It may be the most civilized, street-capable Lamborghini ever, but it can also leave you feeling like you just walked off a swirling amusement park ride after leg day at the gym.
|Engine: 5.2L V10 makes 602 hp at 8,250 RPM and 413 lb-ft at 6,500 RPM. Transmission: 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic. 0-62 MPH: 3.2 seconds Top Speed: 202+ MPH Price: $237,250|
You Don’t Say No To a Sexy Italian
I’m standing in the shade of pit lane at the Ascari Race Resort in Southern Spain; my head spinning from being repeatedly snapped around while by brain feels overworked from the intense data processing I just demanded of it. Simultaneously, my thighs are still tight from holding my body in place under repeated heavy braking.
Just then a company representative asks if I’d like another go around the three-mile track in the fantastically new Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4.
Having just exited the car moments ago, I take a deep breath, a splash of water and I’m popping open the door of the bright yellow super sports car before I’ve even had time to swallow.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
And really, when asked if you’d like to push a 600-plus horsepower Italian exotic to its limits, is there any other answer?
A History of Success
As the successor to the Gallardo, the Huracán has a lot to live up to. After all, that car is Lamborghini’s best selling model of all time, accounting for almost half of all vehicles sold in the company’s 50-year existence.
Little was spared in developing this new car. Everything is new, from the buttons on the dash to the car’s very structure: a unique aluminum/carbon fiber hybrid chassis that is 10 percent lighter and 50 percent stiffer than the old model’s platform.
Even the engine, while maintaining its 5.2-liter displacement and 10-cylinder format has been completely reengineered, featuring both direct and port injection and boasting 50 more horsepower for a new total of (you guessed it) 610 hp. OK, technically it’s 602 HP by our measuring standards, but in Europe it’s 610 and that just sounds cooler!
Mated to an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a high-tech all-wheel drive system and plenty of other speed-enhancing technologies, the experience the Huracán delivers is, in the truest sense of the word, awesome.
26 Exhilarating Turns
Back on Ascari I’m shooting down the front straight at somewhere well beyond three digits before pressing hard in the braking zone. It’s followed by a sudden quick right hand kink that rises up so quickly I’m expecting to shave the Huracán’s front lip and leave a trail of yellow paint across the asphalt. With the added grip of gravity, it’s a quick transition up and over the crest before diving down and around turn one, which then flows out to the right allowing me to dance along the fine line between power and grip.
As I track out and roll back on the power, the experience has taken a hold of me and I realize I’m yelling out loud with excitement. A release of pure emotion, it emerges from my body from a place not controlled by my conscious mind.
And you have to scream to be heard over the Huracán. If Germany and Austria have gifted humanity with great classical composers and England has brought us the Beatles, Italy’s top contribution to music might be its cars.
Rev Freely and Rev High
In a world that’s increasingly making the switch to turbocharged engines, Lamborghini remains committed to naturally aspirated power.
That decision is both refreshing and exhilarating.
The natural and progressive feel of applying the throttle in a purpose-built NA engine is always a rewarding experience, but to do so on a machine of this output all the way to its 8,500-rpm redline will expand your notion of just what a car is.
A Storm with A Soul
Bringing the car to life is what Lamborghini calls its ANIMA. The Latin world word for soul, it’s also a nerdy acronym for a shiny red switch on the bottom of the steering wheel. It lets you switch from Strada to Sport and then to Corsa modes adjusting throttle and steering response, gearbox behavior, the all-wheel drive power distribution and the magnetic ride shock absorbers.
In Corsa mode, you feel like you’re riding on the edge of a natural disaster as you wrestle to control many aspects of the car that the sophisticated onboard computers suddenly leave unattended. The transmission is then fully in your hands, with shifts completely controlled by you. It’ll even adjust the car’s normal 30/70 front to rear power distribution to a full 100 percent in the rear, letting you hang the tail out.
But even in Sport mode, the Huracán is astounding. Its limits are so high, you need to be a seriously talented driver for it to be holding you back.
And with carbon ceramic brakes as standard, there’s no end to how much on-track abuse it can take.
The Transmission Transition
About the only part of the driving experience we found any fault with was the transmission. An amazing unit, gearshifts are mostly delivered with seamless transition, though at other times they hit with a bang. It doesn’t feel as telepathic as Porsche’s PDK and while it likely shares parts with the Audi R8 unit, the Germans don’t seem to have also donated that car’s shift logic.
Purists may be disappointed to discover there is no manual. Thankfully, there’s also no reason to care. Along with the fact that nobody orders them, Lamborghini says it would essentially be impossible to engineer all of the adjustable parameters of the car around one factor that’s not within the vehicle’s control.
Trust me, after feeling the immense capability of the Huracán on a track, given the opportunity, there isn’t a soul on this planet who would say a stick shift would improve the experience.
Two Clutches Are Better Than One
On the street the new transmission easily makes the Huracán 50 percent more drivable than the Gallardo. That car’s automated single-clutch unit was jerky and frankly unpleasant to drive at low speeds.
And as much as the magnetic ride shocks and variable ratio steering benefit performance on the track, their biggest impact is on the road where in the standard Strada setting, the ride quality is actually reasonable.
While Lamborghini says the Huracán will be driven more regularly by its owners than any past model, to add a touch of realism here, it’s still no Porsche 911 in this regard. It’s still an extremely low slung car that’s not all that easy to get into and out of, while visibility out the front is limited, to say nothing of the view out the back. And from a company that can engineer such a high-tech super sportscar, you’d expect a rearview camera that’s more than just one step above useless.
Fighter Jet Style and A Lot Of Hexagons
Thankfully, the rest of the interior is incredibly well executed. The hexagonal designs of the car’s body are everywhere on the cabin, from the air vents to the fighter-jet inspired ignition switch that you have to flip up before firing the engine.
Ahead of the driver is a massive 12.3-inch screen used for the gauges with several different modes to display data. All done in a unique font and style, it’s a bit of a shame the graphics for the audio component are lifted directly from Audi. The same can be said of the buttons on the center stack.
The parent company of the Lamborghini brand, it’s a small drawback in exchange for Audi’s expertise in delivering a more refined interior and superior road manners.
A High Speed Design
As for the look, it’s distinctly Lambo. A mesh of jagged lines and hexagon motifs to spare, it’s surprising that they all come together to form a shape that is quite smooth-looking overall. In some respects, the look is subtler than you might expect from Lamborghini, though perhaps that’s just in comparison to the many wild low-volume supercars the company has created in recent years.
Amazingly, there’s no active aerodynamics and no real spoiler to speak of, though the Huracán manages to generate 50 percent more downforce than the Gallardo.
Lamborghini Huracan Review: The Verdict
That theme of more is everywhere in the Huracán. It’s got more style, more power and more speed. At the same time, it’s also more livable.
It’s still not daily drivable, but if it were, well… would it really be a super sports car any more?
Combining vastly improved comfort and convenience with brain altering performance the Huracán really is Lamborghini’s perfect storm.