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Lamborghini gets emotional over electrification

EV or not, if it can’t tug your heartstrings, it’s not a Lamborghini

6 Dec 2023

LAMBORGHINI knows a thing or two about how to give a car some emotional zing, but the task of injecting excitement into supercars is getting tougher.


Stringent Euro 6 emissions standards mean electrification is now the only avenue forward, with full electrification looming on the horizon as the most viable long-term solution – but how does one make a car have the same visceral appeal as a snorting, screaming V12 while also having to incorporate the heft and complexity of electric motors and batteries?


For Lamborghini, its just-arrived Revuelto provides some answers. The Aventador-replacing supercar retains a naturally-aspirated V12 but augments it with a triple-motor electric powertrain that propels it – and the Lamborghini marque – into the electrified era with an astounding 0-100km/h claim of just 2.5 seconds.


It’s a have-your-cake-and-eat-it solution, but for Lamborghini the Revuelto’s powertrain configuration wasn’t the result of simply throwing a few motors and a battery at an old-fashioned engine and calling it a day.


“One of the important parameters for us when defining a super-sport car is the emotions, so it was important to design the new Revuelto with even better emotion than the car before,” explained Lamborghini’s APAC director Francesco Scardaoni at the local introduction of the Revuelto.


“With Revuelto, everyone understood that Lamborghini hybridisation design doesn’t mean to compromise, but to add on additional features, additional performance, additional emotion to [the Aventador].”


For Lamborghini, giving the electric components their own distinct character was vital. Electric motors may be prized for their silence in some cars, but ‘the Lamborghini way’ means even the battery-powered bits need to be loud.


“We still have a V12 engine, a beautiful engine that sounds even deeper than the previous car, paired with this hybrid unit – which makes this aerospace-inspired sound - that creates the best orchestra, the best emotional sound,” added Mr Scardaoni.


And the company’s approach even extends to the nomenclature.


The Revuelto is, by definition, a plug-in hybrid vehicle. A 3.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack sits within the car’s central tunnel and can be charged from a plug, providing around 10km of purely-electric range when the drive mode selector – which has a whopping 13 different modes – is flicked to ‘EV’.


But don’t call the Revuelto a PHEV – at least not to Mr Scardaoni’s face.


“Actually, this is the first HPEV car – it’s not a plug-in hybrid, it’s a high-performance electrified vehicle,” he explained.


“In terms of electrification, we don’t want to be the first one, but we want to be the best one. Having this hybrid phase gives us more time to introduce the first pure-electric Lamborghini, that would be [arriving] in the second part of the decade.”


A transition to full electrification across the Lambo portfolio seems inevitable, but while Lamborghini’s SUV products will travel that path first, Mr Scardaoni says there still needs to be some clarity before the company takes its supercars down that same route.


“After 2028 when the Lanzador, or the fourth product line, is introduced, we will also go into full-electric for the Urus,” he clarified.


“For the super-sport cars we need to understand what will be the future in terms of regulation – for instance, if synthetic fuel will be accepted or not, or if different powertrains will be developed in terms of pure electric.


“There are many variables right now that are not under our control, and we need to wait and understand what will happen especially for the super-sport cars.”


But while the ‘when’ and ‘what’ is still being wrestled with, Mr Scardaoni says Lamborghini’s approach to making fast EVs won’t follow the same template as other exotic EVs have to date.

While straight-line performance is bound to be startling, don’t expect Lambo’s first all-electric supercar to be built around drag strip prowess.


“We believe that our super-sport car customers and lovers are not looking for peak performance, but rather multiple kinds of performance they can enjoy over a drive,” he added.


“Not just longitudinal acceleration, but also handling that makes your experience unique when driving the car. We don’t feel that pressure (to chase straight-line acceleration), and we don't define super-sport cars only with pure numbers.


“We define super-sport cars with emotion, the emotions coming from sound and driving pleasure, which is mainly handling.”


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