Lamborghini chief technical officer Rouven Mohr vows Lambo EVs will prioritise emotion over 0-100km/h times.
Rouven Mohr has held the enviable responsibility of engineering Lamborghini’s radical electrified future since January.
He moved across from the validation department to fill the sizeable shoes of CTO Maurizio Reggiani, who is now vice-president of the brand’s motorsport division.
Like Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, the German is no stranger to the halls of Sant’Agata. Mohr served as head of development for the Lamborghini Aventador, Lamborghini Huracán and Lamborghini Urus before leaving for a brief second stint at sibling brand Audi, where he specialised in energy and weight management.
He told us what to expect from what was, not so long ago, the completely unexpected: a Lamborghini without an engine.
What are the challenges of electrification?
“The first thing I want to say is that there are opportunities, too. A performance hybrid, rather than one focused on range, can provide a perfect combination between engine and battery, bridging the torque gaps of a combustion engine. For customers, hybrid should mean added value: an even faster, more fun car.
“The challenges are selecting the battery size so we offer enough performance but don’t add too much weight. We also want a car that delivers consistent performance, not one that’s brilliant for a few laps of a track and then not so good when the battery is flat. Energy recuperation is going to be key, and with that, brake feel.”
How much does being part of the Volkswagen Group help you progress?
“In general, being in the group is always a big help. We can go into hybridisation without having to go through a lot of the processes of trial and error again.
“But I have to be clear, because the system we will use will be unique to Lamborghini. We have a core competence that we can draw on, but the hardware we must develop to our own specifications.”
Which areas are you focusing on?
“Hybridisation brings a lot of options that just weren’t there before. I’m particularly excited about the possibilities of torque vectoring left to right. Yes, there were options with semi-active differentials and so on, but now the possibilities are much greater.
“I promise you now that you will really be able to drive these cars. They’re special, and any worries over extra weight from the hybrid system won’t last.”
Can it go too far, though? Not everyone wants electronics to drive the car for them.
“Okay, yes, let’s say now that I agree and Lamborghini agrees. We don’t want to make cars without character, so we don’t actually want to build the perfect car, if a perfect car is one that does everything for you. This isn’t the PlayStation.
“We define that character from the start of every project, and that character should stand out even if you have your eyes closed. The driver is always at the centre of a Lamborghini. They must be the hero, not the car.”
Where does that leave a fully electric Lamborghini, with no gears and no engine noise?
“You’re right to ask this question. It’s a challenge, to be honest, but one I think we must approach with openness. New technology means new opportunities to excite people.
“But let me be clear: I don’t mean acceleration. Every EV can accelerate fast. You don’t take your car out on a Sunday for a drive to go from 0-100km/h in 1.9sec again and again. Maybe once or twice, but after that it’s boring
“Where we will focus is on the control of the car, how it reacts to inputs and more. I won’t talk about rivals by name, but I don’t think there’s an EV on the market today that does this well. All this talk about 0-100km/h times is meaningless. Really meaningless. We want so much more from our cars at Lamborghini.”
So you are rejecting any power race?
“Well, you have to have a certain amount of power to be part of the game, but I’m clear that winning that game won’t mean you’ve built the most emotional car. With electric motors, everything is fast. A customer won’t discern the difference between 1.9sec and 2.0sec. Let’s worry more about controlling the torque, about the car giving the driver the best feedback. We have to take more meaningful advantages of electrification than 0-100km/h times.”
How far down this road are you, with Lamborghini’s first EV due in 2028?
“At the moment, nothing is decided; we’re still discussing the direction to take, because we’re in the pre-development phase. There’s a lot to decide. What we do know is that it will be more oriented to day-to-day use than our sports cars. The rest is still to come.”