• Jan 26th 2010 at 3:06PM
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Lamborghini focuses on reducing emissions – Click above for high-res image gallery

Enough is enough already, right? When the focus is on horsepower, the answer to that question is certain to be hotly contested, but Lamborghini is seemingly content with a number just shy of 700 raging horses bulls. That doesn't mean that the Italian supercar manufacturer won't continue its unabated push towards ever-quicker acceleration – and how often do we really need to travel at speeds over 200 miles per hour, anyway? – but there's clearly more than one way to skin a cat Prancing Horse.

Why not just build a bigger engine? Simple, as company CEO Stephan Winkelmann correctly observes, "It has come to the point where acceleration equals consumption. More consumption means increased CO2 emissions." Apparently, the answer to the power conundrum will be less weight. "We will use composite materials in the right place, when it also has the right cost, stiffness and mechanical characteristics," explains R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani.

We've also heard repeated rumblings of full hybrid powertrains, though those seem more likely to come at the tail end of the decade. In the meantime, expect aluminum in the place of heavier steel along with improved aerodynamics and stop/start technology to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Whatever the case, it should be interesting to see how all the world's supercar manufacturers – Lamborghini included – grapple with the push to be green while also upholding their performance traditions.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now this is absurd. Lamborghini personifies exhilarating excess. It's depressing to see them hounded and browbeaten by eco-Puritan scolds into making slower, lighter and weaker cars.

      You want practical, buy a Camry or whatever, but leave Lamborghini alone. Their environmental impact is so minimal it's not worth it.

      Still, it would be fun and interesting if they would follow the lead of another supercar maker, Koenigsegg, and made their cars run on E85. Would cost next to nothing and be a major improvement. Best of all, they wouldn't have to compromise one bit on the absurdly and gleefully overpowered Lamborghini experience.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not sure this has to do with Lambo being pressured by anyone. As someone else pointed out, Lambo is such a small company that they're not really relevant in an eco discussion.

        An "eco-Puritan" (whatever the hell that is) would probably be much more interested in seeing Toyota increase their CAFE numbers by 1% than seeing Lambo increase theirs by 50%.

        It's more likely that Lambo has realized that the horsepower war is essentially over. Who cares about 700 HP when your car weighs 5000 lbs and can no longer pull away from 500 HP sport sedans?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "It's depressing to see them hounded and browbeaten by eco-Puritan scolds into making slower, lighter and weaker cars."

        But EV's are faster than Lambo's.......?????
      • 5 Years Ago
      "It has come to the point where acceleration equals consumption."

      Yea, that gets boring isn't it? It came to the point where people are buying the car for how fast it can consume gasoline.

      The new exciting challenge is to get the most power out of every drop of gasoline. That sums up in one word, efficiency.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At less than 2000 cars built per year I don't think anyone is seriously concerned about turning it into a green car, just tweaking for tax and emissions and public relations purposes. While I don't think Audi has a variable displacement technology of their own, they certainly could turn it into an electric if they wanted to.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They may focus on tweaks if they have no pride in their product. I don't think that's the case. Lambo equals ego. Watch this video of a Lambo getting spanked by the Wright Speed electric vehicle prototype.


        They will not run away from electric vehicles with their tail between their legs. I'll almost guarantee that Lambo is either working on an EV right now or has one in the planning stages.
      • 5 Years Ago
      honestly though, if you can afford a $300,000 + supercar, then more than likely you can afford the $3 a gallon for gas to fill it up every couple of miles when you drain the tank from driving it. so what's the bfd about the car consuming alot of fuel? I mean granted vehicles need to be less wasteful, but since only the rich drive cars like these they can afford the fuel bill and it makes no sense why the company should care about shifting to more advanced technology under the hood considering the general public can't live without gas guzzlers anyway
      • 5 Years Ago
      they are so commited to the guido image that they can't see the obvious. i'ts all about appearing muscular and shouting loudly all the while the silent wrightspeed X1 runs circles around these mindless bulls...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know that Clarkson wanted to use that review as a demonstration of his dislike for the range and charging problem, mostly the charging problem. But I do think the time was a correct time given the performance figures and comparing it to the other cars around that time. Because with a dry track I would guess right around 1:25 and this makes sense to me that it would lose 4-6 seconds, compared to cars with the same 0-60 times, mainly after the hammerhead all the way after the tire wall because of the long straights and very high speed corners, it would just top out. The sport I would guess that it would have a second or so on the standard tesla given the slight increase in acceleration, but the same top speed again would kill it.

