World First Drive – The £2.5 million Lamborghini Sian Coupe

Lamborghini’s new Sian should silence anyone who imagined a global pandemic might impact sales of extravagant Italian hypercars. This incredible hybrid from Bologna boasts 808bhp, races to an astonishing 218mph and costs a cool £2.5 million.

Lamborghini sold all 19 open-cockpit Sian models last year to extrovert hypercar aficionados. Now the similarly priced coupe version, which runs to 63 examples, has also gone in a flash. Sian means ‘lightning’ in Bolognese dialect and perfectly suits such a dazzling vehicle. The limited edition 19 and 63 production run for the roadster and coupe relates to the year Lamborghini was born, in 1963.

“With this car, we set ourselves the challenge of creating the best hybrid solution for a Lamborghini super sportscar,” says chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani. “Lamborghini is inherently a rule breaker, a challenger, always pushing what is possible to find a better solution. With Sian we are setting new rules in new technologies – instead of just following existing methods.”

I’ve just driven the Sian coupe in Britain, one of a tiny handful of journalists lucky enough to experience a phenomenal car before it is shipped back to Italy and put on display in the company museum. The fastest accelerating Lamborghini ever doesn’t need much coaxing. It flies to 62mph in 2.8 seconds and on the banked, bowl test circuit sits at 130mph like it was purring up a motorway in the slow lane.

Lamborghini is rightly anxious that its one-off demonstrator isn’t stuffed into an Armco barrier but on a demanding hill route, the Sian returns incredible traction and acceleration. Under the rear-engine cover sits an uprated and ferocious 6.5-litre V12 borrowed from the Aventador – except Sian has the added benefit of a 48-volt e-motor, which together deliver such enormous horsepower.

The motor is mounted in the gearbox and energy is produced via a cool-sounding supercapacitor, which dispenses with the need for a heavy lithium-ion battery but can discharge and recharge energy at the same rate. That supercapacitor is located in the bulkhead, between the cockpit and engine of the Sian, helping to ensure perfect weight distribution too.

Sian isn’t a plug-in hybrid and can only use electric power for low speed parking. The mildest of mild hybrids, this flamboyant Lambo really wasn’t created to win over environmentalists. The Sian’s energy storage system is fully charged every time the vehicle brakes. That energy is instantly available as a power boost, allowing me to draw on increased torque when accelerating.

It’s a key difference over the V12-powered Aventador, dispensing with a split-second delay when applying the right foot. If that’s not enough to whet the appetite, just look at the styling. Those backlight clusters and the aerodynamic airstreamers fixed atop the rear wings are stand-out features.

Hexagon shapes are sprinkled everywhere, from the twin exhaust pipes and door mirrors, to the rear lights and instrument binnacle. The Lambo really is madness from every angle. Inside, the cabin is similar to the Aventador SVJ. Expect rock-hard seats, Lamborghini’s trademark, flip-top start button and some typically well-hidden indicator and windscreen buttons.

I can spot more than a hint of iconic Countach design from the 1970s too. Sian really is a modern-day Batmobile, futuristic and aerodynamically trimmed to the bone, it truly is a super sports car for a new era.