Just 19 topless versions of Lamborghini’s fastest car will be made
SANT’AGATA BOLOGNESE, ITALY
The new Lamborghini Sián Roadster is so exclusive, you can’t buy one even if you have the money now, because like all of Lamborghini’s limited edition cars, they are offered to the brand’s inner circle of well-heeled clients even before news of the car’s existence is made known to the public.
The Sián Roadster was unveiled internationally in an online video broadcast on Lamborghini’s website on 8th July 2020. It uses the same 6.5-litre V12 engine and electric motor hybrid drivetrain as the Sián coupe, and develops a combined power output of 819 horsepower, driving all four wheels.
First launched in late 2019 with just 63 units produced worldwide, the Lamborghini Sián was the brand’s first foray into producing a hybrid supercar by combining the 6.5-litre V12 petrol engine from the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ with an electric motor.
Performance figures for the new Sián Roadster are similar to the coupe, with a claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time of under 2.9 seconds and a top speed that goes beyond 350km/h.
The roofless design of the car is permanent; Lamborghini has not made any notice about a detachable roof. In other words it’s a car that needs to be permanently parked in a garage or under covers.
While much of the overall silhouette and design elements are shared with the coupe, the roadster version gets a set of unique window panes that help improve aerodynamic efficiency, channeling air cleanly towards the tail of the car and adjustable rear spoiler. Lamborghini claims that despite the open top, there is no loss of aerodynamic efficiency from the roadster’s roofless design.
Some intriguing materials science can be found on the rear deck, where active cooling vanes use a unique technology patented by Lamborghini. The vanes are triggered by the reaction of smart-material elements to the temperature generated by the exhaust system, causing them to rotate into an open position and providing additional cooling when necessary. .
Contrary to the Singaporean definition of ‘sian’, Sián (pronounced sy-ann) in local Bolognese dialect means ‘flash’ or ‘lightning’. The name commemorates the car as the first in Lamborghini’s currently unfolding hybrid strategy. It’s a milestone, because it’s the first Lamborghini in a very long time that isn’t named after a famous fighting bull.
Identical to the coupe, the roadster has a 48-volt electric motor bolted in-line with the seven-speed transmission. This adds 34hp on top of the V12 engine’s 785hp, which is achieved at a high revving 8,500rpm.
The car can be driven or short periods of time at low speeds in full-electric mode, most usefully when parking or rolling out of the driveway.
Like any other petrol-electric hybrid, the car ‘s battery pack is charged through regenerative braking. However, unlike every other car, the Sián uses supercapacitors that are said to have ten times the power rating of a similarly sized lithium-ion battery. The supercapacitor pack in the Sián weigh a total of 34kg and is positioned in the centre of the car, directly behind the cockpit.
The electric motor is also tapped on to enhance driving comfort. You see, in very quick accelerating supercars, whenever the power output is interrupted by a gear change, there is a tendency for the vehicle to jerk back a little as wind resistance and internal friction takes over. The result is that the occupants get yanked around a bit to and fro with every gear change during rapid acceleration. In the Sián however, the electric motor fills in this gap of power whenever the clutch is disengaged for a seamless, forward momentum.
There is no word at the moment if any of the 19 Lamborghini Sián Roadsters are coming to Singapore, nor of its actual price. This is partially down to the fact that owners can customise the car straight from the factory in nearly infinite ways from choosing the individual colours of the seat panels to getting custom logos or names embossed into the dashboard. Here’s a ballpark figure however, the cost of a Sián coupe is widely stated to begin from US$3.7 million, before taxes.