By the end of my fourth track stint in the new Lamborghini Revuelto, I finally built up enough confidence to sneak a peek at the speedometer just before hitting top speed on Autodromo de Vallelunga’s long front straight. The digital readout spins past 174 mph before wisdom dictates that I glance back up and punch the brakes, setting enough weight on the nose to elicit a hint of understeer before the front tires pull me straight through a wide pair of S turns.
The following lap borders on lunacy, as four massively wide Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires never quite recover from that first hard effort scrubbing speed. By the time I’m rounding back onto the front straight, I figure the time has come to truly test Lambo’s stability and traction control programming, so I let the slip-and-slide transition into a full four-wheel drift around a slow and steady sweeper.
The Revuelto takes such shenanigans in stride, almost casual really, for a $600,000-plus all-wheel-drive hypercar. But therein also lies the Revuelto’s perplexing quandary that I never quite manage to resolve. I’m in a 1,001-horsepower hybrid and just hit the highest speed I’ve ever reached in a motor vehicle, entirely without breaking a sweat, but all the performance comes at the cost of weight hidden so well that only premature tire wear reveals the immense complexity beneath all that angular, carbon-fiber skin.
|2024 Lamborghini Revuelto Specs
|6.5-liter V12 with 3 electric motors | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission | all-wheel drive
|534 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (V12) | 479 lb-ft (electric motors)
|> 217 mph
|EPA Fuel Economy
|Ballistically fast and surprisingly nimble, the Revuelto launches Lambo sliding and screaming into the electric era.
Another Step Toward The Electric Age
Hybridization represents the next logical step in Lamborghini’s overarching procession toward full electrification. As the flagship Aventador’s replacement, the Revuelto ditches the innovative hybrid supercapacitor system of the limited-edition Sián from 2019, which provided a bit of boost to smooth out shifting of a famously horrendous seven-speed automated manual gearbox. Those supercapacitors save weight but can’t hold enough charge to serve as a traditional “plug-in” hybrid power. Instead, Lambo comprehensively upgraded the Aventador’s naturally-aspirated V12 engine with new intakes and a higher compression ratio, saving 37 pounds in the process and upping the redline to a screaming 9,500 rpm. It then bolted on three electric motors (two front, one rear), mounted a 3.8-kWh battery in a longitudinal tunnel, and spent no small amount of time at the computer to make all the components play well together.
Much of the Revuelto’s futuristic engineering harkens back to Lambo’s long history. Six decades ago, the Miura arguably inaugurated the supercar era with a V12 mounted transversely behind the cockpit, with a transaxle packed in tight and routing power to the rear wheels. As the Miura’s successor, the Countach flipped its V12 around 90 degrees to a longitudinal arrangement, with a gearbox ahead of the engine—a layout that would power the Diablo, Murcielago, and Aventador while allowing for an easy transition to all-wheel drive. (The two smaller Audi R8-based siblings built under Volkswagen AG’s umbrella, the Gallardo and Huracán, used a similar layout but a V10 instead.)
The Huracán will get one more year of naturally aspirated internal-combustion V10 engines for 2024, before chasing the Revuelto into hybridization. By 2028, the Lanzador EV concept unveiled at Monterey Car Week this year will enter production. If early indications of the Revuelto’s driving dynamics hint at that future, as lamentable as the loss of screaming V12 engines might be, the future of Lamborghini performance looks very bright indeed.
Clever Programming Makes All The Difference
Perhaps the single most impressive thing about the Revuelto is that I would never have accurately guessed the car’s weight if not reading the spec sheet (and keeping an eye on tire wear after each track session). A far roomier cabin thanks to 3.14 additional inches of wheelbase and another inch of headroom contributes to a feeling of airiness entirely absent from the Avendator. A thinner steering wheel rim with electric assist makes spinning through a tighter ratio rack almost too easy but feels weighty enough at speeds below triple digits to retain an exotic level of engagement.
I know in my mind that it’s all smoke and mirrors to mask a dry weight of 3,906 pounds, but the concerted effort works. I never get tired at nine or even ten-tenths, other than maybe my left leg from bracing against the dead pedal during hard braking—as usual, a real racing harness would make a big difference for any serious track time.
