- Lamborghini's Maurizio Reggiani on His Favorite Models, Electrification, and the V-12's Future
Lamborghini's Maurizio Reggiani on His Favorite Models, Electrification, and the V-12's Future
The chief technical director also spills on the non-Lambo classic he owns.
Maurizio Reggiani is a car guy through and through. He studied engineering in Modena, Italy, before leading engine assembly at Maserati in the mid-1980s. From there, he had a multiyear stint at Bugatti, where he was responsible for the quad-turbo V-12 powertrain that found a home in the EB110 supercar. Reggiani joined Lamborghini in 1998 as head of R&D for powertrain and suspension; he became chief technical director in 2006. He also leads motorsports division Lamborghini Squadra Corse and has a hand in Polo Storico, Lamborghini's factory restoration program.
Automobile Magazine: The industry marches forward with electrification and autonomy, as Lamborghini builds some of the wildest supercars ever. Isn't that contradictory?
Maurizio Reggiani: It is not. Lamborghini was born in 1963 with a V-12, and in all of Lamborghini there were V-12s—in the 350GT, the Miura, Countach, Diablo, Aventador. If you have an icon, you cannot sacrifice the icon. We need to have something that has this icon to remain and stay at the top. We talk about super sport cars, cars that are not for daily use to go from A to B, but are really to enjoy yourself and to make a statement. It's the emotion, the design, the experience you have when you sit in the car. These are our fundamentals.
OK, but how committed are you to the V-12 down the road?
We are convinced the top line of our products must stay with this [V-12]. We cannot delete our DNA and our statement inside this market. You see, in this market, if you want to make a statement, you need something unique, something that you can say, "We did this from the beginning, we built our success on this, and we stay with how we built our success."
How do you keep that engine's emissions compliant into the future?
The main task is really for EU7, something we have coming in 2024 or 2025, and we need to ensure we're able to fulfill this European specification that will be even more severe, but it will be possible. It's something really complicated because it means the engine must run with a stoichiometric ratio in every condition; there are several activities in the pipeline, from water injection to spark-advance control, much more sophisticated direct injection. I think the main issue is not will we fulfill EU7, because we will, but in what way can we guarantee we don't have a loss of performance? Our job is to meet these tasks. (Editor's note: Shortly after this interview, Lamborghini unveiled its Aventador-based, limited edition Sián supercar, featuring a V-12 but with hybrid electric technology.)
Is the V-10 just as important? Is a V-8 possible for the next-gen Huracán?
A V-10 at this moment is fundamental to the brand, but it is something that is less strategic for us. If you look back at Lamborghini, there was a V-8, not for the top-end car, but I will not have a problem to say the Huracán can be fitted with another type of engine for the new generation of motor.
Meanwhile, the Urus is selling very well…
One of the biggest tasks of the Urus was to guarantee it has the DNA of a Lamborghini but also at the same time to be a usable car. You have a car that can go from A to B, can do the shopping, carry a family. But when you go in Sport and Corsa modes, it becomes a real Lamborghini. It becomes much stiffer, the suspension goes down, the engine responds in a different way, and this is Lamborghini character. It is a success, and the waiting time is really long for the Urus; we produce 23, 24 cars a day, which for us is really a doubling of Lamborghini volume.
How about a Urus Performante?
I think we will see! You know, at Lamborghini, years and years ago at the time of the Gallardo, we defined this strategy. The Gallardo was the first one, and we continued with the Aventador and the Huracán. So we have the strategy, and we will maintain the strategy, but sometimes it's clear you need to invent or reinvent yourself in an order that cannot be predicted. This will be our target also for the Urus. It's difficult to talk about Lamborghini without mentioning the past models.
Can you pick a favorite?
I think the most elegant is the Miura. From an engineering point of view, the Countach, the first car with the engine done in the central tunnel to have everything precise, everything done with—especially the Periscopio—the smart way of applying some rules and it's a car that really surprised. Nobody could expect in its time a car like this. For the beauty, the Miura, no doubt. From a pure engineering point of view, the Countach is so essential, so sharp that you say, "Wow!"
What do you drive every day?
An Urus. A standard Urus. It's blue with a cream interior. It's marvelous. It gets a super cool reception everywhere.
Do you own any classic cars?
Yes, but not Lamborghinis, so for this reason it's best that I don't say! No, I have a Duetto Alfa Romeo from 1966; it's the same car as in The Graduate film. I loved them as a child. It's from the year it was launched with a number plate original from Milano, where Alfa Romeo was located.