Lamborghini and Bugatti’s Future in Electrification Hangs In The Balance Between Desire and Necessity
Is it easy for the brands to give up on internal combustion engines, which is something that they are known for?by Sidd Dhimaan, on
The automotive scene is constantly evolving since the dawn of cars. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that at the moment, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift from internal combustion engines to electric-powered vehicles.
TopGear recently spoke to Stephan Winkelmann, the head of Lamborghini and Bugatti, who didn’t give out any details other than saying that the brands will try to keep the combustion engine for as long as possible. Well, at least there’s hope.
Volkswagen is arguably the most proactive mainstream brand that’s heading towards and adopting electrification. But, it can’t exactly do the same with Lamborghini and Bugatti. These supercar and hypercar brands are all about their engines and have a rich history with internal combustion units, so letting them go isn’t exactly easy.
While we may not want the brands to switch sides completely, it is still bound to happen someday. As it turns out, the brands also feel the same. As per TopGear’s interview with the boss man, Stephan Winkelmann, the brands will retain internal combustion engines for as long as possible. Winkelmann was the Chairman and CEO of Lamborghini until 2016, but moved to Bugatti after an 11-year tenure for the same position. He has now put on his old shoes after Lamborghini’s Stefano Domenicali moved to Formula1, the difference this time being that Winkelmann is leading both the brands simultaneously.
When asked about Lamborghini’s future in these changing times, Winkelmann said, "The V-12 is one of the things we have to update because it’s core to the history of the brand." He went on to say that owners don’t drive their Bugatti more than 1,000 miles a year, so there should be no problem retaining them for as long as possible.
He also added that "the average mileage of a Chiron is one thousand miles a year. It’s a low volume car; less than 100 a year. So we are not massively impacting emissions worldwide. So, if it’s possible, we should maintain the combustion engine as long as possible."
But that said, Bugatti won’t be stubborn to not build a fully-electric car. Winkelman noted that "a fully electric car is one of the options we looked into, and which is in my opinion very likeable in terms of acceptance from the customers."
However, don’t expect one in the near future from either Lamborghini or Bugatti. He even touched base about Rimac buying Bugatti: "I can tell you we are not speculating about what we read in the news."
While Bugatti is still stuck with derivatives of the Chiron and other one-off models, Lamborghini has taken baby steps towards electrification. The company unveiled the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37, powered by the Aventador’s 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12 engine along with a 48-volt system, turning it into the automaker’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle. Perhaps, we’ll see something similar from Bugatti first and then a fully electric hypercar. But, it’s good to know that the brands are in no hurry to kill the internal combustion engines. Maybe Porsche’s less-destructive synthetic fuel would be ready by then and save the fuel-powered cars? We’ll have to wait and watch.
Source: Top Gear