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Lamborghini’s Urus SUV Plug-In Hybrid Will Be Available Early Next Year

By Jim Motavalli
Thu, May 2, 2024 8:32amGrey Clock 4 min

The marketplace has spoken and, at least for now, it’s showing preference for hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) over battery electrics. That makes Toyota’s foot dragging on EVs (and full speed ahead on hybrids) look fairly wise, though the timeline along a bumpy road still gets us to full electrification by 2035.

Italian supercar producer Lamborghini, in business since 1963, is also proceeding, incrementally, toward battery power. In an interview, Federico Foschini , Lamborghini’s chief global marketing and sales officer, talked about the new Urus SE plug-in hybrid the company showed at its lounge in New York on Monday.

The Urus SE interior gets a larger centre screen and other updates.
Lamborghini

The Urus SE SUV will sell for US$258,000 in the U.S. (the company’s biggest market) when it goes on sale internationally in the first quarter of 2025, Foschini says.

“We’re using the contribution from the electric motor and battery to not only lower emissions but also to boost performance,” he says. “Next year, all three of our models [the others are the Revuelto, a PHEV from launch, and the continuation of the Huracán] will be available as PHEVs.”

The Euro-spec Urus SE will have a stated 37 miles of electric-only range, thanks to a 192-horsepower electric motor and a 25.9-kilowatt-hour battery, but that distance will probably be less in stricter U.S. federal testing. In electric mode, the SE can reach 81 miles per hour. With the 4-litre 620-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine engaged, the picture is quite different. With 789 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque on tap, the SE—as big as it is—can reach 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and attain 193 mph. It’s marginally faster than the Urus S, but also slightly under the cutting-edge Urus Performante model. Lamborghini says the SE reduces emissions by 80% compared to a standard Urus.

Lamborghini’s Urus plans are a little complicated. The company’s order books are full through 2025, but after that it plans to ditch the S and Performante models and produce only the SE. That’s only for a year, however, because the all-electric Urus should arrive by 2029.

Lamborghini’s Federico Foschini with the Urus SE in New York.
Lamborghini

Thanks to the electric motor, the Urus SE offers all-wheel drive. The motor is situated inside the eight-speed automatic transmission, and it acts as a booster for the V8 but it can also drive the wheels on its own. The electric torque-vectoring system distributes power to the wheels that need it for improved cornering. The Urus SE has six driving modes, with variations that give a total of 11 performance options. There are carbon ceramic brakes front and rear.

To distinguish it, the Urus SE gets a new “floating” hood design and a new grille, headlights with matrix LED technology and a new lighting signature, and a redesigned bumper. There are more than 100 bodywork styling options, and 47 interior color combinations, with four embroidery types. The rear liftgate has also been restyled, with lights that connect the tail light clusters. The rear diffuser was redesigned to give 35% more downforce (compared to the Urus S) and keep the car on the road.

The Urus represents about 60% of U.S. Lamborghini sales, Foschini says, and in the early years 80% of buyers were new to the brand. Now it’s down to 70%because, as Foschini says, some happy Urus owners have upgraded to the Performante model. Lamborghini sold 3,000 cars last year in the U.S., where it has 44 dealers. Global sales were 10,112, the first time the marque went into five figures.

The average Urus buyer is 45 years old, though it’s 10 years younger in China and 10 years older in Japan. Only 10% are women, though that percentage is increasing.

“The customer base is widening, thanks to the broad appeal of the Urus—it’s a very usable car,” Foschini says. “The new buyers are successful in business, appreciate the technology, the performance, the unconventional design, and the fun-to-drive nature of the Urus.”

Maserati has two SUVs in its lineup, the Levante and the smaller Grecale. But Foschini says Lamborghini has no such plans. “A smaller SUV is not consistent with the positioning of our brand,” he says. “It’s not what we need in our portfolio now.”

It’s unclear exactly when Lamborghini will become an all-battery-electric brand. Foschini says that the Italian automaker is working with Volkswagen Group partner Porsche on e-fuel, synthetic and renewably made gasoline that could presumably extend the brand’s internal-combustion identity. But now, e-fuel is very expensive to make as it relies on wind power and captured carbon dioxide.

During Monterey Car Week in 2023, Lamborghini showed the Lanzador , a 2+2 electric concept car with high ground clearance that is headed for production. “This is the right electric vehicle for us,” Foschini says. “And the production version will look better than the concept.” The Lanzador, Lamborghini’s fourth model, should arrive in 2028.



