Lamborghini lifts the lid on a supercapacitor-enhanced Sian Roadster
Lamborghini is a funny sort of supercar manufacturer. It's not heavily into racing – certainly not compared to Ferrari. It hasn't been all that interested in the top speed battles we've seen Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Hennessey and McLaren get involved with. It doesn't go for dizzying thousand-pony horsepower figures. It hasn't really bothered all that much with high technology or electrification, and it doesn't aim to stand apart from the pack on precise handling like, say, a Porsche.
And yet the company is doing just fine, because it concentrates on something dear to the hearts of many cashed-up folk who are capable of actually splashing out on these things. Lamborghini makes some of the sickest-looking cars in the world. They're not reserved or understated. They're not obsessed with super-slippery aeros or massive downforce. They're loud, proud, brash, angular, hyper-futuristic and painted in lurid, youthful and energetic colors. They're a blood-stirring assault on the senses.
And the new Sian Roadster, as much as there's plenty else to say about it, embodies this philosophy as well as nearly anything else we've seen from Lamborghini, with the possible exception of the ludicrous Egoista of 2013. This is an outrageously, recklessy awesome-looking car, even more jaw-dropping than the hard-top Sian we first saw last year. Take a moment to click on one of these photos and flip through the gallery, it's a poster on wheels. If it's attention you crave, this car will deliver it in spades.
Alongside the regular Sian, the Sian Roadster is the most powerful Lambo ever made, at 819 horsepower. It uses the same supercapacitor-enhanced powertrain to get there, which can be viewed as a very small hybrid system dedicated purely to performance instead of economy.
A 48-volt electric motor contributes just 34 hp to the total output, the rest being supplied by a typically outrageous, naturally aspirated, mid-mounted V12. The supercapacitor allows extremely fast charging and discharging, meaning the Sian can capture a good amount of energy in regenerative braking and the electric motor can run flat chat without running into any battery issues such as overheating. It also allows the engineers handle things like reversing solely through electric power.
The end result is Lamborghini's fastest ever car to 100 km/h (62 mph) at less than 2.9 seconds. Yes, a Tesla will comprehensively own this thing at the lights. Lamborghini doesn't care, it clearly doesn't think electrics are sexy, and sexy is everything to these guys. Top speed is somewhere over 350 km/h (217 mph), and that's more than enough to mess your hair up without coming anywhere near the 300-mph or 500-km/h marks that the big dogs in the top speed field are fighting over these days.
This is not a convertible. It's simply a roofless roadster, so bring an umbrella if it looks like rain. There's rollover protection behind the driver and passenger's heads, in case you somehow manage to flip this wide, ground-hugging open-topper, and some attention to aerodynamics is reflected in an active rear spoiler and flip-open vents above the engine, to go with all the usual underbody diffusers, splitters, side skirts and the like.
Customization options are as open-ended as you'd imagine, with Lamborghini offering each buyer total control over the interior as well as some pretty wild paint jobs, including clearcoat-carbon-to-bright-color gradient options that look pretty crazy in the presentation videos.
Either way, you can't have one. Only 19 will be made, and they're all accounted for already. So feast your eyes again in the gallery, and let's all hope they don't all get locked up in private collections, so we might get a chance to see one on the road.