Luxury Cars

Maurizio Reggiani talks racing, forced induction, and Lamborghini V12s

Maurizio Reggiani deserves his personal chapter in Lamborghini’s historical past.

He joined the Italian firm in 1995 and rose to the place of chief technical officer in 2006; he notably led the event of a few of Lamborghini’s best modern-day engines, together with the 6.5-liter V12 that powers the Aventador. His time as the pinnacle of Lamborghini’s analysis and growth division ended earlier in 2022 and he now serves as vp of motorsport. His successor, Rouven Mohr, is tasked with implementing an formidable and far-reaching electrification technique known as Direzione Cor Tauri and outlined in 2021.

As Lamborghini prepares to enter a brand new period, I sat down with Reggiani for a behind-the-scenes have a look at practically 30 years of V12 growth.

[The following has been edited for clarity.]

RG: Lamborghini has made different engines and different firms have made V12s. Why is the V12 so usually related to Lamborghini?

MR: In a time when all people began speaking about downsizing and decreasing cylinder depend, we continued to say that the V12 is the flagship of the super-sports automotive. We had been born with this: Lamborghini has made a V12 throughout yearly of its historical past. We additionally did V8s within the time of the Jalpa, for instance, however the V12 was each time the principle pillar of this firm. If you wish to be thought of the top of super-sports automobiles, no different engine can actually communicate to purists like a naturally-aspirated V12 can. By way of energy, by way of sound, by way of emotion, and by way of, let me say, the best engine that is potential by way of engineering definition.

RG: What initiatives have stood out to you throughout your time on the head of Lamborghini’s R&D division?

MR: After I began my profession, 40 years in the past at Maserati, I labored in engine growth. At Bugatti, I used to be answerable for powertrain, which in fact contains the engine. For me, an engine is type of like a primary love, and also you stay in love for your whole life. To have a look at an engine, to look inside, to debate the parts, to have an opinion, and to offer a suggestion was my manner of working each time.

One of many initiatives that excited me probably the most was the Diablo GT. For the primary time, we determined to place a single throttle per cylinder, and it was a degree of sophistication that was kind of by no means used earlier than by Lamborghini. You’re taking expertise from the previous and attempt to apply it to [the present]. This improved quite a bit the efficiency, and it was actually tremendous thrilling. The engine within the Aventador is one other spotlight: it was designed along with the Aventador. That was a totally new automotive, we began from scratch, and you may think about how thrilling that was.

RG: You have taken the V10 racing; why not race a V12?

MR: We had a giant dialogue about this once we first began out in racing. We initially launched a one-make collection in 2009, and after that we determined to additionally have interaction within the GT3 collection, and the principle level of dialogue was that in each competitors associated to GT you’ve gotten a stability of efficiency. There is no sense to tackle the burden and packaging of the V12 if after it is advisable put a restrictor that penalizes a number of the efficiency. We determined the perfect compromise to be able to match the stability of efficiency was the V10. On the finish, it is advisable take an engine the place even with the stability of efficiency you’re near most energy. In the event you take an engine with a giant output and you progress its curb of effectivity to a decrease half [of the graph], you can’t be aggressive.

RG: Was including pressured induction, whether or not it is a turbocharger or a supercharger, ever thought of?

MR: We by no means [used forced induction] as a result of our imaginative and prescient was that the sound of the V12, the frequency of the V12, can’t be achieved with a turbo. Clearly, right this moment you’ve gotten so many filters within the exhaust system that the sound is lowered. Which might be new guidelines that got here from California the place you can’t exceed a given decibel throughout the take a look at. Years in the past it was solely within the default [driving] mode; now in all the modes it is advisable be beneath a sure degree. It is essential to keep up the frequency of the sound.

Additionally, the facility was, let me say, sufficient. We reached 350 kilometers per hour (about 217 miles per hour) with the Aventador SVJ. We put far more consideration to the usage of the facility and the form of the torque curve as a result of we had been certain that is what prospects ask. We wish to give the V12 a response that is as comparable as potential to a bike’s. On a bike, whenever you twist the accelerator you’ve gotten the impression that the engine is ready to catch 10,000 RPM *snaps* like this. In a V12, which is a giant engine, the enemy is to have the ability to transfer up and down [the rev range] as rapidly as potential. This relies quite a bit on the burden of the pistons, the connecting rods, the crankshaft, and naturally electronics. You might want to tune every part as a lot as potential and what offers this notion is the sound you hear. 

RG: I spoke to you about carbon fiber connecting rods in 2016. What occurred to that venture?

MR: The components had been achieved in Seattle, on the College of Washington. The complexity by way of the supplies used, the need to have metallic inside, and the issue of bolting the connecting rods as a result of it is advisable put an insert inside them [were issues]. And, after that you’ve dilatation. We constructed a prototype and examined it however it remained on the analysis degree. Now we have a number of examples of growth work that run, however on the finish each time it is advisable do a call sheet the place you determine economics, reliability, reproducibility, and price, and what we work on in R&D cannot attain manufacturing each time.

RG: What ought to we anticipate from the subsequent V12?

MR: The V12 is a part of Lamborghini’s DNA. We already introduced the Aventador’s successor will preserve the naturally-aspirated V12, although it is a V12 that’s radically new in comparison with what now we have right this moment. We use this new engine to appropriate a few of the peculiarities that may be associated to the burden and that may be associated to the RPM to be able to have the perfect degree of thermal dynamics coupled with a hybrid system.

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