In the interregnum between gas engines and zero-emissions cars, automotive engineers have found themselves in a sweet spot, with the ability to electrify traditional power trains to levels of performance beyond what combustion-only setups could achieve. In the Revuelto, that means a trio of electric motors added to the ferocious 6.5-liter V-12 for a total of 1,001 hp, a top speed of over 217 mph, and a zero-to-62 mph sprint time of just 2.5 seconds—all with 30 percent more efficiency than the outgoing V-12-powered Aventador. It also means that Lamborghini’s newest flagship, and one of the fastest Raging Bull models ever produced, is a plug-in hybrid. Strange times.
But the benefit isn’t just big numbers on the spec sheet; the vehicle’s driving dynamics impart confidence and a sense of supreme control behind the wheel. Calm and collected isn’t the feeling you’d expect going 155 mph along the front straight on Italy’s Vallelunga circuit, bearing down on the impending right-hander as 12 cylinders howl away inches behind your shoulder, and yet the vibe was one of easy command.
The enormous carbon-ceramic stoppers, with 16.1-inch rotors up front, certainly help, part of a new brake-by-wire system introduced after Aventador customers complained about the amount of pedal travel before engagement. Now the pressure point is surgically precise, with the stiff pedal providing inspiring consistency as the Revuelto dumps speed with only the faintest wiggle at the rear—and by the time your brain registers that quiver, the superb torque-vectoring system has already compensated. Plus, there’s no perceptible handover between regeneration to the motors and the bite of the calipers. New airflow ducts were added to direct additional cooling over the brakes, reducing temperatures by up to 40 percent; less brake fade means you’re free to push as hard as you wish, repeatedly.
The car’s remarkably neutral handling (best experienced in Corsa mode) was achieved in part by giving the transmission a transverse layout, aside the engine, and installing the 3.8 kWh battery pack in the middle to lower the center of gravity. The true hero, though, is the proprietary torque-control system that conveys oomph from front to back and side to side—concurrently and in milliseconds—via those three motors plus a touch of brakes. Up to a hundred unnoticeably fast and subtle adjustments are made in any given corner, keeping the car glued to the track; switch to Sport mode and the software mapping allows for more understeer, though optimized to help control drifting.
At $604,363, the Revuelto hits all the right Lamborghini notes—raw, visceral, explosively athletic—while still slotting into an automotive category introduced to the masses by the Toyota Prius and synonymous with efficiency. It turns out that, rather than being natural enemies, combustion and electrification are fantastic bedfellows when it comes to combining world-beating performance with visceral driving thrill. Enjoy this in-between era while it lasts.