Lamborghini Green Lights a Greener -- and Possibly Hybrid -- Future
Italian exoticar producer, Lamborghini, recently announced a new environmental strategy that commits it to creating future products that will have 35 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2015 -- and to build them in production facilities that reflect a similar decrease in the relative size of their carbon footprint. The automaker says it will invest up to €35 million ($40 million) over the next five years to further sanitize operations in its main factory at Sant'Agata, Bolognese. Key changes there will include installing new electric-generating photovoltaic roof panels that should cut up to 30 percent of the plant's existing carbon emissions.
On the vehicle side, Lamborghini recently rolled out the first of what promises to be a new strain of more enviro-friendly products, the Gallardo LP560-4. While it remains stunningly quick, the 560-horsepower/5.2-liter V10 in the new Gallardo LP560-4 churns out 18 percent less CO2 than the 520-horse/5.0-liter V10 used in earlier Gallardo models. As part of its accelerated emission-abatement efforts, the automaker says it will seek new ways to trim vehicle weight as well as add features like start/stop systems and even explore biofuel capabilities. Hybrid alternatives are also under consideration, although no word yet how or when any variations on that theme may enter the Lambo lineup. However, with chief rival Ferrari recently filing a series of patents that included a gas/electric hybrid design and the continuing legislation for cleaner and more efficient vehicles, it probably won't be too long before this strain of technology also becomes part of the supercar genre.