The most important part of the new Lamborghini Revuelto? Character.

An orange Lamborghini Revulto on display

An orange Lamborghini Revulto on display
enlarge / There’s probably no mistaking the Revulto for anything other than a Lamborghini.

Alex Kalogiannis

Ten years ago, the then “holy trinity” of supercars ushered in a new era of performance by showing the world that electrification wasn’t just for drivers looking to stretch the mile. That year, Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren debuted limited-run hybrids that heralded what was to come soon for each brand, with all three adopting electrons for the powertrains of at least one of their production vehicles.

Lamborghini’s name has been largely absent from discussions of hybrid supercars, and while the company has teased us with electrified possibilities over the years, it’s been happy to let its V10 and V12 engines do all the talking. Now, V10s are screaming off into the sunset, and Lamborghini is on the verge of a new electrified future, starting with the Revuelto, the replacement for the V12 Aventador and the brand’s first production plug-in hybrid.

During the 2023 New York International Auto Show, Ars had the opportunity to see the Revulto up close and speak with Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer. Reuven Mohr About the car’s development, its challenges and what to expect from Lamborghini in the future.

Lamborghini's rivals have opted for a downsized turbocharged V6 for their plug-in hybrids;  Sant'Agata Bolognese did not have this plan.
enlarge / Lamborghini’s rivals have opted for a downsized turbocharged V6 for their plug-in hybrids; Sant’Agata Bolognese did not have this plan.

Alex Kalogiannis

The Revuelto is the clean-sheet follow-up to the long-running Aventador, and sits at the top of Lamborghini’s lineup. In its final incarnation, the Aventador is powered by a 6.5 L V12 engine that delivers up to 770 hp (574 kW). The Revuelto succeeds that with an all-new V12 that’s lighter and more powerful than the Aventador’s power plant.

Independently, the new naturally aspirated 6.5 L engine generates 814 hp (607 kW). This marries the hybrid system, which is made up of a 3.8 kWh battery and three electric motors. Two motors sit on the front axle, while the third motor is tucked inside the Revulto’s new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. All told, the Revuelto drops 1,001 hp (746 kW) and about 783 lb-ft (1,061 Nm) to all four wheels.

Immediately, Lamborghini makes it clear that the V12 is the centerpiece of the flagship hypercar. Rather than doing more with less as other performance car developers have done, electrification continues to enhance the V12 and the car’s already considerable capabilities. “We wanted to preserve and improve the feel of our naturally aspirated V12,” Mohr told Ars. “This was priority number one.”

“Secondly, for sure, we want to bring the car to the next performance level,” he continued. “Bigger displacement doesn’t make sense, because we already have 6.5 liters… You can use a supercharger or a turbocharger, but then we will completely lose the character of this car, [and that] There was no option.”

How does Lamborghini define this oh-so-important V12 character? “There are two things,” Mohr said. “First is the sound that everybody likes. We’ve worked to improve the crescendo a lot, especially if you go really high revs. Another thing we’ve worked on a lot is the responsiveness, because this drivetrain is the greatest advantage.”

A closer look at the V12 in its engine bay.
enlarge / A closer look at the V12 in its engine bay.

Alex Kalogiannis

Mohr explained how the engine’s responsiveness—lacking turbo lag or supercharger spooling—combined with the e-motors to give the Revuelto the hypercar performance Lamborghini customers and fans have come to expect from the Aventador follow-up. “So, we got to the point very early that using hybrid components was the best option. We wanted to use it as a real performance hybrid from the start, not as a downsizing range-oriented hybrid.”

Indeed, this aspect is the gospel being preached by hybrid sports car manufacturers of late. While recent examples such as the McLaren Artura and Ferrari 296 GTS include global CO due to smaller engines.2 Emissions compliant, the hybrid system continues to complement the powerful combustion engine of choice. Yes, there are advantages, such as shorter stunts in EV-only modes and a small amount of range-extension, but those side effects outweigh the features. In short, the Lamborghini Revuelto isn’t your average hybrid, and the benefits don’t disappear once the battery dies—if you even manage to do so.

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