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Lambo pulls the magical Sián out of its hat

Our Bureau | Updated on September 06, 2019 Published on September 06, 2019

Supercar-maker’s first hybrid, limited edition model is the most powerful car in its history

All of Lamborghini’s models have an ultra-futuristic, over-the-top vibe about them. Their limited edition production models are even more so, often bordering on being like concepts or prototypes both in terms of design and performance. Earlier this week, the Italian supercar brand unveiled the Sián, its first attempt at creating a hybrid; and in its inimitable style has completely redefined what a supercar should be.

The Sián will be the fastest Lamborghini of all time, and the name means flash or lightning in Bolognese dialect — an apt reference to the first ever electric application in a production car from the brand. It will be produced in a limited series of just 63 units, in honour of the foundation year of Automobili Lamborghini. Unfortunately for Lambo fans who are late in the line, all 63 Siáns are already sold out. All of the 63 masterpieces will be individually styled by each owner to create exclusive individuality in conjunction with Lamborghini Ad Personam. The new supercar will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

Design

Lamborghini’s official statement says that the Sián takes futuristic inspiration from the Countach — the Gandini line is evident in its profile — while the silhouette introduces new features such as the characteristic aero wings. The iconic Lamborghini ‘Y’ shape can be seen in the NACA air inlets on the doors, glass elements are included in the engine cover, and the diagonal line features in the front hood, as in the Countach.

In its long, honed, sculpted contours, like the Countach, the Sián’s design is pure and uncluttered. The low front with integrated carbon fibre splitter is dominated by the ‘Y’-shape headlights, used for the first time to reflect the signature design of the night lights, originally designed for the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio. The extreme and strong rear of the car incorporates the hexagonal design so linked with Lamborghini, including six hexagonal tail lights inspired by the Countach. The rear wing is integrated within the profile, and extends out only during the driving to enhance the performance. In the roof, the ‘Periscopio’ tunnel that originally incorporated a rear mirror in the Countach adds a bold feature that links with the slats of the rear engine cover and important elements contributing to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.

 

The Lambo release adds that airflow is directed through the front splitters and through the front bonnet, through the side air intakes and outlets as also over the rear spoiler. The Sián utilises unique material science for the first time in an automotive application. Active cooling vanes on the rear use Lamborghini patented technology. The operation of these vanes is triggered by the reaction of smart-material elements to the temperature generated by the exhaust system, causing them to rotate and providing a lightweight cooling solution.

 

Performance

The Sián adopts the V12 — the pinnacle of today’s Lamborghini engines and develops a new super sports car powertrain: a unique new hybrid system focusses on providing the highest power possible via the lightest solution. A 48 volt e-motor, delivering 34 hp, has been incorporated into the gearbox to provide immediate response and improved performance. This is the first time in any low-voltage hybrid that a direct connection has been made between electric motor and wheels. The e-motor also supports low-speed manoeuvres such as reversing and parking with electric power.

The energy accumulation technology is a world first. Rather than a lithium-ion battery, the Sián innovates supercapacitor application: a technology pioneered originally in the Lamborghini Aventador but dramatically developed to store ten times the power. It is three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a battery producing the same power. Lamborghini says that it is located in the bulkhead between cockpit and engine, and it ensures perfect weight distribution. The electric system with the supercapacitor and e-motor weighs only 34 kg, thus it delivers a remarkable weight-to-power ratio of 1.0 kg/hp. Symmetric power flow ensures the same efficiency in both charging and discharging cycles.

This advanced technology combines with the V12 engine, which incorporates titanium intake valves and is uprated to 785 hp at 8,500 rpm: the highest output ever from a Lamborghini power plant. Combined with the additional 34 hp from the hybrid system, the Sián delivers a total of 819 hp, and still produces the distinctly emotive resonance demanded from a Lamborghini engine. The Sián’s weight-to-power ratio is better than that of the Aventador SVJ, achieved through extensive use of lightweight materials. The Sián reaches a top speed of over 350 kmph.

The Lamborghini Sián incorporates a highly advanced regenerative braking system, especially developed by Lamborghini. Thanks to the symmetric behavior of the supercapacitor, which contrary to normal Li-Ion batteries can be charged and discharged with the same power, the Sián’s energy storage system is fully charged every time the vehicle brakes. The energy stored is an instantly-available power boost, allowing the driver to draw immediately on increased torque when accelerating away, up to 130 kmph when the e-motor automatically disconnects, improving the elasticity manoeuvres and making it more than 10 per cent faster than a car without this system.

Lamborghini claims that the system also delivers instant acceleration in low gears, with improved traction force provided by the combination of V12 engine and hybrid system. This makes the Sián the fastest-accelerating Lamborghini ever, achieving 0 to 100 kmph in less than 2.8 seconds.

Published on September 06, 2019
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