Marketed as the beginning of a new era, the Lamborghini Revuelto takes the torch from the Aventador with a muscular-looking design, a more spacious interior, and a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain rated at 1,001 horsepower. The firm’s next flagship is new from the ground up, even its carbon fiber chassis was developed from scratch, and it blazes the path that future models will follow in the coming years.
Low, wide, and head-turning, the Revuelto is instantly recognizable as a Lamborghini. And yet, it’s a new breed of bull: its headlights are tucked under the hood (rather than mounted flush with the front-end panels) and underlined by Y-shaped LED daytime running lights, while its back end is dominated by a pair of high-mounted exhaust outlets and a massive carbon fiber diffuser. One of the coolest design details is the decklid: made out of carbon fiber to save weight, it’s shaped like a U to give onlookers an unobstructed view of the new V12 engine.
“I like motorcycles, and it’s always fascinating to bring in some ideas from the motorcycle world. So, like this we came up with the idea of the hidden front lights,” Lamborghini design boss Mitja Borkert told me. This also explains why the exhaust outlets are proudly mounted high up on the rear fascia; it’s a design cue that floated into the galaxy of cars from the world of motorcycles (especially ones designed for racing). There’s far more to the design than a few bike-inspired styling cues, though. “We have this powertrain, and we were saying that it’s for sure one of the last V12s so let’s celebrate it. Let’s make it visible. That’s why the engine is completely visible,” Borkert added, stressing that his team’s goal was for the new model to unmistakably channel Lamborghini’s DNA without copying a previous, future, or existing model.
Stretching the wheelbase by about three inches and raising the roof line by around an inch allowed Lamborghini to carve out a more spacious interior (something Aventador owners asked for). Don’t expect third-row seating and 12 cupholders, we’re talking about a supercar, but legroom has increased and there’s now space behind the seats to store small items, like a purse or a briefcase. Most of the buttons that the driver needs to access quickly while driving are located on the steering wheel: You can signal, activate the front-end lift system, turn on the wipers, and switch driving modes while keeping both hands on the wheel. Huge shift paddles are mounted behind the steering wheel.
Even supercar buyers expect a long list of tech features, and the Revuelto doesn’t disappoint. It features a 12.3-inch free-standing digital instrument cluster whose graphics change depending on the driving mode selected, an 8.4-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen for the infotainment system, and a 9.1-inch screen embedded into the passenger’s side of the dashboard. The passenger can configure the 9.1-inch display to show the same information that’s on the instrument cluster, and both occupants can move widgets from the touchscreen to the passenger’s screen with a smartphone-like wiping motion. This is a new layout, but Lamborghini nonetheless carried over some ideas from the Aventador: the ignition button remains positioned under a fighter jet-inspired red flap, and you pull on a lever to engage reverse.
As previously reported, the drivetrain’s centerpiece is a new, 6.5-liter V12 engine that’s naturally-aspirated — Lamborghini wants to keep this configuration alive for as long as possible — and capable of revving to a screaming 9,500 rpm. The transmission is just as interesting: It’s an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic unit mounted transversally behind the engine. In comparison, the Aventador’s 12-cylinder engine was bolted to a seven-speed, Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) automatic gearbox located in what was accurately called the transmission tunnel.
Designing a new V12 in 2023 might sound crazy, but Lamborghini told me using the outgoing engine wasn’t an option.
“We wanted to be ready for the next steps, so we have to have the latest technology in the car. We wanted to have not too much electric power in comparison to the combustion power. We wanted to have a performance consistency so that you don’t perceive a lag in performance on the race track. We had to improve the combustion engine’s performance output, and the old engine was at the limit,” Rouven Mohr, the head of the firm’s research and development department, explained on the sidelines of the Revuelto’s unveiling.
The first of three electric motors is integrated into the transmission. The other two are up front: there is one per wheel, a configuration that unlocks electric torque vectoring and through-the-road all-wheel-drive (there’s no mechanical connection between the axles). Powering the trio is a 3.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack integrated into the space between the front seats. There’s a plug that can be used to charge the battery pack, but Mohr noted that the V12 can top it up in a couple of minutes (one of the drivetrain modes is called Recharge).
Enthusiasts will have several other modes to choose from, including Città, Strada, Sport, and Corsa, and the Revuelto is capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances. The system’s total output checks in at approximately 1,001 horsepower, though some of the driving modes limit that figure, and Lamborghini quotes a zero-to-62-mph time of 2.5 seconds as well as a top speed that lies north of 217 mph.
There’s also a brake-energy recuperation system that complements the hydraulic braking system (which includes massive, 10-piston front brake calipers and a stunningly intricate cooling system) and generates electricity that gets sent back to the battery pack. The car’s brain analyzes a number of parameters, like the speed and the load distribution, to decide how to balance the regen and the hydraulic brakes.
“You have two constant things that never change: braking feeling, independent from the driving mode on the driving conditions, and steering behavior,” Mohr said. “[The Revuelto] feels like a much faster naturally-aspirated car; you don’t perceive it’s a hybrid,” he added.
Lamborghini will build the Revuelto in its historic Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, factory. The production process is fascinating, because it’s part old-school and part futuristic. Much of the assembly is done by hand, skilled men and women put together the V12, bolt on the body panels, and stitch up the seats, but most of the carbon fiber parts (including the monofuselage and the front structure) are made with state-of-the-art equipment — some of it purchased specifically to build this car. Sales will start in 2024, and pricing information hasn’t been announced yet.
As for what’s next, your guess is as good as ours. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the Revuelto will spawn a convertible model, though this is pure speculation and nothing is official yet. And, the Huracán’s successor will adopt plug-in hybrid power as well when makes its debut in late 2024. Some of the lessons learned from the Revuelto will permeate this car, but don’t expect to see the exact same powertrain.
“There are some things that we probably will [carry over], but not one-to-one carry over. The whole concept depends on the character of the engine. You always have to take care that the overall components fit the basic philosophy of the car. It might be that we can re-use some of the components, but others will be different. The architecture itself, the basic setup, you will probably see in other cars,” Mohr told me.