7 Minutes in Heaven with Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini. A Haute Interview

Haute Living was recently honored enough to obtain much more than 7 minutes of interview time on a gloriously beautiful day with Stephan Winklemann, CEO of Lamborghini.  Set in the idyllic grounds of the Quail, on the stage of the Lamborghini display, flanked by a sleek one-off  $2.2 Million Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and the just-unveiled SUV Urus, we spoke with the man in charge of the raging bull.

HL:  Is Lamborhgini a German company or an Italian company now?
SW:  It’s an Italian company.  It’s called Automobili Lamborghini Società per azioni.

HL:  As fuel prices increase due to global demand and economic instability, do you foresee Lamborghini abandoning their traditions of larger 10 & 12 cylinder engines and using force induction such as turbo or supercharging?
:  The timing with the aspirated engines, the 10 & 12 cylinder, we are leading and have unique position on the 10 cylinder as we are going to keep this for the time being.  It is clear that for the future, the next decade or twenty years, we cannot for sure, stay safe on this kind of engine.  We are always evaluating every possibility.  It is clear that if we have to match emission rules which are different everywhere, it would be difficult to sell everywhere.  What we did in the past was to reduce our emissions from our engines and I think that we were on a good path.  Once in every 6 months, we have a strategic meeting about our engines and emissions and we are always watching worldwide.

HL:  Is there a possibility for a hybrid Lamborghini?
SW:  Never say never.  In the future, anything is possible, but there is nothing planned for the time being, but you know as the emissions regulations continue downward, one needs to have something to keep up.  On the other hand, having a hybrid, is something which increases the weight of the car dramatically, so it’s not like you just put some hybridization in and then you win.  You need to make something consistent.

HL: With new models coming out of existing manufacturing and new/old manufactures vitalized, where is Lamborghini going to position themselves?  Are you going to continue to produce ultra high end cars only or do you see a market for other models?
SW:  Our strategy is based on the two model base:  Aventador and the Gallardo.  But we want to do more and more in the future.  The one-offs, like the Sesto Elemento, and for sure we think it’s important to have third model line up outside of the 2-door super sports car segment, and by looking into it, we found out that the 4 door segments around the world had one exception, which is the SUV.  We think it is the perfect match to have a SUV with our brand.

HL:  Is there going to be a new Aventador SV?
SW:  Only the future will tell us.

HL:  Let’s ask some personal questions now.  Having lived in so much of the world, where is your favorite vacation spot?
SW:  I don’t have a specific spot, but if I have to give you a region, it would be the seaside.  Going to the beaches and with friends and this is one the things I enjoy the most, even if I don’t have much time to do it.

HL:  And you’re quite renowned for being one of the very best dressed CEOs in the world.  Who’s your tailor?
SW:  I have an Italian tailor who I’ve been with for 20 years.  He’s a good friend.  He has no name.  It’s my tailor.
HL:  (Laughing) Can we at least know where he is?
SW:  Turin.

HL:  And just noticing your wrists now.  That’s quite a bit on style there.  What’s the story behind those?  See picture above
SW:  The carbon fiber one is from Lamborghini, and represents our company with its lightweight material.  The braided leather bracelets are from our Lamborghini fashion line.  The leather is made out of the same leather used in our seats of our cars.  And you can buy these for yourself.  All the rest are just gifts, without any deeper meaning at all.

Ending the interview with a twinkle in his eye, there you have it ladies and gentlemen.  7 minutes in heaven with Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini.  We can’t wait to experience what’s in store for us and Lamborghini.

AND POP QUIZ Haute Living readers…What kind of time piece does Mr. Winkelmann sport?
We’ll follow up with the answer tomorrow during our ADVENTURES WITH THE AVENTADOR!