Jan 30, 2024 - Economy

Lamborghini CEO: We don't need to be first to EVs

An orange Lamborghini Revuelto car on display, with its doors opened upwards.

A Lamborghini Revuelto plug-in hybrid on display at the 2023 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Lamborghini will get there, but it sees no reason to speed along to EVs just yet.

Why it matters: The auto industry's transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric cars has been a choppy one lately, as automakers deal with less-than-anticipated enthusiasm from car buyers.

The big picture: As an ultra-luxury brand known for its growling engines, Lamborghini is introducing hybrids first — and EVs will come later.

  • "We strongly believe that we don't need to be the first one, but when we come we have to be the best one," Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann tells Axios.

Catch up quick: Lamborghini, part of the Volkswagen Group, debuted its first plug-in hybrid in 2023, the Revuelto, a $608,000 V12, and is launching the first plug-in hybrid version of its Urus SUV in 2024.

  • Its first fully electric vehicle will come in 2028, modeled after the Lanzador concept car teased at Monterey Car Week last year. It's said to deliver the equivalent of 1,341+ horsepower.

Quick take: Lambo might want to go electric faster than this, but its massive performance standards require massive batteries, which might simply not be possible right now due to current battery pack density.

  • "The power-to-weight ratio is very important," Winkelmann says.

The big question: Will the type of super wealthy customers who previously cherished Lamborghini for its beastly engines embrace a hybrid's electric motors and then purely battery-powered models?

  • "Some years down the road our customers will be ready," Winkelmann says. "My hope is when we get there it's going to be a no-brainer."

Worth noting: While an EV Lambo is still several years off, the brand on Tuesday said it's aiming to cut 50% of 2021 emissions by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

One thing's for sure: The Lambo engine growl will eventually go away for good in its EVs.

  • "We will not fake an internal combustion engine sound — it's not what we want," Winkelmann says.
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