CEO Stefano Domenicali hints that new hypercar class at Le Mans 24 Hours could attract an entry from Lamborghini
Jim Holder
8 August 2019

Lamborghini is evaluating an entry in the new Le Mans hypercar category for 2021. If given the go-ahead, it could put Lamborghini head to head with rivals such as Aston Martin and Toyota for outright victory in the famous 24-hour race. 

Talking at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali – the former team principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team – confirmed that a study into a potential project is under way and will be completed before the end of the year. 

“There are discussions and we are looking to understand the regulations to see if it is of interest,” said Domenicali. “There is nothing to say until the evaluation is finished, and at that point the answer could be yes or no. For now, it is possible.” 

New regulations allow manufacturers to compete using more production-related machinery from 2020, with Aston set to race a version of its Valkyrie hypercar and Toyota developing the Gazoo GR Super Sport Concept for the event. 

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Domenicali hinted that the Lamborghini SC18 – a one-off project car built on behalf of a customer by Lamborghini’s racing division, Squadra Corse – showed the firm’s capabilities for launching a Le Mans racer if it chose to do so. 

“We don’t have the budget to invest in a totally new project, but the SC18 shows that we have a base for what could be an interesting approach,” he said. “The car shows that we have internal capabilities for such a project.” 

The SC18 is an Aventador-based and road-legal car but was created primarily for use on the track, where its extreme aerodynamics can be used to full effect. It draws on the same powertrain used by the Aventador SVJ, with the V12 engine delivering 759bhp at 8500rpm and 531lb ft of torque at 6750rpm. 

Lamborghini has previously hinted that more bespoke projects could be made as it meets the demand for unique creations from wealthy buyers, raising the possibility that a factory Le Mans programme could also be part-financed by customers. 

Q&A Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Lamborghini 

Urus sales in the first half of 2019 should push you close to 8000 annual sales. Can you make too many cars? 

“Our value is connected to exclusivity, so we must be careful. The target is to create a stable situation for sustainable business. The sales figures are good, but now we must consolidate and create more value in what we have. We have expanded the factory, launched Urus, taken on more dealers and more. We must not keep rushing forwards.” 

Has the Urus exceeded your expectations? 

“The customer decides and they are certainly very happy. For me, the main pleasure is that 70% of Urus customers are new to Lamborghini.” 

Are you still evaluating a fourth model line? 

“The short-term goal is to stabilise what we have. There is a lot of change coming to the industry that could be disruptive, too, especially on powertrain. After that, we can look at it, with a 2+2 GT one possibility.” 

Is a resurgent, swaggering Aston Martin stealing any of your thunder? 

“I don’t talk about rivals, but I will say that if you do your job as well as you can on every level, then you don’t have to fear anyone, just respect them. Making the most extreme super-sports cars is what makes Lamborghini aspirational and I believe we hold the halo position for that. We will keep pushing to maintain it.” 

The Diablo is 30 next year. Will you celebrate it and could you be tempted to do recreation runs like some of your rivals? 

“We’ll do some events, of course, and the joy today is that with our internal Polo Storico team to restore cars, we are now able to stay in touch with owners. But to do recreations, I am not so sure. I prefer to celebrate the value of every car from its period and to look to the older cars only to inform our new ones.” 

Will you ever turbocharge an engine? 

“To say no would be wrong. The time may come when we need smaller-capacity engine options to stay under certain tax thresholds or to even enter certain areas. The customers aren’t asking for it but maybe the regulations will. But we have a couple of years before we must decide.”

Read more

Toyota Gazoo Racing tests Super Sport hypercar ahead of Le Mans debut​

Lamborghini SC18 is maker’s first one-off race car​

Lamborghini Huracan Evo 2019 UK review​

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Comments
6

8 August 2019

 This Hypercar racing at Lemans could be good , interesting just to see who makes a good fist of it, whose your money on to win...?

Peter Cavellini.

8 August 2019

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8 August 2019
'Will you ever turbocharge an engine?'

It is interesting that neither side of the question seems to be aware of what powers the Urus.

9 August 2019
eseaton wrote:

'Will you ever turbocharge an engine?' It is interesting that neither side of the question seems to be aware of what powers the Urus.

 

An Audi Engine. That's what powers the Urus.

Not a lamborghini engine.

I believe they were talking about turbocharging Lamborghini engines like the v10 in the Huracan and the v12 in the Aventador.

8 August 2019
Motor racing has absolutely nothing to do with the spirit of Lamborghini, nor should it.

8 August 2019
Aston 'swaggering'?

Does swaggering mean losing vast sums of money and watching your absurd share price collapse?

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