But the feel and modulation of the electrically assisted brakes also emerge as more important than outright stopping power. The two front electric motors allow for regen to blend in up to 0.3 g of deceleration, while also using essentially reverse torque vectoring rather than traction control or ABS to noticeably prevent any sloppiness while trail braking. That means I can brake later, with predictable confidence at apex and not a hint of torque steer once I jump back on the go pedal.
Back out on the straight, the novel location of the rear e-motor means that aero comes into play, too. The transverse gearbox packaged tightly into the rear end allows for a larger diffuser to start sweeping upward earlier, so compared to an Aventador Ultimae, the Revuelto increases overall downforce by 70% with a simultaneous 60% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency (great for range in a plug-in hybrid, if that truly mattered to anyone trying to stay sane amid the cacophony of 12 thunderous cylinders).
The Sharpest Plug-In Hybrid Possible
The Revuelto can drive in electric-only mode, which prioritizes output from the front two motors but can also feather in a bit of power from the rear motor via a secondary transmission input shaft when necessary. The V12 itself is actually more efficient, too, thanks to improvements to friction during the production of rotating parts but also camshafts and exhaust that prioritize high-end horsepower now that the electric motors can contribute to low-end torque. In total, the V12 alone earns ratings of 813 hp and 534 lb-ft, while the three motors at full wallop add another 479 lb-ft combined.
A 6.5-liter gasoline engine, three electric motors, 100 battery cells, inverters, and additional cooling mean that despite a 10% lighter carbon-fiber monocoque than the Aventador, the Revuelto still weighs nearly two tons. That kind of heft and power make tires start chugga-chugging even by the end of our first track session. But the enviable few customers who do push their Revuelto hard enough to reach the limits of these Bridgestones will probably swap on higher-performing rubber, anyway.
This isn’t a Nürburgring lap time record car, after all, because even the best computer programming can’t overcome battery heat soak and capacity for such a long track. The total battery capacity prioritizes flow of charge in and out, rather than range, while using only 3.4 kWh of capacity rather than maxing out all 3.8. Hence, a full EV range rating of only 6.2 miles—but also a 0-100% charge time of only 30 minutes.
Only track time, where the hybrid makes it ridiculously easy to drive unbelievably fast, should truly deplete the system. At Vallelunga, we leave the cars running between stints not just to help with cooling but also to recharge the packs directly from the purring V12. During city driving or even moderately aggressive canyon carving, the Revuelto will monitor and keep its batteries sufficiently charged at all times.
The improved interior, comfortable seats, taut yet compliant suspension, and modernized user interfaces (including a gauge cluster for the passenger!) all help this hypercar play with the big boys in luxury terms just as well as performance potential. In that regard, Lamborghini clearly learned from the Urus SUV, arguably the most important step in company history before this evolutionary leap.
Enhancing Performance Over Emissions
And don’t doubt the fun factor, either. In Sport mode, the Revuelto’s all-wheel-drive system can’t fully decouple the front motors but will allow for plenty of drifty tailswing with a bit of almost indistinguishable help from the torque vectoring system thrown in for good measure—exactly the kind of discrete computer control under Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo (LDI) 2.0 that will evolve into LDI 3.0 using the all-electric Lanzador’s four electric motors.
The Revuelto undoubtedly arrives a few years late to the hybrid hypercar game and is still around 10-15% heavier than a Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, or LaFerrari. But as a proof of concept, the Lambo’s straight-line speed and sharp handling despite its curb weight are undeniable. None of the reps on hand confirmed how long the Revuelto will survive into the future, but the modular battery layout means it will be possible to upgrade for new variants (or even swap new cells into existing cars, theoretically).
Time slows down the faster we move, relativistically speaking, but at Vallelunga, Lambo previewed a starship rocketing right into the future. And for now, anyone bemoaning the death of internal combustion by a thousand hybrid cuts can rest assured that the Revuelto is all the better with an electrified V12.
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