► Lamborghini Revuelto hypercar driven
► Plug-in hybrid 6.5-litre V12, AWD, carbon tub
► 1001bhp, 0-124mph in 7.0 secs, approx £450k price
Brand new models don’t offer fire off the Sant-Agata production line, so when they do it’s worth your attention. Not that the Lamborghini Revuelto has any chance of slipping under the radar. Bright orange and blessed with a 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 (the last of the line, allegedly), it’s got all the subtlety you’d’ expect of an Italian hypercar. But then, that’s how Lamborghini customers like it.
That said, to bring in new buyers (and to comply with EU emissions regs), Lamborghini has given its latest halo model a taste of the future. We saw it on the limited-edition Sian, but the Revuelto brings hybridisation to full production spec for first time on a Lamborghini road car. Question is, can Lamborghini’s present and future work in unison, or are the glory days of the all-conquering V12 behind us?
Is it a proper plug-in hybrid?
No, not really – if we’re being brutally honest. The battery is just 3.8kWh and the range comes in at a paltry six miles. In Lamborghini’s defence, they highlight that the hybrid element isn’t primarily there for efficiency, rather performance enhancement. In other words – it makes the V12 acceptable and helps dramatically bring down CO2 figures.
Two 110kW oil-cooled axial flux electric motors at the front (one on each wheel), plus another sitting atop of the eight-speed double-clutch gearbox provide torque fill while the V12 spools up, as well as allowing all-electric all-wheel drive. Charging takes 30 mins from a 7kW charger, yet in the correct engine mode (we’ll get onto that later) the Revuelto can replenish its battery in just 6 minutes.
What about the V12 engine?
Rest assured, it’s a proper V12. 6.5-litres of naturally aspirated goodness. Lamborghini’s upgraded it from the Aventador with redesigned air intake ducts to the cylinders, improved compression ratio and enhanced fluid dynamics of the exhaust to reduce counter pressure at high revs. They’ve even managed to shave 17kg off the total weight of the engine, meaning it comes in at 218kg.
To fit everything in, the engine has been spun 180 degrees (from the Aventador) and is positioned longitudinally with the gearbox in a transverse arrangement – thus helping the centre of gravity. Meanwhile, the battery pack (around 1.5m long and 0.3m high) sits between the driver and passenger.
The result is 813bhp at 9,250rpm (red line is 9,500rpm), while torque is rated at 535lb ft at 6,750rpm. Impressive figures, but add in the electric motors and power rises to an astonishing 1,001bhp. Unsurprisingly, 0-62mph takes just 2.5 seconds with top speed rated at 217mph. For context, the Revuelto does 0-124mph in 7.0 seconds, while a Ferrari SF90 Stradale is three-tenths faster.
And the chassis?
It’s brand new for the Revuelto and is based around what Lamborghini calls its monofuselage. Made of carbon fibre, it’s 10 per cent lighter than the Aventador chassis while torsional rigidity is up by 25%. You’ve then got further elements, such as the tub, front firewall and front subframe also made from carbon fibre, while the rear part of the chassis uses high-strength aluminium alloys.
Lamborghini claims an optimum weight distribution of 44 front, 56 rear, plus stiffened up anti-roll bars (11% more at the front, 50% at the rear compared with the Aventador) aim to change the overall balance. Specially developed Bridegstone Potenza tyres keep the car on the road, while upgraded 10-pot brakes have the unenviable task of hauling 1.9 tonnes to a halt (as well as having to accommodate regen for the battery). The Revuelto’s weight is a sore subject (you get the feeling Lamborghini’s had to move mountains to keep it below two tonnes) and is largely down to the extra mass from the electrification hardware
What’s it like to drive?
So far, we’ve only been able to sample the Revuelto in moderation at the fast but technical Vallelunga circuit just north of Rome. And even on track where powerful cars can feel decidedly slower than you’d expect, the Revuelto blows you away with its pace. This isn’t just a result of more power from the V12 engine, instead the biggest difference to the Aventador is the electric motors providing low-down punch before the engine comes on song.
