Lamborghini has entered the world of electrification with a limited-run hybrid model called the Sian, which combines its V12 with a supercapacitor-powered electric motor to produce 819hp. That makes it the most potent Lambo produced for the road yet, with considerably quicker rolling acceleration times than the Aventador SVJ and a power-to-weight ratio that trumps all other cars from the firm’s Sant'Agata Bolognese factory. Talk about making an entrance.
At its heart, the 217mph Sian – which gets its name from the Bolognese word for flash and lightning – uses Lambo’s naturally aspirated 6.5-litre twelve with a peak of 785hp at 8,500rpm, making it 15hp more powerful than the SVJ’s engine. It comes aided by a 34hp electric motor that drives directly through the seven-speed gearbox and is powered by a supercapacitor, located in the bulkhead between the cabin and engine to minimise its impact on weight distribution.
More advanced than conventional lithium-ion batteries, the supercapacitor provides additional punch and torque fill between upshifts up to 81mph, after which it decouples. But the main advantage of the high energy density supercapacitor comes with its high power-to-weight and fast charging abilities. The total electric system weighs only 34kg, equating to 1hp/kg, while the supercapacitor can be fully recharged by kinetic energy recovery in a single braking scenario. It’s also the first supercapacitor-fed setup to power the wheels directly.
Lamborghini claims that the use of its new hybrid tech, segments of which will undoubtedly be integrated into following series models (and maybe the Le Mans car), makes the Sian 10 per cent quicker than it would be if it were powered only by the V12. The all-wheel drive supercar gets to 62mph in less than 2.8 seconds (oddly no exact figure is out yet), while it sprints from 30-60kph and then from 70-120kph two tenths and 1.2 seconds quicker than the SVJ respectively. Given the immense pace of Lambo’s former quickest model, that’s substantial, although without further specs it’s not clear whether the SVJ would close the gap once the speed clicks into triple digits.
Retaining a whacking great twelve cylinder ought to give the Sian appropriately antisocial vocals, but it can also be operated in silent e-mode when parking and reversing. Lambo also states that the torque fill afforded by the electric motor smooths gear shifts, so – necks rejoice – the seven-speed ‘box’s savage jolts (most prevalent in the SVJ) should be swapped for something more seamless and, perhaps, comfortable. That being said, the car’s design in no way suggests we’re looking at a softened-up Lambo; it mixes the form of an Aventador with Terzo Millennio-like aggression and features active cooling vanes that move through material reaction when things get hot. Inside, the layout is largely familiar; here’s hoping those seats will be a little more forgiving than the ones in the Avantador.
The Sian will be shown in the metal and carbon at the Frankfurt motor show this month, before 63 examples are produced for what we presume will be a heckofalotta money (we're thinking almost ten times the price of a used SVJ...). That run number is a nod to Lamborghini’s birth year, by the way, and remarkably it seems not all have been spoken for yet. So get your orders in.