Lamborghini’s Sián is one of the biggest money-grabbing schemes the company has ever pulled off. I don’t know whether to be impressed or furious.
Goodness me, you’re sounding punchy today.
Let’s back up for a moment. What’s a ‘Sián’?
The Sián is one of Lamborghini’s latest limited production models which also happens to be the most powerful car they have ever produced.
How much power are we talking about here?
Try 602 kW (819 hp); 25kW (34 hp) of which is accounted for by a 48-volt e-motor.
So, it’s a hybrid?
Though rather than going down the traditional hybrid route by using lithium-ion batteries, the Sián uses an electric motor powered by a supercapacitor that is integrated into the single-clutch 7-speed gearbox.
Yes, supercapacitor. Three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a battery producing the same power, the supercapacitors in the Sián can be charged and discharged with the same power. Therefore every time the Sián brakes, it fully recuperates the charge in its energy storage system. This energy can then be used as an instantly available power boost when accelerating up to 130 km/h. After said speed, the e-motor automatically disconnects.
Well, yes. But also no.
I beg your pardon?
The technology itself is incredibly exciting. Though its application in the Sián is frustratingly narrow.
The single-clutch gearbox borrowed from the Aventador is inherently flawed. It is slow and ungainly when pottering around town, and brutally violent when given the space to breathe.
I have always been a fan of the ol’ sledgehammer-to-the-back-of-the-head gear change, but the majority have not been. This is where the supercapacitor steps in; offering torque during gear changes in a bid to reduce the gearbox’s characteristic dip.
Does it work?
Lamborghini claims that in higher gears and lower speeds the electric motor increases traction force by up to 20%. As such, the Sián is 1.2 seconds quicker from 70 to 120 km/h than the already rapid Aventador SVJ.
1.2 seconds? That’s phenomenal.
At first glance, yes, it is.
But I cannot help but wonder whether a quicker-shifting dual-clutch gearbox would have done the exact same thing.
A dual-clutch-equipped 911 Turbo S may only have 478 kW (650 hp), but I have no doubt that it would wallop a Sián in a straight line.
But I bet the Sián is more economical. Y’know, being a hybrid and all.
You would be wrong.
The Turbo S sips petrol at a wholly respectable 11.5 L/100km, and it does it without the help of hybridisation.
The Sián, meanwhile, gurgles 19.2 L/100km. That’s actually more than Lamborghini claimed for the non-hybrid Aventador.
Is it powered by a rocket?
Close. It’s hiding a 6.5 litre V12.
For good reason: It’s essentially the same engine found in the Aventador. And it is tremendous.
If a Ferrari V12 is Mozart, then this is AC/DC. Both are legendary in their own right, but there is something about the Lambo’s howling banshee scream that excites the lizard part of my brain like nothing else.
Full throttle in a V12 Lamborghini is an almost religious experience.
Sounds like you’re quite fond of the Sián…
No. I’m fond of the engine within it.
It looks exciting.
To an extent.
The rear end is immense; a crushing reminder that no one does drama like Lamborghini.
And then you work your way to the front, and your heart sinks.
Where the rear is an extraterrestrial playground of creativity, the Sián’s face reeks of rushed botox. Despite drawing on design cues from previous Lamborghini’s such as the Veneno, Aventador, and Terzo Millennio concept, the Sián manages to look completely uninspiring.
It reminds me of a magazine face collage.
You’ve just been spoiled.
Perhaps, but I still think the original Aventador has a more appealing face than this.
At least you can’t see it from the inside.
This is no relief.
Diminutive touchscreen aside, it’s very much a reclothed Aventador in here.
I’m seeing a common theme here.
This really is the root of my frustration.
You wanted a new interior?
I wanted a new car. Something bespoke.
The fact of the matter is this: The Sián is an Aventador in fancy dress with a glorified battery designed to smooth that car’s chiropractic gear changes.
I’m sure they took that into consideration when pricing it.
They did not. The Sián costs £2,500,000 (AUD$5.2 million). And they’re all sold.
*Spits out water* What are they smoking?
I’ve been asking myself the same question.
Yes, it may be limited (they’re only making 63 coupes and 19 roadsters), however, there is no getting away from the fact that the Sián costs about the same as a Bugatti Chiron— a fully-fledged hypercar.
The Sián isn’t a hypercar?
Not even close.
Aside from the usual 0-100km/h (2.8 seconds) and top-speed (350km/h) figures, Lamborghini has disclosed frustratingly few details of the Sián’s performance.
Nonetheless, while it may be quick, you can bet your bottom dollar that it isn’t Bugatti/Koenigsegg/McLaren quick.
To put it into perspective, consider the fact that the Sián costs near-as-makes-no-difference £1.5 million more than the LaFerrari did eight years ago. And yet, the now-pensioner LaFerrari is superior in every quantifiable way (acceleration, weight, economy, etc).
And before you say, “it’s worth what people will pay for it”, let me say this:
You can roll a stool in glitter and sell it to a numbskull for a gazillion dollars, however, at the end of the day, it’s still a sh*t. And you’re left with stained hands and burnt nostrils.
Lamborghini’s have hardly ever been rational purchases.
You’re right, but if you describe a car as “visionary” and declare that it is designed to honour the sacred foundation year of Automobili Lamborghini, then a certain level of transparency and accountability is needed.
A test-bed, yes, but, mostly, the Sián is a cash grab of the highest order. I’ll take an Aventador S and pocket the change. Clunky gearshift and all.
Time to up your game, Lambo.