Among the many new car launches held at the 2023 Quail show during Monterey Car Week, one of the most daring might have been Lamborghini's Lanzador concept. A sort of Sterrato on stilts with the ride height of a Urus but the profile of a Huracán, taking the hybrid tech of the Revuelto to an all-electric, four-motor conclusion, the Lanzador would be a standout in the EV market, and a unique addition to Lambo's hypercar stable. We had a quick chat with Lamborghini's chief technical officer, Rouven Mohr, about the creation of the Lanzador, and if Lambo can keep its sense of self once it goes electric.
Car and Driver: How did the idea for the Lanzador concept come about? Did it come more from the idea of the off-road supercar, the Sterrato that came out this year, or does it come more from the side of the Urus and SUV success?
Rouven Mohr: It's important to underline that we are coming from the super-sports car. If you sit in this car, everything is like a super-sports car. The seating position, the height of the dashboard. Just from the view of the A-pillar, you have the feeling you're sitting in a sports car. This was the idea, to make the super-sports car feeling combined with a little bit more usability. We call it a GT 2+2. But it's a usable four-seater. The second row is roomy and you have a big tailgate, so you can load, say, your mountain bike in. We think it's a sweet spot that so far is not addressed by any other car because while you have the SUVs, which are very big and also roomy, they don't give you this kind of supercar feeling.
You think someone will drive up to the trail in this and unload their mountain bike amidst a parking lot full of Subarus?
This is exactly the coolness of the concept because you can combine these dramatic aesthetics--the car looks really elegant, but it's quite spaceship style--and to combine this with this activity that usually you would do with a station wagon...Imagine you go to the beach with a surfboard on it. I think it's cool.
Let's talk about electrification. It seems an easier task for the luxury manufacturers. Their customers already expect something to be smooth and quiet and it's just an added bonus that they can have a fast response while still being mellow. How is Lamborghini, which is so rowdy, going to take on electrification? There is no mellow Lamborghini.
We will not do mellow. We are working already, I would say two years now, on defining what the electric driving experience of a Lambo will be. There are a lot of opportunities that you get from the electric drivetrain that are not possible with a combustion car. And at the moment no one is using them the way we plan to. There are fast cars, with an electric car it is easy to have a fast car. There are also cars that are suitable, more-or-less, for track usage. And there are also electric cars that try to imitate combustion with artificial shifting points and so on. I like the statement that the most "rowdy" has to be a Lamborghini. At the end of the day, the difference will be the control algorithm, how you control the dynamic systems in the car to create an emotional connection. We will develop in- house, our own functionalities. It will be completely different from what you see at the moment on the electric market.
We hear that a lot, that there will be an emotional component to the EV. Can you give me an example?
Ok, yes, the shape of the acceleration. If you have a too linear an acceleration, which most electric cars do--they are accelerating like hell, but very linear—that can get boring. Your body is reacting to differences in acceleration. The first kick and then you you expect a little bit more. Theoretically, you can have a shape that is more emotional, but the acceleration time at the end of it can be the same. You can also have other things like if you go off-throttle in a combustion car, you have the feeling that the car is moving a little bit because you have the inertia of the drivetrain. So if you have for instance, stiffer engine mounts, you feel that the car is doing something and this gives you also feedback. We believe that this feedback in some of the electric cars at the moment gives you the feeling you're a sitting in a PlayStation because you miss a little movement from your inputs. But you have to be credible and it has to feel natural. What I don't like is at the end of the day is the feeling that you drive a fake. Just a fast box.
Is there any overlap with what Audi is doing with their electrification?
For sure, because we are part of the group. We are using the knowledge and experience that they had already. But if you compare the brand positioning, we have to find our own way. Ours has to be always a little bit more, don't call it hooligan, but something a little bit more wow.
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