Filling a hybrid powertrain in an exotic, scissor Lamborghini has gone from being completely unthinkable to being completely unavoidable in a few short years. Called Sián, the Bolognese word for flash or lightning, the first series-produced gasoline electric model from the Italian company has arrived, and it’s even wilder than we expected. Digital Trends personally verified this on the eve of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
On paper, the Sián looks a lot like a normal hybrid in that it gains an electric motor and a source of electricity. The similarities stop there, however. The electric motor is a 48-volt unit between the motor and the transmission, and draws power from a supercapacitor rather than a more common lithium-ion battery pack. Lamborghini already showed its supercapacitor technology in the Terzo Millennio concept presented in 2017; It is a device that charges as fast as it discharges, thus providing an intense burst of energy for a short period of time.
The electric motor contributes only 34 horsepower to the production of 819 horsepower of the Sián. The rest comes from a naturally aspirated V12 engine that delivers 785 hp to all four wheels. Additional technical specifications (such as engine displacement and torque output) remain a secret, but it is clear that adding a degree of electrification to its powertrains will help Lamborghini defend a large 12-cylinder engine thirsty for fuel during the 2020s.
The engine drives the Sián on its own in a crawl, such as when parked. It works in conjunction with the V12 in normal driving conditions, and is made known by keeping power flowing to the wheels even when the automatic transmission shifts gears. Lamborghini sets the Sián’s zero to 60 mph time at 2.8 seconds, and its top speed at 220 mph.
The limited-edition coupe, with a carbon fiber body, also looks good, thanks to a low design that points in the direction that Lamborghini’s design department will take, as it renews the company’s range during the 2020s. Stylists used the stubbornly obscenely futuristic millennium concept for inspiration, but also looked at historical models such as the Countach.
Not only is the transmission high-tech; the interior is also. The Sián is not a mass-produced model, so Lamborghini took advantage of 3D printing technology to manufacture some of the parts in the cabin. Poltrona Frau leather brings a touch of old-school craftsmanship, but the touchscreen in the center console shows off the innovative infotainment system Digital Trends praised as fast and beautiful when experienced in Hurricane Evo.
The Sián is a limited edition model, and it is already sold out. Collectors and enthusiasts reserved the 63 available examples before the model made its public debut online. Buyers looking for a hybrid Lamborghini aren’t entirely unfortunate, because the hybrid powertrain is expected to hit the successor to the Aventador due out in the early 2020s.