• Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
Sportscar makers at the pointy end of class flout what appear to be inevitable business decisions the same way their offerings flout what appear to be inevitable physical limitations. Questions we've asked for years include: How long until Ferrari builds an SUV? (Next year.) How long until Chevrolet reveals a mid-engined Corvette? (Soon?) And how long until Lamborghini must perform hybridised open heart surgery on its nonpareil V12? According to Motor Authority, as part of an interview with Lamborghini R&D honcho Maurizio Reggiani at the Detroit Auto Show, the answer to that last question is likely with the next generation.

Reggiani told MA that the next-gen Aventador will definitely come with a V12. After that, the man who makes the bulls said "we must decide what will be the future of the super sportscar in terms of electric contribution," the principle issue of that contribution not being performance, but weight and power delivery. The 4,085-pound Aventador makes scales weep, explaining why Reggiani is so grave about weight implications that even a dual-clutch transmission - a seeming shoo-in for the next-gen car - won't get a pass until it justifies its extra heft over the present, hoary, single-clutch gearbox.

Carbon fiber already forms the Aventador's tub, so engineers in Sant' Agata can't evaporate hundreds of pounds with that conversion. Lamborghini's been working on the new car's platform a for more than a year, no doubt with batteries in mind, yet stuffing a load of Triple As into the chassis could turn a battleship into a dreadnought. That formula works for Bugatti, but won't serve Lamborghini nor its clientele. Reggiani isn't opposed to some sort of electric assistance when the next-gen car bows in 2020 or 2021, and at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year said he sees plug-in hybrid tech as the next step, but we won't be surprised if the V12 song remains the naturally-aspirated same at launch.

Still, the question of electrification - and turbocharging - remains one of "When?" There's so much writing on the wall that the writing is the wall: two years ago, Reggiani admitted that turbos will get bolted on "sooner or later," as did Lamborghini's commercial officer Federico Foschini last year, the Urus will dial up a hybrid powertrain soon, reports declare the next-gen Huracán will go hybrid in 2022, and Euro 6 emissions aren't getting less stringent.

No matter how the coming flagship makes its power, expect more of everything. Reggiani told MA that the Lamborghini Active Aerodynamics system used on the Huracán Performante remains "a big potential that we have in our pocket," but we could see that on a coming Aventador Performante. And there are always those carbon fiber connecting rods waiting for just the right use case.

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