Lamborghini just released the open-top version of its first-ever hybrid hypercar, the Sián. What the roadster lacks in UV protection it more than makes up for with its wild performance stats, which are practically identical to the coupe’s: a 217-mph top speed and a 0–62 mph sprint of 2.8 seconds. Oh, and 819 hp thanks to its 785-horse V-12 and 34-horse electric motor. “Modern tech is the essence of Lambo DNA,” said Lamborghini’s Chief Marketing & Communication Officer, Katia Bassi, while introducing the virtual ordering system that the dream factory used to spec each unique example.
The Ad Personam Studio is Lamborghini’s modular customization tool that allows every fine detail of a vehicle to be tweaked. Even components like A/C vents and interior badging can be tailored to the customer’s tastes through the manufacturing freedom of 3D printing. With social distancing and local mandates still affecting how dealerships approach new-car sales, Lamborghini’s emphasis on a high-quality virtual experience could become a role model for top-snuff brands in the future.
Okay, but enough about that—all 90 Sián roadsters are sold out, anyways. What makes the roadster special, other than its magnetic exclusivity ? Apart from the tiered glass engine cover, which allows a clean view of that howling 6.5-liter V-12, the speedboat-esque side glass that tapers down from the windshield is probably the slickest detail of the Sián’s haircut. In addition, the radical drop of the side window glass produces the open-air quality Lamborghini wanted from this new machine, and avoids the “invisible fortress” feel of most modern chop-tops.
Underneath the concoction of carbon, aluminum, and leather is the “first step in Lambo’s route to electrification,” according to Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer. He’s referring to the black pimple on the side of the transmission, a compact electric motor powered by a supercapacitor. The setup differs from a battery because it’s designed to rapidly discharge power rather than to store energy for a long time; the 48-volt hybrid motor acts as a 34-horse boost at any speed by directly powering the driveline. Because of its rapid charging and discharging capability, the supercapacitor can be fully charged with one hard jab of the brake pedal thanks to the car’s regenerative braking system.
If for some reason you need your Blu Uranus rocketship to be silent, the topless Sián can drive on the electric motor alone—but only for short distances. The real goal here that the electric motor will fill in when the conventional gasoline engine and transmission drop off, say at launch, when you need a lot of torque, or even between shifts, to eliminate any hitch in momentum; Lamborghini says the system can sprinkle in a little assist whenever it’s needed. This is good news for the 90 souls who managed to snag a Sián—the rest of us will have to just figure out how to live without a Blu Uranus (or any other color) hybrid Lambo.
Jokes aside, the Sián boasts a remarkable electric driveline when most hybrids still rely on conventional lithium battery packs. What the supercapacitor system lacks in outright range it makes up for in its power density and quick performance, offering yet another twist on how we can approach our electrified future.