Every December, the well-heeled and art world cognoscenti flock to South Florida for this week's Art Basel Miami (though many would like to forget about last year’s NFT-driven mania).
High-end automakers are on display as well, including Rolls-Royce, Porsche, and Lamborghini.
For Lamborghini, it was a chance to show off its latest creation — the absolutely wild Huracán Sterrato, an off-road version of its two-door supercar.
Despite concerns over the macro economic environment, the ultra-wealthy are not slowing down their spending at all, and for Lamborghini this is being reflected in its order books.
“We are still going strong — We are selling, every month, more cars than we are able to produce despite the fact that we already increased production twice this year,” Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Yahoo Finance from Miami. “We have an order bank which is higher than 18 months already, and all ... the things you were mentioning — interest rates going up, inflation, energy costs — this is so far not affecting us.”
That sizable order bank will likely hand Lamborghini yet another record-breaking year, despite ongoing concerns over parts shortages and COVID-related supply chain disruptions.
Lamborghini clients want more luxury sports cars, including those that go off-road, or "road adjacent."
The Sterrato was said to be a passion project of Winkelmann’s, and he is decidedly excited about it. And it will be the last of its kind at Lamborghini - a car with a purely gas-powered engine.
“We always do unexpected things - so the Huracán Sterrato is one of those things,” he says. “Lamborghini is big in four-wheel-drive cars, and this is also the last internal combustion engine-only car which we are going to launch. From next year, [the cars] will be all hybrid cars coming to the market - so this is, for us, also a big deal.”
The Sterrato’s powertrain consists of Lamborghini’s sweet-sounding 5.2-liter V10 engine with a slightly detuned power output of 610 hp and 413 lb-ft. of torque, mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronically controlled all-wheel drive system with a mechanical locking rear differential, for increased traction on sandy and dirt covered roads. Despite its increased ride height and beefed up off-road mechanicals, Lamborghni says the Sterrato can hit 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 160 mph, which is limited given the tires and setup of the car.
The Sterrato may be Lamborghini’s swan song in the naturally aspirated ICE era, as the company moves forward with its electrification game plan.
“We are going hybridize all of our lineup,” Winkelmann said about the company’s vision for the next two years. “The first [hybrid] will be based on our new V-12 cylinder car with a plug-in hybrid system, and then, in '24, we will have the new plug-in of the Urus, and then the all-new Huracán by the end of 2024. And at the end of this decade, we will have a new model, model number four, which will be then the first full electric car.”
Lamborghini is targeting 2028 for the reveal of that pure-electric car. While it may seem like an eternity in the auto world, Lamborghini is going where its clients want to be, dragging them to the future, ever so slightly.
As for what’s next for the company itself, it's been rumored that Lamborghini would be the next Volkswagen (VOW.DE) portfolio company to go public. Winkelmann has even discussed preparations for an IPO in the past.
But for today, from the sunny shores of Miami Beach, he was mum about a potential listing — for now.
“No, there is nothing planned for Lamborghini,” he said with a smile.