howling V12 behind its cockpit, but it will be joined by a plug-in hybrid system for the first time in a Lamborghini production car.

Mixed emotions

According to Winkelmann, the move to electrification won't come without mixed emotions. 

He was involved in the development of the Aventador, which started in 2007. As the brand's most successful V12-powered car ever, he says it's tough to let it go. 

However, he's firm in his stance that the shift doesn't mark the end of an era, and notes that the new drivetrains will still have the sound and power of their predecessors.

"Every generation has to be better than the previous one," Winkelmann told Autocar. "In terms of CO2 emissions, it is an important change, but we are convinced that this is going to work. The plug-in hybrid car which will follow the Aventador will have a V12 engine, and so the sound and the history will stay alive."

When asked about the issue of battery weight, Winkelmann noted that the focus should be more on power-to-weight ratios, which he says the new car will deal with in a smooth and positive way. 

The Lamborghini Sian on display on stage at its launched event

The Lamborghini Sian is a mild-hybrid supercar (Image credit: Lamborghini)

As for the supercapacitors that were seen in the mild-hybrid Sian (which are used by others too, such as McLaren), he said that Lamborghini views it as a bridge technology that can't deliver the reduction in emissions that it requires.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology isn't exactly a new development for Lamborghini. The Asterion LPI 910-4 concept debuted in 2014 with a naturally aspirated V10 engine and three electric motors for a total of 910 horsepower. In 2019, the Sian concept landed with a V12 engine and supercapacitor system that delivered 819 horsepower.

It's no surprise that Lamborghini has taken more time than most to figure out its electrification plans, but its commitment to continuing to produce V12 engines - albeit with electrification included - while surely keeping many fans happy.

Chris Teague
Freelance Contributor

After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, Chris turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.