So, where does the Huracán STO sit in the Lamborghini range?
Lamborghini has always had performance derivatives of our different cars, as well as a GT racing heritage. Right from the first sketches of the Huracán, it was intended to be our first road-legal car designed together with our racing team. It’s both a road car and ready-to-race car. You can see the results, specifically the Huracán GT3, which just clocked its fourth consecutive podium finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona. We wanted to celebrate what the Huracán has achieved in a few short years by creating its pinnacle, the best-performing version of the Huracán; we took the GT3 design technology into the legal street world by creating the Huracán STO.
Why tease us with incremental iterations when you can dazzle immediately with a pinnacle creation?
It’s normal that the best-performing models come out later. The last is the best because in terms of manufacturing, every day is an extra day of development and learning about car technologies that constantly moves forward.
Can drivers feel the car’s racing DNA even on packed city roads?
We say the STO is based on a true story because the car is developed with the knowhow of our engineers at Squadra Corse, the racing department at Lamborghini. Their know-how is drive feel, and they’ve been able to transfer the feeling and emotions of pro drivers to a street-legal car. You don’t need to race with the car, you just need road. You don’t have to go fast to feel the steering, feel the throttle or feel the brake in the same way you would with a GT3 race car. You get the same drive feel as a pro driver. The only thing missing from the experience is maybe the feel of a helmet.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was the second-best year ever for the brand in terms of turnover.
Lamborghini came from an amazing 2019 and woke up in 2020 with this unpleasant surprise. But I will tell you that this is a company that never stops and never sleeps, even when we were one of the first companies to stop production for a couple of months to ensure our employees were safe. We turned all our strategy to digital as we wanted our customers to still live the Lamborghini dream even if they weren’t able to take their cars out. We introduced digital services, contactless services, digital car configurators, and launched four new cars in a digital way in 2020.
You relocated here from China to helm the Asia Pacific team. What did you find unique about the Singapore market?
In Singapore, customers like to create their own unique car. They like cars that are an extension of themselves; show their tastes, moods, feelings and personality. We have the Ad Personam customisation programme, where a customer basically creates his own car, from exterior colours to the stitching on the upholstery.
The Lamborghini website recently asked visitors to fill in a sustainability survey. How long has sustainability been a core value?
For many years. We’ve launched many activities and projects starting with our [headquarters and factory] being certified C02-neutral [since 2015]. It’s easy to associate supercars with something that’s bad for the environment, so it’s important that we make known that Lamborghini is conducting business sustainably.
One question asked is if Lamborghini should invest in EVs, plug-in hybrids or fuel cells. What’s your take?
Lamborghini is a company that’s always consistent with our DNA, meaning we always use the right powertrain for the right application. We still use naturally-aspirated engines because we believe it is the best powertrain for the emotion, drivability and handling for a super sports car. So as of today, we don’t think a pure electric powertrain can fit our needs. It’s not good enough or emotional enough. But the pace of electrification development is very fast. In five to six years, we may have a pure electric powertrain on a Lamborghini. We believe there will be a bridge from now till then, and that’s hybridisation. We’ve already introduced it with the Sián FKP 37, which is powered by a low-voltage hybrid system. We are looking forward to creating our hybrid architecture that’s high voltage — a bridge between today and pure electrification.
Last question: what launches are coming up?
I’d love to tell you, but I can’t! I will say that we will launch some products that are interesting, iconic and that’s part of our heritage.
This story first appeared in the April 2021 issue of A Magazine.