Lamborghini president and CEO Stefano Domenicali discusses the Macau Grand Prix, future sports cars and the brand’s long-awaited SUV.
L amborghini has supported drivers competing in the Macau Grand Prix. What do you think about the event and the race?
Motorsport is a very important area for Lamborghini. Our models are all crafted around the driving emotion, so what better way to show off the power and cutting-edge design of our models than on the racing circuit? In 2016, at the FIA GT World Cup at Macau, one of our customer teams entered two Lamborghini Huracán GT3s and this was our brand’s debut in the fascinating street race that is the Macau Grand Prix.
What challenges do sports car manufacturers face?
Future challenges we constantly look into and monitor are about self driving cars, connectivity, hybridisation and electrification, CO2 and sustainability. Regarding self-driving cars, the pleasure and the thrill of driving a Lamborghini are, and will remain, some of the main reasons why people purchase our super sports cars. So it’s difficult to imagine a future vehicle bearing the brand of the Raging Bull in which the owner is merely a passenger.
Regarding hybridisation and electrification, the question to ask ourselves is whether this technology is sufficient to ensure the thrills and performance in terms of handling that one expects from a super sports car. For the moment the answer is no, because of the enormous inertia the weight of the batteries brings with it. But the additional weight of the batteries, which compromises vehicle dynamics and the packaging that influences the layout of the vehicle, is less significant on an SUV than a super sports car. So we decided that the Urus will be the first Lamborghini vehicle that lends itself to hybridisation.
The sports car and luxury car market has been slowing down in Asia, as well as Macau. What do you think will happen in those markets in the years ahead?
The market in Asia is no longer in a growth phase. It has matured gradually and that provides an opportunity for brands like Lamborghini to build brand loyalty. We are seeing a new generation of luxury consumers emerge, and they are moving the market. As a brand, innovation will be essential for us to capture this new audience, not only in terms of our technologies, but also in how our brand speaks to them and creates the luxury experiences they desire.
Lamborghini has launched several inspiring concept cars over the years. Will the marque unveil any new concept car in the near future?
As part of our product strategy, from time to time we create the so called one-offs, such as Reventón, Veneno and the latest model, Centenario. These cars are made for collectors. They increase the value of our brand, allowing us to test a new design language and give designers and engineers freedom. They are technical demonstrators for future technical innovations in our series production cars. Regarding the near future, our commitment and efforts are strongly focused on the introduction of the Urus in 2018.