– Campagnano di Roma, Italy
I don’t know how to explain why, but “Lamborghini” is an onomatopoeia. You say it out loud, and all of a sudden V12 supercars flood your memories – the first time you saw a Miura blow through your hometown, your suspiciously rich neighbor’s Diablo VT, or drooling over an Aventador SVJ at the local show-and-shine. Lamborghini has been in the business of memory-making for 60 years, and it doesn’t have any intention of stopping now.
But in a digitized, electrified future, good intentions aren’t enough. That’s why the 2024 Lamborghini Revuelto, the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle, blends a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 – evoking memories of the shrieking Countach and Murcielago – with a 7.4-kilowatt-hour battery and three electric motors to reduce emissions, increase performance, and improve drivability. The new supercar promises to combine all those attributes without sacrificing any of the raw excitement its customers have come to expect of a Lambo flagship.
However, the real test of the Revuelto will be if it’s as memorable as climbing aboard that neighbor’s Diablo through its scissor doors. Luckily, I had 50 minutes at the Autodromo Vallelunga, about an hour north of Rome, Italy, to figure that out. And as it happens, I’d figure it out quick. Thirty seconds after my arrival to the rack, I was on pit lane, getting ready for my first-ever lap of Vallelunga – in a 1,001-horsepower supercar. What could go wrong?
|Quick Stats||2024 Lamborghini Revuelto|
|Motors||Dual Radial Flux Front / Single Axial Flux Rear|
|0-60 MPH||2.4 Seconds (est.)|
|On Sale||Early 2024|
Gallery: 2024 Lamborghini Revuelto First Drive
Beating Heart, Electronic Soul
The Lamborghini Revuelto’s powertrain seems impossibly complicated. Although I remembered the three electric motors, rear-axle steering, and revised engine layout from the supercar’s debut in March, I had no idea how interconnected those systems were in practice.
Taking the place of a driveshaft in the center tunnel is the aforementioned lithium-ion battery, which sends power forward to two axial-flux electric motors, one for each wheel. Those motors provide true torque vectoring, putting out 295 hp and 257 pound-feet each, enabling a wheel torque delta of 1,586 lb-ft side to side. The third motor, meanwhile, is a conventional radial-flux unit mounted to the secondary shaft – not the input shaft as is common on some hybrids – of the new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Speaking of, that cogswapper now lives astern the V12 – on all Lamborghini flagships since the Countach, the transmission was ahead of the engine, but the battery’s placement precludes that possibility. Integrated into the active rear differential, the eight-speed is relatively compact, helping improve weight distribution. It’s also supposed to be smoother than the outgoing Aventador’s single-clutch seven-speed automated gearbox, particularly since the 111-lb-ft electric motor can add a little propulsion at low speeds and during gear changes. It also handles reversing duties, by the way.
But the powertrain’s complexity extends into the software as well. The Revuelto’s metaphorical brain is bigger than any Lamborghini before it, handling complicated tasks like torque split to individual wheels, regenerative braking, and ESC – and oh, by the way, it does all that at the same time. That’s because the car uses those electric motors to handle stability duties, rather than the friction brakes.
Enter a corner too hot and the Lamborghini will turn the front inside wheel’s motor into a generator, helping trim your line while recharging the battery. Gun it too hard out of a corner and the rear motor will provide resistance on the secondary shaft, reducing wheelspin while, again, recharging the battery. Lift off the throttle to coast through a corner and the rear motor will take advantage of the engine’s momentum to (you guessed it) recharge the battery, but without actually slowing the vehicle. The theoretical result of all this power flow is that the Revuelto is always ready to give you its full 1,001 hp, lap after lap after lap.
That advanced technology doesn’t even begin to cover the faster-reacting magnetic dampers, 2.5-degree rear-axle steering, or upsized carbon-ceramic brakes – 410 millimeters in front and 390 mm in the rear, with 10-piston and 4-piston calipers, respectively. And then there’s the intimidating fighter-jet cabin electronics that help the driver control those functions. Imagine my surprise to learn about all that complexity in the press meeting after having driven what felt like an incredibly cohesive, anolog supercar.
On The Right Track
“Don’t screw it up, Brett.”
Gunning it at the end of the pitlane, my internal monologue was an anxious and excited mess. I wanted to drive quickly, but reality set in the moment I pushed the throttle toward the floor – I’m piloting a $600,000 supercar around a race track I’ve never even driven in a video game. However, despite the incredible lateral and longitudinal G-forces the Revuelto can pull, it inspires driver confidence remarkably.
My first run of Vallelunga is a sighting lap, but we still drive rather briskly. On the second go-round, however, my professional lead driver gives me a lot more leash, hammering down the throttle for the duration of the front straight. Sweeping through the slight curve on the start/finish line, we eclipse 100 miles per hour, and the Revuelto’s improved downforce – 30 percent greater on the front axle and 70 percent overall compared to the Aventador Ultimae – is plainly apparent. The car feels glued to the road, and steering effort increases proportionally to impart an immense feeling of stability at these speeds.
Before the end of the straight, the V12 is screaming at its 9,500-rpm redline in fourth gear as we hit the brakes just after passing 150. The brake pedal is perhaps a bit too firm – Countach devotees may love it – but the carbon ceramics at the other end of the lever are easy to modulate and stupendously powerful, hauling the Revuelto down to speed with a bit of a wiggle from the rear end, but nothing even my relative novice hands can’t handle. I’m able to clip the late apexes of corner complex thanks to the sharp, direct steering, then power out with the 1970s Grand Prix soundtrack of the V12 wailing away.
