New Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali hasn’t been leading the iconic Italian automaker for very long, but he has very clear ideas of what the future will look like for the brand.
His view of autonomous cars is quite entertaining, and living up to the Italian stereotype, it all boils down to passion for him.
“Normally, our customer has many cars, not only Lamborghini. I hope they can concentrate on autonomous driving with the other cars on their fleet,” Domenicali said during an interview at the automaker’s new carbon fiber research and development facility in Seattle called the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL). “When you drive a Lamborghini, you have to have the passion … so I cannot think of a Lamborghini with these kind of [autonomous] characteristics.”
Although he says driverless technology is impressive, it’s only useful when cars are predominately used for mobility purposes, and that’s far from what Lamborghini customers want. Raging Bull cars are not exactly known for being practical daily commuters.
“You can’t spend your whole life sitting in a vehicle that will do everything for you. You need to be active and be the protagonist of what you’re doing, and this is the objective of Lamborghini,” he said.
Domenicali’s stance on alternative powertrains is less fiery.
“That is the future,” he said, shrugging his shoulders, almost as if he was admitting defeat. “We cannot think that … electrification, hybrids and fuel cells will not hit the super sports car segment. It will. It’s a matter of time.”
He emphasizes the need to “make the right choices for the future,” but also admitted that “the technology today is still too expensive” and that it doesn’t have a tangible purpose or benefit yet in the super sports car segment.
“I don’t expect to have in the short term a sort of electrification in the super sports car segment, but it will come,” he said. “My answer is think ahead and to have a product that can be flexible enough to do this as soon as it is viable.”
When asked if he would pull a Ferrari move and consider offering an IPO for Lamborghini, he said “no,” right away and without hesitation.
“You will never hear me say never, but no, not in the short term,” he said. “I cannot see it, and today, in this position, we have other priorities.”
In regards to the four-seat Estoque sedan concept becoming a reality, Domenicali said he wants to see it happen, but it’s not likely.
“In a perfect world, we could see four models for the Lamborghini portfolio, but that is not the case today because of the amount of investment we would have to put on the table.” Right now, the company is focusing on the upcoming Urus SUV.
Whatever the case, it’s reassuring to know that the man behind Lamborghini is pragmatic, but still has a passion burning inside him that will help keep the Italian automaker’s fire going strong.
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