Outrageous looks, huge performance, a surreal pricetag – and all sold out

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The Aventador is hardly a car for shrinking violets, so it’s no surprise that Lamborghini has opted to turn this special based on the same architecture up to 11 – and that’s on a scale that goes to 5. 

The Sián FKP 37 sits on the same floorpan and is powered by the same glorious naturally aspirated engine, but it gets bespoke bodywork and pioneering technology in the form of a supercapacitor hybrid system. Despite a €2.5 million (£2.2m) pre-tax price tag, the entire 63-car run of coupé has already been sold, as have the 19 roadsters that will follow it. 

The Sián sounds magnificent: louder and rowdier than even the Aventador SVJ, but with an exhaust note that truly harmonises within the last few hundred revs before the cut-off

The 48V electric element may win attention, but the 6.5-litre V12 remains the headline act. This is basically the same engine that powers the mighty Aventador SVJ but with a slight boost in output, taking peak power to a claimed 774bhp at 8500rpm – the highest yet for a road-going Lamborghini.

The supercapacitor plays only a supporting role to this, but it’s an important one. It can add up to 33bhp at up to 81mph through an electric motor integrated into the gearbox. 

Unlike its plug-in hybrid rival, the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the Sián can’t run under electric power alone, but its supercapacitor is much more powerful than a conventional battery would be. Lamborghini says that the bulkhead-mounted power pack and motor collectively add just 34kg of weight, with the system’s 600A peak flow rates allowing it to add instant effort.

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We’re told the Sián’s in-gear times are up to 10% quicker than those of the Aventador SVJ. An equally important role is using electric-motor torque to fill some of the gaps in the automated single-clutch transmission’s changes.

The design of the Sián’s is jaw-slackening, looking like a virtual rendering come to life. The combination of width and wedginess pays obvious homage to Marcello Gandini’s Countach of 1974, as do details such as the louvred engine cover. The front features Y-shaped daytime running lights inspired by those of the 2017 Terzo Millennio concept.

The rear is dominated by the huge rear track and size of the vast, 335-profile P-Zero tyres, these overhanging the aerodynamic elements positioned above them and flanking an enormous diffuser (a powered rear wing hides away at lower speeds). Six hexagonal tailight elements seem to hang, surrounded by space, and above them the rear deck incorporates active cooling flaps that open automatically.

Lamborghini’s plans for a drive in one of the more scenic parts of Italy were stymied by pandemic-related restrictions, so my drive came in the considerably less exotic environment of Bedfordshire’s Millbrook Proving Ground on a rainy afternoon.

Not that the Sián needs a glamourous background to feel special. Its cabin shares most of the Aventador’s architecture but has plusher materials and a new, portrait-orientated central touchscreen. It also shares its lesser sister’s shortage of head room, with the limited space allowed by the fixed buckets beneath the Alcantara headlining making me glad not to be wearing a helmet.

Starting the engine turns the Sián immediately angry. This isn’t one of those new-age hybrid supercars that’s capable of silent running, rather one that lives the celebrate 
the savagery of its rev-happy V12.

The Sián starts rolling less snappily than the Aventador does, 
its electric motor helping smooth 
out clutch engagement, but once it’s moving, the cabin is always noisy 
and filled with buzzy vibrations.

Performance is predictably huge. Slight electrical help can be detected in higher gears and at lower revs, but giving the V12 its head removes any sense of the motor assisting.

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The Sián sounds magnificent: louder and rowdier than even the Aventador SVJ, but with an exhaust note that truly harmonises within the last few hundred revs before the cut-off, and with a fusillade of pops and bangs on the overrun. Being limited to 130mph in the wet on Millbrook’s two-mile bowl felt cruelly slow.

Yet when asked to deal with multiple laps of the tight, cresty Hill Route (a not-quite simulacrum of the real world), the Sián felt much less at home. Its combination of huge width and poor visibility would make a much bigger road feel narrow, and although the Sián proved itself to have copious grip, there was little chance to push hard in the sodden conditions. There was even the very un-hypercar sensation of understeer in the slower corners, where the challenge of turning the Sián’s mass was most obvious, even with the help of standard rear-wheel steering.

Millbrook’s few opportunities for higher speeds suited the Sián far better, with its light steering delivering increased feedback as loads increased. And the chassis proving impressively disciplined over the Hill Route’s many crests, regardless of the dynamic mode chosen. Even the one that infamously claimed James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS in Casino Royale didn’t faze it.

Dynamically, the Sián feels like a rawer car than the Aventador, but (on the admittedly limited basis of this first impression) not a better one, certainly when compared with the impressively focused SVJ.

Yet that’s not really the point of what is effectively a motor show concept brought to life – and as a visceral experience, almost nothing else gets close. The Sián’s price is ridiculous, its styling outrageous is and its underpinnings are pensionable by supercar standards – yet its appeal is unarguable. 

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Mike Duff

Mike Duff
Title: Contributing editor

Mike has been writing about cars for more than 25 years, having defected from radio journalism to follow his passion. He has been a contributor to Autocar since 2004, and is a former editor of the Autocar website. 

Mike joined Autocar full-time in 2007, first as features editor before taking the reins at autocar.co.uk. Being in charge of the video strategy at the time saw him create our long running “will it drift?” series. For which he apologies.

He specialises in adventurous drive stories, many in unlikely places. He once drove to Serbia to visit the Zastava factory, took a £1500 Mercedes W124 E-Class to Berlin to meet some of its taxi siblings and did Scotland’s North Coast 500 in a Porsche Boxster during a winter storm. He also seems to be a hypercar magnet, having driven such exotics as the Koenigsegg One:1, Lamborghini SCV12, Lotus Evija and Pagani Huayra R.