The free-breathing engine, unencumbered by forced induction is dear to Lamborghini and the Italian supercar manufacturer will go to great lengths to sustain its existence, according to an Autocar report.

“My dream is to maintain the naturally-aspirated engine for as long as possible. It is a sense of emotion in a super-sports car,” said Lamborghini head of development Maurizio Reggiani. The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based marque has thus far done without turbocharging or powertrain electrification – its Aventador and Huracan model lines are powered by naturally-aspirated V12s and V10s respectively.

A Lamborghini’s DNA comprises design, emotion and performance – elements which define a new car, according to Reggiani. “We then try to put them in a more scientific way, making them ‘physical’ things so you can compare a new car to an old one or the competition,” he said.

“Brand value is something, for Lamborghini, that’s full of emotion. If we are not able to be emotional, there is no reason to buy a Lamborghini. The future must have passion. Our brand in the future must cause people to dream (of) the sound, speed, acceleration and design,” Reggiani added.

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Both forced induction and electrification are things even Lamborghini cannot avoid indefinitely, and the upcoming Urus ‘super sport utility vehicle’ will have both at various points in its upcoming lifecycle. The tallest Raging Bull yet – LM002 aside – will be powered by a 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine, with PHEV and pure EV variants said to be possibilities.

There is a parallel of sorts with sister VW Group company, Porsche, in the SUV-sports car relationship. The Urus will be “a true Lamborghini to drive,” while allowing the Huracan and Aventador to exist in their current purist forms for the time being.

Technologies for weight reduction will be crucial to Lamborghini’s future, in view of having to compensate for the extra weight of drive batteries and evolving safety regulations, which in 2019, is set to make cars even wider, according to Reggiani. Lamborghini is working with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston for researching lightweight materials, as well as alternative energy and battery storage.

“I’m so worried about the battery and the additional increase in weight. Engineers are working really hard to find new technology solutions without adding weight. It’s a difficult job. We need smart solutions and ideas,” Reggiani said.

The Italian brand’s development chief hopes that naturally-aspirated V10 and V12 engines will stay around for as long as possible. “(The naturally-aspirated engine) is part of the DNA of a super-sportscar. No other type of engine can provide the emotion, the response, the sound. It’s unique – and that makes the difference today for Lamborghini,” he said.

As for limited-run, motorsport-offshoot hypercars such as the Mercedes-AMG Project One, Reggiani claims Lamborghini was the first in the sub-genre with the Reventon. “We invented this kind of car. We don’t want to follow the others. What Lamborghini will continue to do is make super-limited-series models for its most exclusive customers who also act as test beds for its future cars,” Reggiani noted of models like the Veneno.

Great news for fans of the naturally-aspirated supercar engine, then. There’s still life in the screaming Lamborghini powerplant yet.

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