Mind your business: Francesco Scardaoni, Lamborghini Asia-Pacific’s region director

In Mind Your Business, we speak with business leaders and thinkers who inspire their respective companies and industries. Francesco Scardaoni, Lamborghini Asia-Pacific’s region director, discusses his company’s drive towards full electrification

Starting over at 61? Automobili Lamborghini cannot wait. The Italian supercar marque celebrated its diamond jubilee last year in boisterous fashion. From a jaw-dropping showcase of milestone cars through the decades at its Bologna headquarters, to the unveiling of the Revuelto, its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the message is clear: the future can’t come soon enough.

The spectre of hybridisation and electrification have nudged reluctant carmakers into accepting a future of gas-less and growl-less engines. Lamborghini, however, embraces the inevitable.

Francesco Scardaoni, Lamborghini Asia-Pacific’s region director. Photo by Lamborghini

The company has outlined its plans to electrify every vehicle in its portfolio by the end of 2024. Following the Revuelto’s launch in 2023, Lamborghini offered a sneak peak of the Lanzador, a state-of-the-art, all-electric concept car. This year, the company will be introducing hybrid versions of its best-selling SUV, the Urus, as well as the Huracan, both by June. Everything is humming along nicely and Francesco Scardaoni, Lamborghini Asia-Pacific’s region director, brims with optimism as he discusses the brand’s electric future.

Tell us about the Lanzador, the car that is emblematic of Lamborghini’s future.

We unveiled the Lanzador at Pebble Beach last year, and it will be fully released in 2028. This is the first pure electric Lamborghini and there is nothing like it in terms of body style and design. We call it an ultra-GT—a more enhanced version of a GT. Some might even see it as a combination, between a crossover and a GT. This is a state-of-the-art car in terms of electrification and digitalisation.

With never-before-seen configurations and new technologies for a full-electric car, how do you ensure its reliability?

We have a strict process to ensure quality in terms of design, the suppliers that we work with, and production methods. We want to make sure that what we design on paper can be properly executed in real life. Our production line, for instance, is tailored to an advanced stage of manufacturing and assembly to ensure quality, robustness and reliability.

Unveiled in 2023, the Lanzador is Lamaborghini’s first pure-electric concept car. Photo by Lamborghini

Why is Lamborghini so open with your plans for full electrification when the future still seems uncertain?

It is important for our customers to understand the future of Lamborghini. We also want to show our commitment to a more sustainable and better product lineup. The disruption is pretty heavy, and we need to disclose where we want to go and not leave people in the dark. It is in our DNA to be brave. We are open about facing challenges without any fear.

Is it fair to suggest that Lamborghini is ahead of the times with your plans for electrification?

I think it’s consistent with our own timeline. There are already a lot of electric cars now. But we want to be the best, rather than the first. Even if a customer was blindfolded and led to our car, he will need to know that he is experiencing a Lamborghini. This is the most challenging part of electrification for us. You can tell it is a Lamborghini from the way the car looks. But the car’s performance, the way it sounds, and the emotions it transmits are all important as well.

A plug-in hybrid, the Unveiled in 2023, the Revuelto houses the new L545 engine, said to be the lightest and most powerful 12-cylinder engine ever made by Lamborghini. Photo by Lamborghini

You said that the idea is not to replicate the experience between driving an electric and combustion engine car. How do you convince purists to make the switch?

We need to create different kinds of emotions for the different driving experiences. Purists love the V-12 combustion engine for its responsiveness, the torque distribution, the sound and so on. You cannot replicate that with an electric Lamborghini. That’s why the hybrid phase that we are in now is helpful to see how we can push forward. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to try and match the sound of a combustion engine for the electric car, so we are designing a new sound. There are, of course, many different areas and features we are looking at. But in the end, it is about inciting the same emotions and feelings within our customers.

The company enjoyed record-breaking revenue in 2023. How will the plans for hybridisation and electrification impact financial figures?

The investment (towards hybridisation and electrification) is huge, the largest of its kind by Lamborghini. We are investing almost €1.9 billion to transition the company to 2025 when the full product line becomes hybrid. That said, we are able to do so, thanks to strong finances brought about by an amazing product mix and our cutomisation business. With hybridisation and electrification, we believe that our portfolio of products will be even stronger and, with that, be more solid in terms of our financial position.

Automobili Lamborghini