Blenheim Palace served as the astonishing backdrop for this year’s Salon Privé, and this is where Stuart Shield caught up with Andrea Baldi, CEO of Lamborghini Europe, Middle East and Africa
Salon Privé, which took place in late September 2020, showcased a vast selection of classic, super, hyper, mega and concept cars and motorcycles. The show has become a staple and has presented Lamborghini in particular with a valuable opportunity to showcase its latest models surrounded by many of their finest classic cars dating back to 1963.
As I strolled through the event, supercar enthusiasts were poring over glorious designs. One of these connoisseurs was Lamborghini’s CEO, Andrea Baldi, with whom I had the pleasure of chatting. I first asked him about Lamborghini’s record sales last year, which saw its profits increase by 43%. He explained the company had enjoyed nine years of growth and had taken a slight dip this year owing to Covid-19, which forced Italy into lockdown, thus causing the Lamborghini factory to close for seven weeks.
Luckily, they have reopened and all 1800 Lamborghini staff are doing their best to catch up on orders, meaning buyers will have to wait just a little longer for their cars to be delivered. He also mentioned that the company’s 2800 external suppliers who create many of the components were affected by the virus, but thankfully production is now in full swing.
We delved into the world of race cars and the company’s latest creation: the Essenza SCV12. The car is bigger than the Huracán GT3 Evo and its engine is based on the V12 unit found in Aventadors, but with the added bonus of having 830hp. Andrea confirmed that they plan to make up to 40 and owners will get the chance to race them or use the vehicles on track days – they cannot be driven on the road. At a cost of €500,000, the Essenza SCV12 comes complete with a team of technicians to ensure that the car is cared for. Instructors are also on hand to help improve track times and driving skills.
Now the mere mention of Lamborghini conjures up thoughts of loud powerful engines. Couple that with electric or hybrid elements and you will have a recipe for success. Andrea explained Lamborghini’s priority is to give its customers power without compromise, and that they have been developing the Asterion, a plug-in hybrid with four-wheel drive – the front wheels powered by two electric motors. He admitted they are not pioneers in the electric realm but they have a team of automotive designers considering alternative options. He also stated that Lamborghini became a zero CO₂ emissions company two years ago, but with viable alternative low or zero emission methods of propulsion being considered he is unsure if the company will opt for electric only cars.
At the time of writing this I found out that the judges at Salon Privé chose a 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S as the Most Iconic car of the show – a fitting tribute to a car company known for designing icons.