That puts me on Vallelunga’s back straight, another hard charger with a gentle sweep in the middle. By the time we’ve hit the braking zone for the technical set of esses and hairpins on the latter half of the course, my Revuelto’s speedometer reads 168 mph, or my new personal land speed record. My fingers begin to tingle out of excitement, but there’s still work to be done. The shotgun cracks of each downshift accompany a commensurate decrease in momentum, and the friction and regenerative brakes work together with such perfect orchestration that Lamborghini should license the tech to every hybrid and EV manufacturer in the world.
I can definitely tell the regen-based stability controls are working to keep me going in the right direction, but that’s only because I haven’t lost control of those 1,001 wild horses under my right foot. In almost every driving situation, the electric motors step in and out imperceptibly, giving the Revuelto a preternatural sense of connection with the road and the driver. It’s truly incredible that so many power sources, microchips, and lengths of wire can work together in such harmony.
If the Revuelto and its various vehicle systems sound a bit too cold and calculated to be fun to drive, I’d love to disabuse you of that notion. From the direct, heavy, and feelsome steering to the snarling T. rex howl of the exposed V12, this Lamborghini hasn’t forgotten how to have fun as it transitions to a slightly more modern performance recipe. The unyieldingly firm bucket seats, low seating position, and excellent forward visibilty only compound the engagement, connecting you to the driving task in the most thrilling way possible.
If there’s a dynamic complaint, it’s that the Bridgestone Potenza Sport tire package on my particular Revuelto felt a little bit greasy. Those wiggles under braking and the occasional step-out when accelerating over Vallelunga’s curbs could be the result of worn rubber on my test car, and since I haven’t driven anything with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 or Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS rubber in a long time, I can’t make a definitive complaint. But I suspect more aggressive rolling stock would make better sense for customers taking their plug-in hybrid Lamborghinis to the race track.
Unfortunately, I doubt too many will, save perhaps the occasional club day or exhibition lap. And while I wish I could say I experienced the Revuelto in more real-world circumstances, the roughest pavement I saw was the curbing at Vallelunga and the only traffic I encountered were fellow journalists, some of whom I passed and some of whom passed me. Hopefully Lamborghini gives me a crack at the Revuelto on public roads sometime soon.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got 14 more laps to enjoy.
Posing In The Paddock
Lamborghini knows that its sports cars can’t just have great performance, they need to make a strong visual statement as well. The Revuelto does just that thanks to a design that leans hard into the automaker’s apian styling elements. Y shapes appear on the daytime running lights, side air intakes, and taillights, while hexagonal vent openings show up on the engine cover and echoed in the shape of the high-mounted exhaust (itself inspired by the tailpipes of a Ducati superbike). The best view is indeed from the rear at standing height, the chiseled spoiler and those outlets leading away from the gorgeously exposed V12.
The roofline is higher by about an inch, which detracts slightly from the slinky lines of its predecessors – from some angles, the Revuelto almost looks chunky. But it is still instantly recognizable as a Lambo, with lots of tumblehome in the greenhouse, a plunging beltline that gives it a fighter jet vibe, and a few neat retro design cues. The front trunklid has inward-angled character lines to recall the Countach, and the rear quarter glass is sunken under the side vents á la Murcielago and Diablo. It may not be classically beautiful, but the Revuelto is nonetheless flashy, aggressive, and eye-catching – make mine Giallo Countach, per favore.
Inside, the shape of the center stack was designed to look like the control panel of an alien spaceship, while hexagonal dash vents carry on in Lamborghini tradition. The rim of the steering wheel is actually thinner than that of the Aventador, a deliberate choice that the automaker hopes will make it more approachable and classically fun, rather than over-aggressive and intimidating. Whether you go for the manually adjustable, reclining racing buckets or the power-operated, more cosseting luxury seats, the Revuelto is decently comfortable for my 6-foot frame and 32-inch inseam, even with a helmet on.
Lamborghini also included some practical touches on its newest V12 supercar, including a parcel shelf behind the seats that can accommodate two backpacks, an optional set of articulating cupholders sprouting from the dash, and a larger center console storage tray relative to the Aventador. There’s also room in the front trunk for a pair of roll-aboard suitcases – although the charge port’s odd placement in the luggage compartment may make refilling the battery while on vacation a challenge.
This Is Where I Leave You
“Okay, let’s cool down and head into the pits.”
I knew it was coming. My instructor’s voice rang in my headphones in the last minute of the last lap of my last stint behind the wheel. My time in the Revuelto is over, but much like my neighbor’s Diablo, this moment is seared into my memory. Yes, the Aventador successor boasts 35 percent lower carbon emissions, a 217-plus-mph top speed, and faster acceleration – a 0-62 mph time of 2.5 seconds – but those are mere numbers. Whether idling through the pit lane or bouncing off the redline down the back straight, the Revuelto feels exactly like I hoped a modern Lamborghini would.
About 10 minutes after getting out of the car, I fell asleep standing up. My body was coming down off of extremely high levels of cortisol, and the stress of an unfamiliar situation and high G forces had worn me out completely. I’ve driven fast cars before, but nothing has elicited more cold sweats, uncontrollable giggles, and utter confidence – sometimes all three at the same time – than the 2024 Lamborghini Revuelto. It’s a master class in modernization, combining everything that little kids love about supercars with emissions-reducing and stability-enhancing technologies.
I’ll probably be saying “Lamborghini” in my sleep tonight, hopefully dreaming about my one perfect day behind the wheel of an incredible supercar.
Lamborghini Revuelto Competitors