        The wrightspeed I would expect it to stay right in the 1:25-27 range only because of the low top speed, with a proper gear box, it would break the 1:20 mark and sit with the 300 hp Ariel, possibly quicker because of the better torque curve.

        Furthermore, you are correct with regards to the power, it is fantastic. Specifically the fact that it delivers all that torque immediately. What's needed now is some proper gearboxes, then they will really turn some heads.
        • 5 Years Ago
        nah getting rid of that clumsy gearbox is one of the many beauties of electric drive.
        it'll probably show up in some cars just to set certain records but for the most part, the point has been made during the first 200km/h :)
        let's say you double the power (and torque) of an X1 but then change the gear ratio to peak at 250km/h combined with 2second 0-100km/h. it's probably going to be difficult to get enough grip in the road to do much better anyway. and you could probably push the rpm of the motor a bit more still so it might top out at 270-280km/h. then it's going to be merciless : )
        all the while being silent and several times more efficient than a prius.
        at such speeds though it will need some bodypanels. fast moving scaffolding is not the greatest aerodynamics :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        ok, so it beat it in a 1/4 mile and a short track for only a couple laps. Those are not the circuits that I am referring to, i.e. proper road circuits. Furthermore, if you want to compare apples to apples, run this thing against the normal Ariel Atom (300 hp) that is quicker than this 0-100 km/h (2.9 s) and has a higher top speed due to having a proper gearbox (if you are not aware, the Atom is the car that this is based on).

        So please do not tell me that my mind is stuck in the old ways, it's not. What I am recognising is that electric cars are still not as good as current ICE counterparts for motorsport (please recognise that the Gallardo was not designed to be a track day car and a Nascar is not designed to be quick off the line). Yes it is great to see people pushing the technology, but the parity is not there yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it would have to be a track with some very long straigths for the lambo to catch up. the wrightspeed would beat it on most tracks. a lot.

        take a look
        in the last one it's beating a lambo gallardo on a nascar track. a track with actual turns would only greatly favor the electric.
        doesn't look like a watered down compromise to me..
        it just looks a lot smarter and quicker than the primitive lamborghini

        your mind is still stuck in old ways.
        and you should know that if a 2nd gear was added to the electric it would have a much higher top speed. it's just that it's nicer to skip gears when you can. more elegant solution
        • 5 Years Ago
        now a gallardo is not a track day car? it's called moving the goal posts.
        and the wrightspeed X1 motor and controller are not even extremes of electric propulsion. it's a moderate 150kW powerplant. no where near the max of electric propulsion.
        and while the fastest ariel atom might be able to match the wrightspeed off the line, the basic ariel atom will not.

        the wrightspeed also easily eats the very expensive porsche GT. even if he gives it a running start. and I believe the leisurely tesla roadster sport makes easy work of most cars and certainly it's counterpart the lotus elise.

        if latest lithium polymer power cells were put in the wrightspeed and say a mere doubling of the power which is not a problem for electric power, maybe 40kg additional motor weight. we would be in formula one territory. and few follow that.
        if you want the high top speed, a 2 speed gearbox could be used.
        I suppose it would be prudent to start setting some times at the nurburgring, just to move some minds.

