It's technically possible to make the V12 eco-friendly. But the performance penalty will be huge.
Large-displacement, naturally aspirated and turbocharged 12-cylinder engines are under fire. Automakers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW are already planning to phase them out, but, thankfully, others like Rolls-Royce will keep them as long as possible. Another exotic manufacturer, Lamborghini, is joining the group of companies expressing their support for the V12 through the voice of its chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani.
Speaking to Wheels Magazine at the Geneva Motor Show, Reggiani commented that the brand’s V12 engine is not dead yet and will continue to be upgraded over the next years to remain compliant with the ever-stricter emissions standards.
“The V12 must respect some homologation rules. We are able to guarantee that our V12 will be able to fulfill all Euro 6 rules. After that, it comes down to questions of capacity and fuel consumption. What's becoming clear is that if you want a super sports car, fuel consumption cannot be discounted.”
So far, so good – the fire-breathing V12 of the Aventador will meet all Euro 6 norms, but what will happen once it’s replaced by Euro 7? Reggiani claims it is technically possible to improve the V12 and make it meet even tighter regulations, but this would mean the unit will suffer from a serious performance penalty.
“The future will be Euro 7, a real tough game changer. Maybe 2023, 2025. It will have real significant impacts in terms of output and performance.”
Interestingly, many years ago, Reggiani worked with Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder and original ideologist of Lamborghini. Our colleagues from Wheels asked the CTO of the brand which car in the current lineup of Lambo Ferruccio would have enjoyed the most. And the answer was very simple.
“Aventador! He was a man that liked the sound and the perfection and no other engine can be perfected like a V12. For Ferruccio, it was engine and design, engine and design.”