Even Supercars Can Save Fuel: Supercapacitor Start-Stop For Lamborghini?

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Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

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Under very few circumstances will the Lamborghini Aventador supercar ever count as a green car.

But as the nuns used to say, "Everyone can do better. Everyone!"

Indeed, even supercars can save fuel when they're not under full throttle.

To that end, it appears that the next generation of Lambo's high-performance coupe will receive both cylinder deactivation to save fuel under light loads and engine start-stop, which switches off the engine completely just as the car comes to a stop, restarting it as the driver starts to lift a foot off the brake.

The details of the Aventador upgrades come via Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport, which obtained documents describing the detailed technologies which it alleges are from the factory.

As part of the sprawling Volkswagen Group of brands, Lamborghini engineers can draw on corporate engineering resources that include cylinder deactivation technology for its 6.5-liter V-12 engine that's already used in lesser vehicles from Audi, Bentley, and Volkswagen.

The start-stop system, however, may pioneer the use of supercapacitors rather than a lithium-ion battery to provide the stored energy to restart the engine after a stop.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

Enlarge Photo

Not only are supercapacitors far lighter than any battery of the same energy capacity, they deliver power more quickly. The Lamborghini systems can restart the engine in just 180 milliseconds, according to the report.

The EPA rates the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador at a combined 13 mpg (11 mpg city, 17 mpg highway) on premium fuel.

The net gain in fuel efficiency from the pair of green technologies is about 7 percent, the documents say--which could boost the combined rating to 14 mpg.

On the other hand, Lamborghini sells only a few hundred of the supercars each year in the U.S., so the gasoline they use is pretty minimal in the overall picture even if the drivers spend all their time at full throttle.

The $387,000 Aventador has been a great success, with more than 1,000 already built, and the factory is allegedly adding not only the green features but also suspension refinements, new wheels, and updates to the cabin to address requests from owners.


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Comments (2)
  1. With Supercapacitors, their "Power" density is much better than batteries, but their "Energy" density is actually much worse.

    From Wikipedia...

    A couple of notable points about density. EDLC are "supercapacitors"

    1) "While existing EDLCs have energy densities that are perhaps 1/10 that of a conventional battery, their power density is generally 10 to 100 times as great."

    2) "The amount of energy stored per unit weight is generally lower than that of an electrochemical battery (3–5 W·h/kg for a standard ultracapacitor, although 85 W.h/kg has been achieved in the lab[4] as of 2010 compared to 30–40 W·h/kg for a lead acid battery, 100-250 W·h/kg for a lithium-ion battery"

  2. Volkswagen actually built a very fuel efficient sports car not too long ago, it was only a prototype though, but it proves that it is possible and in future we may see these cars in showrooms!

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