LAMBORGHINI has always added something extra to its model descriptions – like Super Sportscar and Super SUV – to emphasis their superlative qualities. And now, even with its new electrified model, it is using not just hybrid electric vehicle but High Performance Electrified Vehicle (HPEV) to describe the hybrid super sportscar codenamed LB744.
The new model will have its global debut soon and it is an appropriate year to do so as the carmaker celebrates its 60th anniversary. With the LB744, Lamborghini says it will establish a new benchmark in terms of performance and driving pleasure. Besides all-new architecture, the LB744 also has a new powertrain which will produce over 1,000 ps in total.
The car will also have an unprecedented transverse layout: the new naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 mid-mounted petrol engine working with 3 electric motors, one of which is integrated into the new dual-clutch 8-speed gearbox that is making its first appearance on a 12-cylinder Lamborghini. In what has been the transmission tunnel since the days of the Countach, there is a lithium-ion battery pack.
The unique architecture
This is not the first time Lamborghini has an electric motor working with a 12-cylinder engine and the first time was in 2019 with the Sian. It had a 25 kW electric motor to support the previous generation of the V12, storing the electrical energy in a supercapacitor.
The LB744, however, introduces an unprecedented hybrid architecture and a new generation of V12. The new L545 engine has a capacity of 6.5 litres and is the lightest and most powerful 12-cylinder engine ever made by Lamborghini. At 218 kgs, it is 17 kgs less than the unit in the Aventador. This allows the new engine to be rotated through 180 degrees compared to the Aventador layout.
The superquadro V12 puts out 825 ps at 9,250 rpm, thanks to the redesigned distribution system that supports a redline of 9,500 rpm. Specific power is 128 ps per litre, the highest output in the history of Lamborghini’s 12-cylinder engines, while maximum torque is 725 Nm at 6,750 rpm.
From the very beginning, Lamborghini cars made their presence known with a an unmistakable sound. For the new L545 engine, particular attention has been given to ‘tuning’ the ‘soundtrack’ to emphasize the tone of the engine, already melodious at low revs and then rising to a natural harmonious crescendo.
Electric 4-wheel drive
The LB744 will retain one of Lamborghini’s strongest traditions: 4-wheel drive. As well as the internal combustion engine that provides power to the rear wheels, a pair of electric motors power the front wheels, each motor for one front wheel. The third electric motor is positioned above the 8-speed gearbox that can supply power to the rear wheels, depending on the selected driving mode and the conditions.
The combined torque from the engine and electric motors offers performance levels that are unique even within the domain of super sportscars, with 725 Nm produced by the engine alone and 350 Nm from each of the front electric motors. Combined, the driver will have up to 1,1015 ps available.
The LB744’s lithium-ion battery pack in the central tunnel is 1550 mm long, 301 mm high, and 240 mm wide, containing pouch cells with an overall capacity of 3.8 kWh. When the charge drops down to zero, it can be recharged using both ordinary domestic AC power up to 7 kW, and completely recharges in just 30 minutes. It can also be recharged with regenerative braking from the front wheels or directly from the V12 engine in just 6 minutes.
Transmission developed in-house
The adoption of a new platform has delivered innovative technical decisions involving the gearbox: the nerve centre of the hybrid plug-in unit. To achieve its goals, Lamborghini has developed a new compact transmission unit that is able to meet the needs of such a potent electric power unit. The unit was developed and designed by Lamborghini entirely in-house, and after the LB744 it will go on to equip future models.
The development of the transmission was inspired by the desire to create a unit that provides everything needed for sporty driving such as fast gear shifts, while the inclusion of an eighth ratio helps optimize fuel consumption and drivability while cruising. A particular feature is the ‘continuous downshifting’, which drops down multiple gears under braking simply by holding down the left paddle.
Located above the gearbox, the third electric motor doubles as the starter motor and generator, as well as supplying energy to the front electric motors via the battery in the transmission tunnel. In full electric mode, it can also provide power to the rear wheels that, in addition to the e-motors driving the front wheels, allows zero-emission 4-wheel drive.
Reverse gear is provided by the two front electric motors; if extra momentum is needed, the rear electric motor can also kick in, which activates the rear axle and wheels. As a result, the new LB744 can drive all four wheels in only electric mode even when reversing in low grip conditions.