        I trust you've seen the killacycle drag? that's an early indication of what will be possible with electric drive all the while being far more energy efficient than a prius.
        so maybe your mind is a bit stuck. you're far from alone. but why not take this opportunity to think a little. a mistake is only a problem when you refuse to correct it
        • 5 Years Ago
        assuming top gear can be trusted on the time, which is quite an assumption as it's known they lied about the car on that day, but let's say it's correct, first the lotus elise is substantially slower, second I said the sport model. the one on top gear was the original. the sport is faster and no doubt beat the exige time you mentioned. granted there are other lotus cars that are even quicker but hopefully you can admit that there is no clear tendency for the electric to lag behind. and where do you think the wrightspeed X1 would place..
        and if you double the power in the X1, maybe change the gear ratio a bit then I imagine only an F1 has a chance to beat it. certainly none on the list can follow.

        you don't know the power of the electric side :)

        the EVs only weakness is range. certainly not power.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, if you were to use Nurburgring lap times you would be very disappointed because the low top speeds would kill the times on the Nordschleife. This is due to the very long straights. As for the Gallardo that is designed to be more of a track day car while having creature comforts, you would want the LP560-4.

        As for the Tesla roadster making easy work of most cars, I assume you mean sports cars in that price range, so I would direct your attention to the TopGear power board which puts it at a time of 1:27.2 (mildly moist), whereas the Lotus Exige did a 1:26.2 in mildly moist. Bear in mind that this is quite off the pace of the leaders including cars cheaper than the Tesla. Doubling the power would not give you F1 performance figures, your power/weight would still be not as good, I follow F1 rather closely.

        "but why not take this opportunity to think a little. a mistake is only a problem when you refuse to correct it"

        Ok, well at no time have I said that I hate EVs or that they can't be used or won't be used in the future in motorsport. Because in fact they will, and it will be fantastic when they are ready, because I don't care what the fuel is. The only thing that I am arguing with you about is certain claims that you have made that are incorrect.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, the wrightspeed does not run circles around it. Yes it does 0-60 in 3.0s, but it has a top speed of 112 mph. So while it is maybe 0.2-0.9 s faster (depending on the Lambo), it will not beat it around a track or even in any other comparison.

        Plus, it's important to remember that Lamborghini will not turn into a watered down eco car anytime soon. The whole point of Lamborghini is to make a car that every ten year old has pinned up on his bedroom wall; and using more carbon fiber won't hinder that in the future. In fact, it will allow Audi/VW to learn more about composites and thus facilitate the use of that technology on a grander scale.

        Furthermore, it's important that some companies still make cars without compromises. It serves as inspiration for what it means to be an engineer, to create what you are passionate about and do it to the fullest.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nobody needs to put pressure on Lambo to come out with an EV supercar. Their ego will take care of that. They've been the unbeaten dream car for decades and then all of a sudden an unknown team comes out with their prototype electric vehicle and it kicks their a$$ like they were nothing.

      It isn't about Lambo finally listening to Ed Begley and "changing their evil ways." It's about power and speed. Electric vehicles have both and ICE technology doesn't. Period.

      As I said, they have the best engineers and designers in the industry. The best of the best in all fields. And they have realized that ICE engines can no longer provide the path to innovation they need. This weight reduction is a stop gap measure and nothing more. Lambo will come out with an electric supercar by 2015. They may even come out with a fuel cell supercar for the expensive cache/snootiness that will bring to their product line. They won't sit on the sidelines for long; when their customers see how handily their ICE vehicles can be beaten by electric vehicles their market will dry up real quick and they know it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "We've also heard repeated rumblings of full hybrid powertrains, though those seem more likely to come at the tail end of the decade."

      When lambo goes hybrid you know there is a shift in the market in favor of EV. Their engineers are the best in the world and even they can't wring more juice out of ICE. Look for a smokin' hot Lambo EV by 2015.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, i too am willing to bet that they skip straight over to EV. Their customers would be certainly willing to pay a premium for it, especially considering that a Tesla can beat a Lambo down the quarter mile strip.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have wondered if Lamborghini had ventured into multi cylinder displacement if it was still owned by Chrysler. I'm sure having their V12 & 10 motors would function just as well on, say, 6 cylinders while in traffic. Do their owners need that much power on hand all the time?
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