It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lamborghini is dipping its toes into electrification. The Italian brand is synonymous with supercars that are loud both in design and in engine sound. But the world is changing quickly, and Lamborghini isn’t shying away from that. Its first hybrid, the plug-in Revuelto supercar, will be out later this year, and both the Huracan successor and the Urus SUV will become PHEVs as well.
Lamborghini’s first electric car isn’t coming until 2028, but last month at Monterey Car Week we got our first glimpse at what that EV will look like with the Lanzador concept. A mix between a supercar and a traditional grand tourer, the four-seat Lanzador is unlike anything the automaker has created before. According to Head of Design Mitja Borkert, that was exactly the goal.
Describing himself as a clown balancing spinning plates, Borkert says there are different ideas constantly circulating in the Lamborghini design studio, and he always needs to be ready to present something if the bosses ask what they have been thinking about, even if it only amounts to a sketch or small model. His team had been dreaming of a sporty four-seater for many years, doing extensive research into the many different types of grand tourers, including ones from Lamborghini’s past like the 350GT and Espada.
After experimenting with different designs and body styles, none of which were convincing enough, Borkert had the idea to take Lambo’s signature supercar silhouette and proportions, but raise the stance. The Huracan Sterrato was in development at the time, and the team was inspired by the off-road supercar’s raised seating position and unique overall vibe. Designers milled a clay model, and "immediately it was there, it clicked," says Borkert. Once those proportions were established, Borkert knew they had landed on the right form.
Lifting the car made it easier to hide the battery pack while retaining a "slim, elegant and clean upper body," as Borkert describes it.
"Our design DNA is the single center line, the silhouette," he says. "This looks already innovative and futuristic." The Lanzador has a longer hood and a taller greenhouse than any of Lambo’s supercars, but the proportions really work and still look more supercar-like than any other crossover on the market.
“I wanted to have a lot of inspiration from our other super sports car, so first of all a clean shape that is very contemporary,” Borkert says. You can see Murcielago in the greenhouse, Sesto Elemento in the body surfacing, Revuelto in the pointy, shark-like front end, Sian in the rear end treatment.
"Our design DNA is the single center line, the silhouette."
Borkert says it was an "immediate decision" for the Lanzador to have two doors, one of the car’s most unexpected design elements. "I said we could discuss a four door, but everyone agreed on having two. We wanted to create a car that’s between a super sports car and a super SUV."
With the popular Urus having four doors, it wasn’t necessary for the brand to focus solely on practicality with the four-seat EV. The Lanzador sadly does without scissor doors, instead using traditional front-hinged doors, though the door handle is nicely hidden at the top edge like on the Diablo. The doors are huge, providing a large opening for rear-seat passengers to easily get into the Lanzador.
Clear plates with circuit board detailing in the front bumper give the illusion of large intakes like what’s on the Urus, providing the Lanzador with a recognizable face. "It needs to look like a Lambo, but you should recognize that the powertrain is different," says Borkert. But the Lanzador’s design doesn’t shout that it’s electric.
"Pure EV cars have been on the market for many years, so I don’t have the need to do a specific electric design," he says. "I need a Lamborghini first; a good Lamborghini, a beautiful Lamborghini. Then with the elements we integrate, I show that it’s electric. No one has ever done a different design for a diesel car versus a gasoline car."
One of the Lanzador’s best views is from the rear, where you really get a sense of its commanding stance. "Where you have a muffler today you can use in the future for aero," says Borkert as he shows off the Lanzador’s huge blown diffuser that’s flanked by the car’s wide tires. Instead of showing off powertrain components, designers now highlight aerodynamics – a different sort of performance achievement.
Partially inspired by his love for motorcycles, Borkert says that Lamborghini always exposes the rear tires, with the main explanation being "because it looks cool." He admits that on the Lanzador it has been a bit overdone – this is a concept car, after all – though don’t be surprised if the production version is nearly as dramatic. The Revuelto’s rear end shows a lot of tire, and so will the Huracan replacement. It’s another way of hiding the Lanzador’s mass and height, while adding to the visual drama.
While the diffuser is pretty in-your-face, hidden and subtle aerodynamics are also a big part of the Lanzador’s design, which Borkert describes as “hiding all the supercar elements.” Miura-esque channels at the rear edges of the side windows send air through to the little active aero wings at the rear window, for instance, and the Lanzador has movable splitters and shutters for the intakes and brake cooling ducts.
"In theory our customer would take any color," he says. "It doesn’t matter if it’s electric or not, Lamborghini customers want colors." The Lanzador’s new Azzurro Abissale paint was chosen for its deep liquid effect under the California sun, but the production car will have the same extreme level of visual customizability that you get with any new Lambo. Apparently there is high demand for Lamborghini’s many pink and purple offerings on the Revuelto, so hopefully Lanzador customers follow suit.
"I need a Lamborghini first; a good Lamborghini, a beautiful Lamborghini.
"I can imagine it in all metropoles on the planet.” Borkert says. ”It’s a car that I want to see in Los Angeles, I want to see in Paris, in Milan and Tokyo. It’s so posh and so beautiful, it’s not over designed. It’s a car you will like because it looks very attractive, it looks powerful, it really looks chic.”
Borkert says a Lamborghini’s interior design theme is always to feel like a pilot, with a low seating position and a Y-shaped dashboard. The Lanzador shares some of its switchgear with the Revuelto, as Borkert says the automaker’s customers should feel at home in whatever Lamborghini they have. The cabin is airy, with a huge glass roof and lots of light coming in from the deceptively tall greenhouse. Driver and passenger get their own displays, and there’s no center screen to be found, with the Lanzador instead getting a control knob in the middle of the dash that seems pulled from a sci-fi movie.
The lack of a transmission tunnel gives the EV tons of space under the center console, and there’s even a fitted handbag designed by Lamborghini. It also has a set of matching fitted luggage in the frunk – which almost certainly will make production – and a surfboard and skateboard mounted in the hatchback cargo area.
"Customers want to show that they are active, they want to show their lifestyle," he says.
The interior was designed only using sustainable materials, and Borkert didn’t want to hide them away or relegate them to an eco-friendly skin over a normal material. “All of Lamborghini but especially us designers, we believe in sustainability,” he says. “We want to have our planet survive into the future, so our cars need to be acceptable. We are, of course, always extreme, but we are a part of society.”
The team substituted seat foam with a 3D-printed material that is recycled plastic in the concept but could be fully biodegradable for production the exposed hexagon structure of the printed material is used as a design element visible in the seat. Borkert didn’t want all of the sustainable materials to be boring and gray either, so the Lanzador uses naturally tanned brown leather mixed with bluish merino wool, bright blue accents, and contrasting white stitching.
"So far we feel overwhelming good feedback from customers and journalists, and it’s proving that people are convinced," Borkert says. "Now it’s on us, we will develop with patience the perfect Lamborghini. We have no rush as a brand, because we are so successful with other products we can take time."
The production Lanzador won’t be out until 2028, at which point there will be far more EVs on the market, especially at the higher end. But even now, Borkert isn’t worried about traditional Lamborghini customers accepting an EV. “We’re already halfway through the social acceptance of EV cars. As a designer, I’m very convinced that EVs – and especially Lamborghinis – will make their way,” he says. “There’s always a new generation. I’m a petrolhead but I’m also an EV head, so I can see myself very much in such a car.”
“We wanted to inspire with this car,” says Borkert. “No one needs a Lambo, but everyone wants one. The car needs to speak to you saying, ‘Hey, you want me.’”2023-09-06T14:39:21Z dg43tfdfdgfd