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Offline mondi

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When Lamborghini unveiled the Estoque Concept car last fall, it suggested, without providing any details, that a V8 hybrid version of the 4-door supercar was under consideration. Now, the exclusive Italian automaker has announced it will be developing a hybrid system for future models. Yet, still, the announcement comes with few details.

But there is ample evidence to support Lamborghini's seriousness on improving energy efficiency. For one thing, it has not only developed a plan to reduce by 35 percent the CO2 emissions of its vehicles by 2015, but as a corollary it will also be reducing the CO2 emissions of its factory by 30 percent by next year.

And that is often one of the more obscure points in all the enviro-friendly statistical hoopla automakers release about how they are managing the issue of reducing emissions. Often they are not clear about how they are improving the environmental impact of their production.

Lamborghini will also be conduction research into a hybrid system as part of a 35 million euro investment in that plan to reduce emissions in its vehicles. It cites last year's Gallardo LP 560-4 as a case in point, where non-hybrid technology was employed to deliver a 18 percent reduction in that model's CO2 emissions.

But a hybrid system will only be part of that plan to reduce vehicle emissions by 35 percent. Lamborghini will also be working on improved engine management and combustion, reducing friction and weight, employment of stop-start technology and even the introduction of bio-fuel-ready vehicles.

"Lamborghini is committed to its policy of environmental management," says the brand's President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann in the press release. "We have an objective to reduce CO2 emissions to the greatest possible degree."


Offline AshSimmonds

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CEO hints at 2015 launch date for first Lamborghini hybrid

It wasn't long ago that supercar manufacturers were scoffing at the idea of introducing hybrid variants of their models, but with Porsche and even the usually traditionalist Ferrari hard at work on their own respective hybrid drivetrains, it wasn't going to be long before other supercar manufacturers cottoned on to the idea - including Lamborghini.

Speaking with Automobilwoche, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said that he could easily imagine Lamborghini models adopting a small electric motor in conjunction with gasoline power - in other words, a mild hybrid that should help the Lamborghini models of the future cut down on their fuel consumption in urban areas, but not rob them of too much performance when it comes time to let loose. The timetable for such a powertrain points to a possible 2015 debut for a mild hybrid Lamborghini, but as for a completely electric Lamborghini even Winkelmann acknowledges that building such a model is something the company is not too interested in at the moment.

2015 is, coincidentally, the date Ferrari has very tentatively offered as a reasonable time to expect one of its own hybrid models, giving both manufacturers a fairly well-matched schedule - even though Ferrari has already confirmed that hybrid prototypes of the 599 are undergoing testing at the moment.

Lamborghini's plan to offer hybrids in the future is part of a larger plan to reduce costs and emissions, and according to Winkelmann the company will be spending around 35 million ($50.3 million) over the next 5 years to bring emissions levels down. Lamborghini will also be hoping to cut costs in production in order to remain profitable - the first half of the year has already seen pre-tax profits drop by over 80% to 5.4 million ($7.8 million).

In other hybrid supercar news, a strange looking Porsche 911 prototype has been photographed recently with an odd bump in the bonnet featuring a lightning-bolt motif and a 'Batman' badge on the front--either a clever joke from the usually straight-faced Porsche engineers or a hint at what may actually lie under the sheet-metal.


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