What’s the Revuelto?
It’s Lamborghini’s new V12 flagship, successor to the Aventador and a far more exciting take on the hybrid concept than Toyota’s Prius.
The old Aventador was not slow. Lambo’s engine geeks had cranked the 6.5-litre V12 up to 769bhp by the time it bowed out, sufficient to launch the 1600kg car 0-62mph in a blood-draining 2.9sec. But the Revuelto, Lamborghini’s first hybrid (McLaren’s already managed two; Ferrari three), will make the Aventador feel slow. It’s only the sixth ever all-new V12 Lamborghini and, as the world goes electric, it’s likely also the last.
For that reason, it’s deadly serious about being the best. Built around an all-new carbonfibre tub, the Revuelto adds no fewer than three electric motors to the mix, one on each front wheel and one on the rear axle. The tub is 25% stiffer than the Aventador’s and 10% lighter, to help offset the weight of the electric motors and battery, which sits in the transmission tunnel, between the driver and passenger.
It’s these hybrid elements that promise to make the Revuelto violently quick. Because electric motors generate huge torque almost instantly, the new car’s numbers are savage. The V12’s been bumped to 814bhp. But the combined hybrid powertrain is good for 1001bhp (the same as a modern F1 car), 0-62mph in 2.5sec (ouch) and a top speed of 217mph (where conditions permit…).
What that will feel like, with the V12 screaming for its redline and the three electric motors whining at full tilt, God only knows. But chances are it’ll be a giggle.
So, is this the last Lamborghini V12?
Each V12 Lamborghini tends to live for about a decade, and by 2033 the planned ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines in Europe will be just a couple of years away, making replacing the Revuelto with another V12 nonsensical. Lamborghini’s also developing a hybrid V8 (it’ll power the next Huracan) and doesn’t want to pour time and money into developing two different powertrains.
But a new-ish technology, eFuel, might extend the life of cars like the Revuelto far beyond 2035. In March this year it was announced that cars running on eFuel may yet be exempt from the ban, news that’s been met warmly by the likes of Ferrari and Porsche (the latter is part of the same group as Lamborghini, of course).
A synthetic petrol made using renewable energy (wind power, mostly) from water and carbon dioxide. We won’t get into the science, life’s too short, but we’ve tried some of the stuff in a Porsche Panamera and we can tell you it’s the real deal. It smells like petrol, it (probably) tastes like petrol and it goes like petrol. There are also tailpipe emissions like petrol, but because carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere to make the stuff, eFuel is pretty much carbon neutral overall. It’s this that’s helped persuade the EU to look at an exemption from the 2035 ban.
The catch? Right now, eFuel is phenomenally expensive. It’s being brewed on a tiny scale using immature technology. But as environmental pressure builds on fossil fuels (and taxes rise accordingly) and eFuel development and production are ramped up, the vast price gap between the two can only close. Porsche is targeting $2 per litre within five years. A small price to pay to ensure engines like Porsche’s flat-six and Lamborghini’s V12 play a part in our mostly electric future.
Lamborghini Revuelto: £380,000 (est), 1001bhp hybrid 6.5-litre V12, 2.5sec 0-62mph, 217mph