This 602kW Lamborghini Sián will blow your Aventador into the weeds

Limited-edition V12 hybrid pushes Lamborghini’s tech into the future

03 September 2019 - 16:31 By Michael Taylor
The 2020 Lamborghini Sián.
The 2020 Lamborghini Sián.
Image: Supplied

Lamborghini will give a glimpse of its hypercar world after the Aventador with a superconductor-based hybrid V12 hypercar for the Frankfurt motor show.

In a show that’s desperately trying to paint a green face, the Italian supercar maker will deliver the Sián hybrid, with 602kW of combined electrical and naturally aspirated V12 muscle.

The most powerful road-going Lamborghini ever made, it also has the best power-to-weight ratio the brand has ever delivered, promising a zero to 100km/h time of just 2.8 seconds and a top speed of more than 350km/h. 

With the full 63-car production run sold out, the Sián’s design language points the way to future Lamborghinis beyond the Aventador and Huracán, as well as introducing Lamborghini’s theories of retaining its signature noise in an electrified world.

“The Sián is a masterpiece in possibilities,” Lamborghini chief executive and chairman Stefano Domenicali insisted.

“Not only does the Sián deliver a formidable hypercar design and engineering tour de force today, it augments the potential for Lamborghini as a super sports car brand for tomorrow and for decades to come, even as hybridisation becomes more desirable and inevitably essential.

“The Sián represents the first step in Lamborghini’s route to electrification, and expedites our next generation V12 engine. With the Sián, Automobili Lamborghini demonstrates its dynastic strength as a legendary super sports car brand for the future.”

The 2020 Lamborghini Sián features V12 hybrid power.
The 2020 Lamborghini Sián features V12 hybrid power.
Image: Supplied

Powertrain:

With a name derived from the Bolognese dialect for “lightning”, the Sián’s core powertrain is its 577kW version of the Aventador’s V12, revving out to 8,500rpm, giving it the most powerful thermal engine Lamborghini has ever had.

It adds another 25kW of power from its 48-Volt electric motor (mounted in the seven-speed transmission), bringing the system power out to 602kW. The electric motor can also run independently for low-speed maneuvering like parking, but Lamborghini more pointedly insists its 10% faster in acceleration than a car without the system.

Lamborghini has shied away from the typical lithium-ion battery and switched the Sián to a supercapacitor. Pioneered by Lamborghini on the Aventador, the Sián’s supercacitor is 10 times more powerful.

Lamborghini also claims it is three times more powerful than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight, or three times lighter than a battery with the same power storage.

The engineering team sits the supercapacitor between the cockpit and the engine to help with weight distribution, and the Sián’s entire hybrid system, including the motor and the supercapacitor, adds only 34kg.

The interior of the 2020 Lamborghini Sián.
The interior of the 2020 Lamborghini Sián.
Image: Supplied

“Lamborghini’s strategic heritage in one-off and very limited series cars is not only a commitment to exclusivity but a presentation of future designs and technologies,” Lamborghini engineering boss Maurizio Reggiani said.

“With this car, we set ourselves the challenge of creating the best hybrid solution for a Lamborghini super sports car to provide us with the first step on our electrification strategy.

“Lamborghini is inherently a rule breaker, a challenger, always pushing what is possible to find a better solution. With the Sián we are defining our route to innovation and we are setting new rules in new technologies, instead of just following existing solutions.”

It also powers up its supercapacitor with a new generation of regenerative braking, developed inhouse.

Reggiani said the symmetric behaviour of the supercapacitor means it can be recharged and discharged with the same power, so its energy storage is fully charged every time the driver brakes.

It is then stored as an on-call power boost, capable of delivering a torque boost at low speeds up to 130km/h, when the car disconnects its electric motor.

Lamborghini claims the hybrid system helps the Sián punch 10% harder in third gear, and that the 30-60km/h acceleration is cut by 0.2 seconds over the Aventador and 1.2 seconds faster between 70 and 120km/h.

It’s also used to fill in torque holes during gear changes, which should help with driving comfort under hard acceleration.

The profile of the Sián is unmistakably Lamborghini.
The profile of the Sián is unmistakably Lamborghini.
Image: Supplied

Design:

Lamborghini has smooshed together styling cues from the Terzo Millennio concept, some futuristic Countach-sourced thinking to create a shape that strongly hints at future Lamborghinis.

There’s a single silhouette line, as Lamborghini’s have boasted since Marcello Gandini’s times designing cars for them, but there are also more sculpted contours, an integrated carbon-fibre splitter with Y-shaped headlights.

There are six hexagonal tail lights and Lamborghini has kept the rear wing tucked into the bodywork until it needs to deploy for aerodynamic stability.

There is plenty of active aerodynamics at play, too, like directing airflow from the front splitters and over the bonnet, through the side air intakes and over the rear end’s spoiler.

There are active cooling vanes on the rear end of the car, operated by the reaction of smart materials to exhaust heat, which makes them rotate and open for a lightweight cooling setup.

The rear wing stays tucked into the bodywork until it needs to deploy for aerodynamic stability.
The rear wing stays tucked into the bodywork until it needs to deploy for aerodynamic stability.
Image: Supplied
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