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A Texas-Built Hypercar, the 300 MPH Hennessey Venom, Is in the Running for the World’s Fastest Production Car
By Jim Motavalli
Wed, May 8, 2024 3 min

There are Corvette fans for whom the base US$68,300 car is plenty powerful enough. After all, it produces 495 horsepower and can reach 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. But hold on, there’s also the approximately US$115,000 Z06—with 670 horsepower and able to reach 60 in 2.6 seconds. These split seconds are important for busy people—and for marketing claims. And if that’s not enough go power, there’s the even more formidable 900-horsepower ZR1 version of the Corvette, starting around US$150,000. The hybrid E-Ray, at US$104,900, is pretty potent, too.

But if they’re still too slow, fans of American-engineered muscle can consider the exclusive Texas-built Hennessey Venom F5, a limited-edition carbon-fibre hypercar. Ten years ago, the Hennessey became the world’s fastest production car, defeating the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, with a top speed of 270.49 miles per hour.

That world title is much sought after, and is currently held by the Sweden-built 1,600-horsepower Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut, with a two-way average top speed of 277.8 mph. But Hennessey is still very much a contender. The company is hoping the 1,817-horsepower F5 (with 1,192 pound-feet of torque) can exceed 300 mph on the track this year.

The Hennessey Venom F5 coupe is sold out, despite a more than $2 million price tag.
Hennessey photo

Hennessey’s previous Venom GT model (introduced in 2010) was based on the Lotus Exige, with a GM LS-based engine, and was built by partner Delta Motorsport. Spokesman Jon Visscher tells Penta , “The new Venom F5, revealed in 2020, is a 100%bespoke creation—unique to Hennessey and featuring a Hennessey-designed 6.6-litre twin-turbo V8 engine boasting 1,817 horsepower, making it the world’s most powerful combustion-engine production car.” Leaps in performance like this tend to be pricey.

This is a very exclusive automobile, priced around US$2.5 million for the coupe, and US$3 million for the F5 Roadster announced in 2023. Only 30 Roadsters will be built, with a removable carbon-fiber roof. The 24 F5 coupes were spoken for in 2021, but if you really want one you could find a used example—or go topless. In a statement to Penta , company founder and CEO John Hennessey said that while the coupe “is now sold out, a handful of build slots remain for our Roadster and [track-focused] Revolution models.”

Only 24 Revolutions will be built in coupe form, priced at US$2.7 million. There’s also a rarefied roadster version of the Revolution, with just 12 to be built.

The Venom F5 Roadster has a removable carbon-fibre roof.
Hennessey photo

The Venom F5 coupe weighs only 3,000 pounds, and it’s not surprising that insane speeds are possible when combined with a hand-built motor (nicknamed “Fury”) created with power uppermost. The V8 in the F5, installed in a rear mid-engine configuration, has a custom engine block and lightweight forged aluminium pistons, billet-steel crankshaft, and forged-steel connecting rods. Twin turbochargers are featured. The F5 can reach 62 mph in less than three seconds, but top speed seems to be its claim to fame.

The driver shifts the rear-wheel-drive car via a seven-speed, single-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. The interior is not as spartan or as tight as in many other supercars, and is able to handle very tall people. The butterfly doors lift up for access.

“With 22 customer Venom F5 hypercars already delivered to customers around the world, and a newly expanded engineering team, we’re focusing the Venom F5 on delivering on its potential,” Hennessey says. “Breaking 300 mph in two directions is the goal we aim to achieve toward the end of this year to claim the ‘world’s fastest production car’ title.”

Hennessey says the car and team are ready. “Now the search is on for a runway or public road with a sufficiently long straight to allow our 1,817-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 monster to accelerate beyond 300 mph and return to zero safely.” The very competitive Hennessey said the track-focused Revolution version of the F5 set a fastest production car lap around Texas’ 3.41-mile Circuit of the Americas track in March, going almost seven seconds faster than a McLaren P1.

The Revolution features a roof-mounted central air scoop (to deliver cool air to the engine bay), a full-width rear carbon wing, larger front splitter and rear diffuser, tweaked suspension, and engine cooling. It’s got the same powertrain as the standard cars, but is enhanced to stay planted at otherworldly speeds.

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