Lamborghini has been playing around with electrification for nearly a decade now, ever since the slick 2014 Asterion concept. More recently, it went light hybrid with the limited-series supercapacitor-boosted Sián FKP 37 and Roadster. Now it’s added a powerful plug-in hybrid to its regular production rotation, replacing the Aventador with the boundary-pushing Revuelto, a potent plug-in machine with piercing LED eyes and carbon composites all over. Sure, it still has the muscular V12, but it also uses a triple-motor hybrid drive to deliver over 1,000 hp, all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, and even all-electric city driving.
Traditionalists need not fear – Lamborghini has no immediate plans of abandoning its rich tradition of thundering V12 engines that dates back to its very first car, the 350GT. In fact, it gives the Revuelto its lightest and most powerful 12-cylinder ever, the newly developed L545 6.5-liter V12 that breathes freely and naturally below the transparent cover amidships. The new eight-speed wet dual-clutch gearbox flips position, finding a transverse home at the back of the V12 to free up the traditional transmission tunnel for a 3.8-kWh lithium-ion battery responsible for running the trio of electric motors.
As for the electric part of the package, a single radial flux motor gets integrated into the gearbox to join the V12 in feeding torque to the rear wheels. The twin 148-hp (110-kW) axial flux units up front deliver all-wheel-drive capabilities complete with torque vectoring and can also take over completely, offering all-electric front-wheel drive … though we wouldn’t count on a very long commute’s worth of zero-emissions mileage. The rear electric motor can also kick in during all-electric trips for fully electric AWD.
The beastly 814-hp V12 (599 kw, at 9,250 rpm) shouldn’t need all that much help, but when it does the triple e-drive can boost power delivery at low revs and push total output up to 1,001 hp (736 kW) and 1,051 lb-ft (1,425 Nm) of torque. That helps the Revuelto bullet from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in an estimated 2.5 seconds, with the ability to keep accelerating forward until hitting a top speed just over 217 mph (350 km/h).
The battery recharges in 30 minutes when using a 7-kW charger or even faster via regenerative front-wheel braking or V12-driven charging through the gearbox-integrated motor-generator. Lamborghini says the direct regen or V12 routes take only six minutes, ensuring that drivers maintain battery power even while pushing the hypercar’s limits.
Lamborghini shaves off 37 lb (17 kg) of V12 engine weight compared to the Aventador V12, and it continues its lightweighting efforts by loading up on composites in the car’s construction. The structural foundation, what Lamborghini calls a “monofuselage,” is an aeronautics-inspired chassis that pairs a carbon fiber monocoque with a front structure crafted from “Forged Composites,” a special CFRP blend made with short carbon fibers.
Lamborghini says the new chassis structure cuts weight by 10 percent over the Aventador chassis while offering improved torsional stiffness and driving dynamics. It also explains that the all-carbon fiber front structure doubles energy absorption during impacts as compared to the Aventador’s aluminum front frame.
Atop all that carbon fiber … more carbon fiber. Lamborghini uses in house-developed carbon composites for much of the Revuelto’s bodywork and components, from the roof, to the hood, and down through lower aerodynamic elements like the front splitter.
The Revuelto is immediately recognizable as the latest Lamborghini flagship, but one with a little extra chip on its shoulder, perhaps something to prove to all the PHEV naysayers. Its Y-shaped DRLs derive from the Sián series but get stretched out, which only seems to increase the feeling of anger and determination in the all-day fixed gaze. Those Ys are mirrored in back, where the stretched taillights extend out from a wicked upper center dual hexagonal exhaust.
Lamborghini avoids any temptation to go with a sharp, weapons-grade nose, working the lip of the hood into what it calls a shark nose. But that’s about where its restraint ends – it goes full blade all over the rest of the body, adding in triangular hood recesses, razor-sharp bodywork around the headlights, predator tooth-like covers over the side intakes, and a bladed rear diffuser. It intersperses just enough curves to ensure the car maintains some of that sleek, flowing beauty for which Italian car is known.
A subtle, contour-hugging rear wing uses newly developed actuators to adjust position, massaging air channeled from the roof into the right compromise between downforce and low drag for the driving inputs and conditions at hand. The driver can also adjust the wing directly using one of four rotors mounted to the race-inspired steering wheel. The other rotors control the height of the lifting system and select from the car’s whopping 13 driving modes.
Other systems that enhance the Revuelto’s performance include the semi-active wishbone suspension that operates in tandem with the active aerodynamics, rear-wheel steering and a redesigned carbon ceramic plus braking system with 10-piston front calipers and four-piston rears.
It feels a bit strange to turn attention to HMI and driver assistance in connection with a Lamborghini, but even raging bulls are no immune to technological takeover. The cockpit allows both driver and passenger to view ride metrics using its combination of 12.3-in digital instruments and thin 9.1-in passenger-side dashboard display. Between those two screens is the 8.4-in center infotainment display, and all three HMI screens are tied together by one central “brain.” Driver and passenger can quickly swipe options around to personalize displayed info.
Other features include Amazon Alexa voice control, navigation with real-time traffic and charging point info, an accompanying “Unica” app, emergency and roadside assistance, vehicle tracking with auto-security communications, and over-the-air updates. The audio system comes loaded with SiriusXM 360L and a searchable online radio system that opens up access to thousands of stations.
As for driver assistance, the Revuelto still keeps the left and right hands exactly where the driver wants them – all over the steering wheel – but brings aboard Lamborghini’s first complete ADAS with cameras, radar and sensors. That system supports adaptive cruise control, active lane departure warning, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.
The world will have to wait for further details like pricing and fuel economy and emissions numbers, but in the meantime, those interested can look over every one of the Revuelto’s blade-like edges and recesses in the photo gallery and see the first action in the sci-fi-inspired intro video below.
Lamborghini Revuelto – From Now On