Lamborghini Sian FKP 37: 808bhp hybrid honours late VW boss

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Lamborghini has pulled the covers off the most powerful and fastest-accelerating car it’s ever produced – and it’s also the firm’s first hybrid. 

Making its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show, the limited-run Siån previews Lamborghini’s plans to take its brand of V12-powered flamboyance into the near future with models such as the next-generation Aventador

As the model appeared in the flesh for the first time, Lamborghini announced it will enter production as the Siån FKP 37 as a tribute to ex-Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Karl Piëch, who died last month. Born in 1937, Piech was instrumental in bringing Lamborghini under the VW Group umbrella in 1998, helping the Italian maker to bring its pivotal Murcielago supercar to market.

Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “Prof. Dr. Piëch innately understood the attraction and potential of the Lamborghini brand and how it could fit within the Volkswagen Group, whilst retaining its unique Italian super sports car identity and design and engineering DNA.

“Prof. Dr. Piëch was an engineer and an innovator, particularly appreciating the appeal of the iconic Lamborghini V12 powertrain on which today, the Sián FKP 37 combines pioneering hybrid technologies.”

The Aventador SVJ’s naturally aspirated 6.5-litre 12-cylinder unit has been uprated from 759 to 774bhp with the addition of titanium intake valves, and is mated to a 48v electric motor producing 34bhp, for a combined total output of 808bhp. In what Lamborghini claims is a first for low-voltage hybrid powertrains, the electric motor is integrated into the gearbox and connected to the wheels for low-speed reversing and parking manoeuvres. The charismatic sound of the V12, Lamborghini assures, has been preserved. 

The developments mean the Siån will offer enhanced acceleration over Lamborghini’s conventionally fuelled models, sprinting from 0-62mph in under 2.8 seconds, with top speed claimed to be in excess of the SVJ’s 217mph. 

Power is not stored in a conventional lithium ion battery, but rather generated by a supercapacitor unit three times as powerful as a cell of the same weight, and three times lighter than a battery with the same output. The device, mounted ahead of the engine for enhanced weight distribution, is an evolution of that found in the Aventador to power the starter motor, and can store ten times as much power as the original. 

A regenerative braking system, developed in-house, sends power to the supercapacitor unit under deceleration. Energy generated in this way is available as a power boost at the discretion of the driver at speeds of up to 81mph. 

The electric motor also allows for a smoother acceleration curve, activating during gear changes to counter the effect of deceleration and resulting in a 43-75mph time 1.2 seconds quicker than that of the SVJ. Traction at lower speeds is improved as well, making the Siån 10% faster than a car without this system, according to its maker. 

Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, said: “With this car, we set ourselves the challenge of creating the best hybrid solution for a Lamborghini super sports car to provide the first step in our electrification strategy”.

Design-wise, Lamborghini says the model shows off “a visionary and futuristic design in combination with outstanding aerodynamic solutions”, but one that still conveys “the heart and soul of a Lamborghini”. 

The Siån’s wedge-shaped silhouette is characteristically angular and wide, and is said to be influenced by the work of Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, who was responsible for some of Lamborghini’s best known historic models. 

The diagonal lines along the length of the bonnet, six hexagonal tail lights and roof-mounted ‘periscope’ tunnel are a nod to the Countach, while the low front splitter and Y-shape headlights are a set-up originally intended for the electric Terzo Millenio concept

Downforce is maximised by the model’s prominent side air intakes and large carbonfibre front splitter. In keeping with the Siån’s “pure and uncluttered” design ethos, the rear wing sits flush with the rear deck, extending only at speed, while active cooling vanes along the engine lid react to exhaust temperatures and rotate as needed. 

Lamborghini will make just 63 Sians, offering buyers a high level of personalisation through its bespoke Ad Personam division. All have been sold already. 

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Source: Autocar Online

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