Lamborghini Revuelto 2023 review – a worthy successor to the Aventador?
Chock full of complex, cutting-edge tech, the Revuelto is more refined and capable than its predecessor, and it retains those all-important V12 Lamborghini thrills
There are days when you must put all cynicism to one side and just be happy. Today is one of those days. New V12-powered, mid-engined Lamborghinis don’t come along very often… Miura, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago, Aventador and now this, the Revuelto.
Back in the days of those early pioneers, Lambo always built the most outrageous and shocking wedges of metal origami. To see one was a rare treat. The Revuelto enters the world in a time of endless supercars, unprecedented sales volumes and, bizarrely, electric cars that have completely redefined just how fast something with four wheels can propel you along a road. The Revuelto has 1001bhp from a combination of a new 6.5-litre V12 and three electric motors. It costs from around £450,000. And yet it’s still not top dog.
Luckily, Lamborghini has retained its instincts for drama and humour and, with the Revuelto, added a new layer of dynamic sophistication. It’s a car that references the past and hangs on to that V12 configuration, but there’s also a sense it’s embracing new technology and the capability it allows, rather than just chucking it at the car to placate legislators. The Revuelto’s predecessor, the Aventador, was launched way back in 2011 and the new hybrid supercar makes a leap on that feels every one of those years in some ways. Perhaps more. It is transformed.
It seems offensive to run through ‘the basics’ of this (or any) hybrid supercar. It’s mind-bendingly clever. But here are the core ingredients. The chassis comprises a carbonfibre tub, with carbonfibre front crash structures and an aluminium rear subframe, which combined are dubbed the monofuselage. Suspension is by double wishbones all around and features MagneRide dampers. The engine is longitudinally mounted but rotated 180 degrees compared to an Aventador to make room for a 3.8kWh battery pack that runs along what would have formerly been a transmission tunnel. The gearbox is a new transversely mounted eight-speed dual-clutch unit. Reverse is handled by one radial-flux motor, which sits on top of the gearbox, and there are two axial-flux motors on the front axle. These were chosen as they provide strong torque – each is rated at 258lb ft. The Revuelto has strong torque-vectoring capability. There’s rear-steer, too.
The L545 engine, which is described as ‘all new’, is a 6.5-litre work of art and produces 814bhp at 9250rpm and 534lb ft at 6750rpm. Obviously, the electric motors can boost torque at low revs, as well as manipulating the balance for agility at low speeds and stability at high speeds. The rear motor is even used to brake the engine in the ESC programming to prevent sharp ignition cuts. The maximum combined output is 1001bhp. That makes for 0-62mph in 2.5sec and a top speed of over 217mph. There are even faster cars, but at this point, who cares? The Revuelto weighs 1772kg dry. So getting on for two tons with fluids and a sack of bones and flesh.
It doesn’t feel it. Right up until the point it does. And even then, the Revuelto remains a seriously entertaining and very capable car. It feels so different. The driving position is still slightly reminiscent of the Aventador’s – albeit with more space in every dimension – but everything you touch and operate is far more polished. The steering is light and clean, not exactly loaded with feedback but it sparkles, and the brightness is matched by a chassis that has much greater agility than before and a more effortless, poised feel. There’s lovely steering response and although the Revuelto lacks the incredible roll stiffness and hyper-alert feel of, say, the Ferrari SF90, it’s way more natural as a result. There’s the odd tell-tale that there’s a big old V12 swinging around behind you, but it’s a sensation rather than a threat.
As usual there are various driving modes. A rotary switch on the left spoke of the steering wheel selects Città, Strada, Sport, Corsa and Corsa ESC Off modes, whilst an additional controller on the right allows you to choose Recharge, Hybrid and Performance modes to manage the electrical architecture. The small battery means a range of just 6 miles or so but during fast driving it will never discharge completely, so if you’re in Corsa mode you’ll always have the full 1001bhp. Which is reassuring. Sport mode is said to be a bit looser and more ‘drifty’, while Corsa is for speed.
The gearbox is a vast improvement. Smooth and punchy where the old ISR single-clutch ‘box would thump and slur. But perhaps the most surprising thing about the Revuelto is how simple it all feels. You don’t notice the rear steer, there are no dramatic shifts in balance through different phases of a corner as there are in the SF90. Even when the car starts to slide, the front axle’s behaviour is predictable, and overall the Revuelto feels like a very well-sorted rear-drive car. Under full load the brakes also feel excellent, with consistency of response above and beyond that of an Aventador or Huracán despite melding electrical regen with friction braking.
Our time with the Revuelto is on track only, but even with the speed-sapping characteristics of a racetrack the new car feels insanely fast. Crack the throttle at 2500rpm and the electric motors provide a huge assist, but the rush to the limiter at 9500rpm is still the big Lambo’s headline moment. In fact, so smooth is the engine that you still find yourself hitting the limiter at times. God only knows the headroom in this engine but it feels like it has a development or two to come. Right now, it’s just wonderful.
At really high speeds the mass and the placement of that weight can’t be fully disguised. It will wag around under braking. Turn in on the brakes and the rear will step wide, and under power you can really light up the rears. But the ESC is excellent and the Revuelto treads the line between challenge and terror nicely. It’s still a big Lamborghini with a V12 engine and you still have to drive it as such. Bloody hell it’s good fun, though. Despite a significant price hike over the Aventador Ultimae (which was £324,000), the new Revuelto is sold out for the next two years. On this evidence the owners won’t be disappointed.