Think of Tesla Model S combined with screaming Model S and you’re just about there. Any suggestion that the Revuelto is over 300kg heavier than the Aventador can’t be found here. The torque out of low speed corners is both instant and deliciously smooth. Electric torque vectoring on the front axle (and single electric motor on top of the transmission) helps meter out the power to whichever wheel needs it most and ensures you can fire away incredibly cleanly (should you wish). Shift the driver mode selector from Track to Sport, however, and the torque vectoring aids sideways antics if that’s your thing.
There’s a separate switch for the powertrain, cycling through Recharge, Hybrid or Performance modes. Sounds complex, but McLaren has used a similar control method on its cars with no issue. What’s important, is that it allows you to drive the Revuelto how you want (within reason) something that was less flexible in the Aventador.
Again, it was hard to get the full effect with a helmet on and pit-car radio in our ears, but the engine sound is still unmistakeably Lamborghini. Perhaps there’s a smoother, more filtered edge to the tune, but that’s to be expected with the current regulations. The bottom line, however, is that electrification has done nothing to blunt the teeth of Lambo’s V12. Hallelujah.
What’s arguably more impressive, however, is the way the Revuelto hides its considerable mass in the corners. Even in 2023, a hypercar with a 1.9-tonne kerb weight jumps off the spec sheet and rings alarm bells, yet – on track at least – there’s no cause for alarm. Incredibly, the Revuelto feels lighter and more agile than the Aventador, especially in low-speed corners where the intuitive balance and rear-wheel steering provides off-throttle rotation aplenty.
With ESC on in Track Mode, you can be exceptionally quick by purposefully overloading the rear and letting the ESC gently catch the slide so it becomes a quick pivot of the axis, ready to fire the car off at speed as soon as the driver demands. Interestingly, the Revuleto doesn’t have a conventional traction control system, instead it uses the rear e-motor to brake the engine and thus harvest the energy from this, allowing the battery to top up even under power.
High speed corners taken at the ragged edge demonstrate that the Revuelto still has dynamic headroom for future iterations and – if we’re being fussy – the steering is a touch light for track use. It’s not blessed with feel, either, but then neither is its SF90 rival. The brakes are mighty and deliver impressive initial bite, but we’d like to try them on-road before confirming how the regen works with smooth, controlled application rather than full-bore emergency stops into hairpins.
And the cabin?
It wouldn’t be the first time that an Italian manufacturer has built a superb (at least on track) supercar and dropped the ball with the cabin, but thankfully Lamborghini has learned from past mistakes. The Revuelto is – relatively – easy to climb into, has enough room for this 5ft 10 tester, contains space for your mobile phone and wallet and even has cupholders. Visibility out the back is still atrocious, mind. Baby steps.
What’s also encouraging however, is that Lamborghini’s kept nice, easy to use buttons on the steering wheel (that, by the way, is a nice shape and not overly chunky). The digital dash display is a touch busy, but works nonetheless, while the new infotainment system is functional and responsive without being class leading. Crucially, it doesn’t distract the driver from the main event.
Lamborghini Revuelto: verdict
Having driven the car solely on track at Vallelunga, it’s hard to make a final verdict on the Revuelto without getting a flavour of its talents and usability on road. The signs are good, but the proof will be in the panna cotta, as it were. On track, however, the Revuelto is a deeply impressive feat of engineering that pushes the Lamborghini hypercar further towards performance and accessibility than ever before.
That’s not a way of saying it’s overly sanitised or unexciting, as while the old-school Lambroghini quirks (endearingly characterful at best, terrifying at worst) are largely gone, there’s still more than enough about the driving experience to send the pulse sky high and put a broad smile on the face of the lucky pilot. Because, at the end of the day, it is – as Lamborghini’s should be – a furiously fast, disgracefully loud, bright orange V12 hypercar that allows you to tap into its broad potential far easier than a mere mortal has any right to.