Lamborghini will end production of vehicles running only on internal combustion as of 2022, according to the Italian brand’s CEO, with only electrified models available going forward.
The automaker last year outlined plans to shift to hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles as part of its “Direzione Cor Tauri” program. It’s set to be backed by $1.8 billion in investments during the next four years, the biggest spending campaign in Lamborghini’s history.
The decision to shift direction comes at a time when the automaker has been selling record levels of high-performance models like the Huracan. Indeed, 2022 models are already sold out and “will be the last time that we only offer combustion engines,” CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Bloomberg in an interview.
A two-step process
The plan is to begin migrating to an all-electric future, starting in 2023 with a switch to plug-in hybrid technology. By 2024, said the CEO, Lambo’s first all-electric model will charge onto the market.
The plan revealed this week appears to move forward the timetable Lamborghini announced just last May. At that time it indicated it would begin a phase shift to plug-in hybrids in 2023, but that transition was expected to take several years to complete. Under the Cor Tauri program, meanwhile, Winkelmann previously indicated Lamborghini’s first purely electric model wouldn’t be available until “the second half” of the decade.
Buyers are ready, says CEO
In a separate interview, Winkelmann was asked by British publication Autocar whether buyers are ready to go electric, Winkelmann, “For sure,” adding that “We always said we don’t need to be the first ones (to go electric), but when we kick in, we need to be the best, and this is something we strongly believe is going to happen.”
Lamborghini’s shift to electric propulsion wasn’t a complete surprise. The automaker’s parent, Volkswagen AG, has announced the world’s largest investment in battery technology, at more than $100 billion. Several other group brands, including Audi and Bentley, have also confirmed plans to go 100% electric by decade’s end. And others, including Porsche and flagship VW, have been moving in that direction.
The competition is getting ready, too
Meanwhile, Volkswagen’s ultra-exotic Bugatti brand has been sold to supercar maker Rimac — though the complex transaction gives VW a stake in the Croatian startup. Bugatti is expected to abandon its distinctive W-16 engine technology and shift to an all-electric drive system from Rimac.
Beyond the confines of the Volkswagen empire, the shift to battery propulsion is rapidly taking hold among the world’s most elite brands. Bentley on Wednesday said it would go 100% electric by the end of the decade. And Lambo’s most direct competitors, including Ferrari and Aston Martin, are signaling similar strategies.