The Next-Gen Lamborghini Revuelto Is a Mind-Blowing V12 PHEV
At Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’agata Bolognese, under a thumping bass soundtrack and flashing strobe lights that would do an Italian nightclub proud, the company’s chief executive, Stephan Winkelmann, lifted the curtain on the Lamborghini Revuelto, the marque’s most important new car in a long, long time.
As Lamborghini’s inaugural plug-in hybrid supercar, the Revuelto is the company’s first big step toward an electrified future, on this, the occasion of the firm’s 60th anniversary. But, fear not: for now at least, the Lamborghini V12 engine lives on, just as Winkelmann promised it would.
A V12 For The 2020s
At first glance, the company’s description of the hybrid powertrain appears to be something like those famously rude Italian hand gestures in response to changing emissions regulations. The V12 is Lambo, and Lambo is its V12. Every range-topping model produced by the firm since the introduction of the 350GT in 1963 has been powered by a 12-cylinder motor. The Italians weren’t about to just toss all that history aside, so they did the hard thing and made an all-new V12.
The new 6.5-litre engine is 17 kilograms lighter than the previous motor, and yet it’s even more powerful: we’re talking 814 horsepower without the help of turbo- or superchargers that would mute the sound or dull the response. The new L545 engine sings all the way up to a 9,500 rpm redline, and is both the lightest and most powerful V12 in Lambo’s long history. Hallelujah.
Interestingly, the new motor has been spun around in the chassis and now mates to a compact, lightweight eight-speed gearbox mounted transversely behind the rear axle. (Revuelto is the Spanish word for “scrambled.”)
The tunnel running between the seats — typically housing the transmission — now plays host to a 48 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. Electricity is fed to three separate electric motors. Yes, you read that correctly, three electric motors, two of which combine to form an e-axle for the front wheels while the third feeds into the transmission. This new electrically controlled all-wheel drive system eliminates the need for a physical transfer case and adjoining driveshaft, which should make the steering feel sharper.
We spoke with Rouven Mohr, Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, who explained that despite the physical weight savings of the new layout, the changes would not have been made if they compromised driving feel in anyway. To the contrary, Mohr explained the real focus in electrifying the Revuelto was to boost performance rather than fuel economy.
Speaking of performance, the Revuelto posts some astonishing numbers: 0-100 km/h takes 2.5 seconds, and top speed is 350 km/h. In all-electric City driving mode, the Lambo is expected to provide 10 to 15 kilometres of range.
Designed to be all things to everyone (who can afford it) the Revuelto is preprogramed with no less than 13 driving modes to select from. Somewhere between the ultra-soft, all electric City mode and the Performance Track setting, buyers will be sure to find the right compromise for any mood.
About Those Looks
The design of the supercar looks to be a natural evolution of the outgoing Aventador. Speaking with the Revuelto’s designer, Mitja Borkert, he commented that every design has to start with Lamborghini DNA. On the spot, he whipped out a marker pen and sketched a backwards arching profile, a line clearly recognizable in the profile not just of the Revuelto, but of its ancestors too: the Miura, Countach, Murcielago, and Aventador.
Beyond satisfying the familial resemblance, Borkert stated a Lamborghini should inspire images of spaceships and airplanes. As examples, Borkert pointed to the rear of the new car, focusing in on the carbon-fibre engine cover with its cut-out that exposes the engine to the elements, and the hexagonal exhaust pipes mounted across the beltline of the rear. The exhausts, in particular, do really look like afterburners on a jet fighter.
On the subject of lights, the rotated Y-shaped light profile not only continues on the rear but has been added as daytime running lights on the front. Completing the exterior styling, massive side air-ducts, sculpted into the body between the doors and rear wheels, add a dramatic visual effect. They’re a functional necessity too, feeding the car’s massive radiators.
In the cabin, the Revuelto has carried on with the aviation inspiration. During Lamborghini’s presentation, occupants were referred to as pilot and co-pilot.
The centre dash is a systems control panel as well as home for the entertainment and comfort controls. Familiar touch-gestures have been added to the interface too; for example, a driver can elect to share something with the passenger’s screen by swiping the item over to the right. The instrument panel is also now a fully-customizable screen, allowing the driver to see exactly the information they want to prioritize at any moment.
This new design offers a few physical switches, with most controls being consolidated into this trio of screens. (We’ll see how well that all works out at 200 km/h.) Sitting in the cabin, however, there’s no doubt the interior is just as dramatic as we have come to expect from Lamborghini.
Meet the Monofuselage
The outgoing Aventador was cutting edge when it introduced back in 2011, sporting a carbon-fibre monocoque, formed in layers, cured and heated in an autoclave onsite at the factory. The Revuelto takes things a step further, as you’d expect. It has been designed to use a whole host of composite structures, fabricated using a number of new techniques. Body panels and decorative pieces, for example, are made using the previously mentioned layering process before being sent to the autoclave for what is in essence, cooking. Some small parts are even 3D printed in a lab in the factory.
The most significant development, however, has been what Lamborghini calls its monofuselage. In addition to the main carbon monocoque, the front structure is now entirely made of forged carbon composites, adding strength and lightness.
Anyone who ever folded themselves into an Aventador will appreciate the fact the new monofuselage offers much more head- and leg-room, as well as more space behind the seats for luggage.
The monofuselage is made with a structural ring, to protect the occupants, that’s created in carbon fibre by using a forging process. The process uses heat as well as pressure over 15 times greater than that used in the traditional layer-forming process. Other components of the monofuselage are made in moulds, and then the pieces are assembled using a number of bonding techniques from screws and bolts to chemical bonding and glue. It’s one hell of a 3D jigsaw puzzle. When asked if it was feasible to make the monofuselage in one piece as with a monocoque, Mohr replied that it was possible, but only on a small scale similar to Formula 1. Sorry everyone.
Nevertheless, the Revuelto will be the ultimate vehicle to wear the raging bull logo, and as such its name follows the long-running Lamborghini tradition of referencing a famous fighting bull. Revuelto raged in 19th century Spain.
Look for vehicles to start showing up on roads in the near future as cars are already rolling off the assembly line in Sant’agata. If the Revuelto interests you, try to manage your expectations; the first two years of production are reportedly already sold out, despite no price yet being offered.