Stephan, CEO of Lamborghini Winkelmann says the company is on a path marked by four things: sustainability, digitalization, urbanization and geopolitics. For the automaker that has provided so much visual fuel to car-obsessed teenagers around the world for the past 60 years, it’s quite the high-speed lane change.
Then again, the world the all-new Revuelto lands in is almost unrecognizable from the one the Lamborghini 350 GT lit up in when the ’60s began to swing. Watching mainstream automakers pivot to electrification isn’t always the most uplifting sight, and Lamborghini’s first all-electric car and fourth model line won’t arrive until later in the decade. Which makes the Revuelto a transitional stage between the scandalous internal combustion that Lamborghini is famous for and the new world order of the automobile. Is it sufficient?
It should be. The Revuelto is a plug-in hybrid, but it reuses technology in a way that suits this outgoing Italian sports car maker, a company whose annual revenue topped the 2 billion euro mark last year. last for the first time. In fact, Lamborghini says the Revuelto is an HPEV, for “high performance electrified vehicle”, a semantic sleight of hand designed to take it away from the hybrid norm. Performance is up 30%, emissions reduced by the same amount. But this particular hybrid is dedicated to expanding the car’s dynamic bandwidth as much as it cleans up its emissions or reframes a V-12 hypercar in a more socially acceptable way.
The Revuelto is a fascinating machine with a very complex nervous system. “It all started with the V-12,” Rouven Mohr, Lamborghini’s technical director, told WIRED. “We wanted a hybrid system that really increases the perception of the V-12, preserves its identity. The hybrid is there to accompany you, to allow you to go faster, and above all to improve handling. You won’t recognize it’s a hybrid. On the move, it feels like a much faster naturally aspirated V-12, and it’ll feel like a car 150 kilograms lighter due to torque vectoring. It feels so nimble and precise.
At its heart sits a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 aided by three electric motors, two of which are mounted on the front axle, the third being integrated into the all-new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The electric motor of the box also acts as a starter and generator. Various revisions help the ICE at 814 brake horsepower at 9,250 rpm: it’s been rotated 180 degrees in the engine bay from the outgoing Aventador to accommodate the gearbox and electric motor, and at 218 kilograms weighs 17 less than before.
The central tunnel now houses a 3.8 kWh lithium-ion battery battery, which consists of 108 water-cooled pocket cells. To give you an idea of how small this pack is, the car can be fully charged in just 30 minutes on 7kW power, but the battery is more likely to be recharged during regenerative braking. The old-line automotive world may not yet be ready for the sight of a Lamborghini hypercar strapped to an electric umbilical cord, while EV evangelists might just think it’s of a too timid conversion.
The front axle electric motors are oil-cooled axial-flow units. Mohr and his team chose them because they are more compact than radial-flow ones and have higher horsepower and torque density. Each engine produces 110 kW and weighs 18.5 kilograms. Although the Revuelto has an electric range of around 13 km and can be driven silently in City mode, Lamborghini is clear that the technology exists primarily to increase the car’s high-speed performance and dynamics. With the third electric motor above the gearbox, the total output of the Revuelto is 1,001 hp. Top speed is 217 mph; 0 to 62 takes just 2.5 seconds. There’s no word yet on emissions or fuel economy.
An “accessible” Lamborghini
The Revuelto is the latest in a long line of intimidating mid-engined V-12 Lamborghinis, cars that command both respect and admiration. But the new car, says Mohr, is more approachable and approachable. It is true that hybridisation presents many possibilities to encourage and embolden the driver: There are now 13 distinct driving modes; Recharge, Hybrid and Performance are new, and in EV-only Città mode, maximum power is limited to 180hp.
Corsa mode delivers over 1,000hp, with the electric axle primed for maximum torque vectoring and all-wheel drive. There is also an active rear axle. The Revuelto promises to be more agile as the tempo increases and much friendlier than its predecessors at the limit. Lamborghini has resisted calling it a “drift” mode, but in Sport mode, with stability control dialed back, the new car will seemingly indulge the most capable driver in wild slides.