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Lamborghini previews the Aventadors hybrid, 1,001-hp successor
Lamborghini is nearly ready to introduce the Aventador's long-awaited successor. Referred to as the LB744, the company's next flagship model adopts a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that's built around a new, naturally-aspirated V12 and rated at about 1,000 horsepower. We'll need to be patient to discover the model's exterior design, but Lamborghini provided us with a very good idea of what the specifications sheet looks like. The system's centerpiece is a mid-mounted, 6.5-liter V12 that eschews forced induction — the company has previously made it clear that it wants to keep the naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder alive for as long as possible. While the Aventador was V12-powered as well, it sounds like the mechanical similarities between the two cars end there. In the upcoming LB744, the engine is bolted to an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that's mounted transversely behind the engine instead of longitudinally directly in front of it. The company will need to find a new name for the transmission tunnel: it now houses a 3.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The electricity stored in it zaps three electric motors: one is integrated into the transmission, while the other two are each assigned to one of the front wheels. This layout delivers through-the-road all-wheel-drive, so there's no mechanical connection between the axles, and it allows the LB744 to drive on electricity alone for short distances. The configuration also provides a torque vectoring function for sharper cornering. Lamborghini pegs the system's total output at 1,015 metric horsepower, which represents approximately 1,001 horsepower measured in U.S. terms. The bulk of the cavalry comes from the V12; it's billed as the lightest and most powerful 12-cylinder that Lamborghini has ever made and it develops about 813 horsepower at a screaming 9,250 rpm (that's 250 rpm short of its redline). Maximum torque checks in at 535 pound-feet. We haven't heard the new engine yet, but Lamborghini stresses that it went to great lengths to give it an exhaust note worthy of a supercar. More details about the LB744 will emerge in the not-too-distant future.