Everybody’s got the wrong idea about Lamborghinis, and that’s kind of the way Lamborghini likes it. The cars are blazingly over the top, wilfully inappropriate, and boldly nonconformist. They shout, they scream. They are not designed for people with modest self-esteem. They are the opposite of Volvos. Even for Ferrari owners, they’re a bit much. But the new Huracán is going to definitively change that impression.
Named for a Spanish fighting bull, in the Lambo way, as well as a Mayan wind god and, of course, the Spanish word for “hurricane,” the Huracán was introduced last year and replaces the Gallardo, the all-time best-seller for the carmaker, which was in production for a decade.
With a 5.2-litre V10 engine, midmounted, the Huracán continues the Gallardo’s newish tradition of a “small” Lambo to accompany the big V12 Lambos that serve as the brand’s flagship cars — at the moment, that would be the Aventador, but previous storied names included the Countach, Diablo, and Murciélago. Those cars are flat-out bonkers. You’d wave a red cape at them at your own considerable risk. The V10s are, well, more mannered, while certainly not tame.
And with the Huracán — despite its name — Lambo has put a little more distance between the big Lambos and the little Lambos. Some of this can be either attributed to or blamed on, depending on your attitudes toward what a Lambo should be, Lambo’s position in the VW Group and its relationship with corporate stablemate Audi.
The Huracán and the R8 have a lot in common under the sheet metal and carbon fibre. The R8, despite the “Iron Man” associations, is regarded as an “everyday” supercar, and a healthy dose of the mundane has been injected into the Huracán. That is, until you make a few adjustments to the driving settings. Then you have all the Lambo you could ever want, as we found out when the automaker let us borrow a Huracán last year for a few days of supercar motoring in rain and shine.
Lambos are usually spotted in completely outrageous colours. We were honestly looking forward to something shocking in our suburban New Jersey driveway, test central for Business Insider.
What we got, however, was a midengine beast elegantly tailored in soothing, dignified tones of grey. We photographed the Huracán from every imaginable angle, in rain and glorious autumnal shine ...
... but we couldn't find a perspective that made that aggressive, sharklike profile, sweeping back to bold haunches on a low, wide, stance look anything other than exquisite. This is the best-looking Lambo we've ever seen, even if it errs on the conservative side.
I took a spin in a convertible version of the Gallardo last year and found that rather more loudly clad Lambo to be a pretty easy supercar to drive.
The Huracán is designed to compete with Ferrari's 458, which also features a midengine configuration ...
... and the high-tech McLaren 650S, which we sampled earlier this year and were plenty excited by. Funny, the nerdy McLaren had a far more exotic paint job than the swaggering Huracán.
The imagery of the bull, in a fighting stance, is integral to Lamborghini's identity. Here it is on the badge that adorns the Huracán's hood.
The official name of the car is the Huracán LP/610-4. That doesn't mean it has 610 horsepower. Rather, the Huracán cranks out 602 horsepower and a skull-crushing 413 pound-feet of torque, versus the Gallardo's 552 and 398. And if you flip all the right switches, you have access to every bit of it.
And lest you conclude that this beast is all bull lacking human intervention, founder Ferruccio Lamborghini's name appears prominently both outside ...
Out test car had a base price of $237,250, but as you can see, a 'grigio lynx' Huracán with 'Nero Ade' interior demands thousands in options. $282,125 was the damage once this Huracán was properly equipped with stuff like carbon-ceramic brakes and heated seats.
There isn't a lot of room in a ride like this for a massive infotainment screen. But Lambrghini, with a bit of help from its corporate masters at the VW Group, has done an admirable job of cramming a lot of data into the main instrument cluster, which is really just a big display.
But here, in proper sports-car fashion, it's all about the tachometer. Note the redline, at 8,500 rpm.
The center console is compact and relatively straightforward. Anyone who has driven an Audi (also a VW Group brand) will recognise the infotainment-system controller.
And by the way, despite all the German tech, this is still an ITALIAN supercar: Those are Italian words on the digital gauges.
Not a cupholder in sight. But a really small compartment to stash a smartphone, plus a USB connector.
Were you hoping for a back seat? Fool! There's scarcely space back there for a carefully folded Brioni jacket. You're either going to have to give up golf if you buy one of these or keep an SUV around for emergencies. (Lamborghini is aiming to introduce one of those in the next few years.)
There are plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle details, from the door handles that close flush and present themselves on demand.
Lambo is so proud of this piece of engineering that they stamped the firing order of the cylinders right on the power plant. Just so you know.
Once that V10 gets finished transforming premium gasoline into a rude symphony of roars, screams, burbles, and backfires, the emissions are piped into the atmosphere through four of these. OK, let's face it, if you want to save the planet, the Prius is a better bet.
With the Huracán, you also need to be prepared to part with $3,550 each year to gas up, en route to a combined city/highway rating of 16 mpg.
The Huracán's 601 horsepower yields a zero-to-60 time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph, according to Lamborghini. These big old carbon ceramics, with attention-getting red calipers, make it all manageable. Also, the beast has all-wheel-drive.
Lambo has thought of everything. If you need to deal with roadway mishaps, a pair of comfy, durable gloves will spare your hands.
I donned different gloves -- driving gloves -- to test the machine for real. You'll feel like a fighter pilot when you flip up this red cover on the start button.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Press. Press. Press. The sound on starting might alter the motion of the planets. In any case, it easily drowned out the lawn mowers in my neighbourhood and shook some yellow leaves from the frightened trees.
This is the Anima, a switch on the steering wheel that allows you to switch between driving modes: 'strada,' or road-going everyday mode; 'sport,' which is what it sounds like; and 'corsa,' or race mode, in which the Huracán enters a bonkers state of being and generates the kinds of noises that will make you forever curse the quiet.
The Anima is Lambo's answer to Ferrari's famous Manettino. The idea, derived from Formula One, is that you must keep your hands on the wheel at all times to fully enjoy the driving experience. No distractions from speed!
But also the man in the man. The Huracán has two distinct driving identities. For a very powerful midengine sports car, in strada (road) mode, it does a passable imitation of a grand tourer. My wife slipped in beside me one evening and swiftly enthused over the complete and comfortable interior package. You can feel sexy in the Huracán when driving slow. OK, the craters, bumps, and irregularities of brutal Northeastern pavement keep you on your toes. But if you leave the dual-clutch 7-speed in automatic, you can motor along in contemplative peace, enjoying the old songs on SiriusXM radio and taking in the pleasant scenery.
Put the snarling bull into corsa, however, and you unleash a slice of hell. A hellaciously satisfying slice of hell. The paddle shifters behind the steering wheel link you to a nuclear reactor of speed and thrills, via that V10. But orchestrating a freeway run using third, fourth, and fifth gears as your instruments yields an aural experience, at the legal speed limit, that will leave you overjoyed to have a bank account that's 300 grand lighter. (That's not me driving, by the way -- it's Tiff Needell from the UK motoring show 'Fifth Gear,' taking on a twisty road in South Africa.)
Some people have complained that with the Huracán, Lambo has taken all the deranged Lambo-ness out of their little bull. Those critics have a point. At no juncture do you feel that the Huracán wants to end your life in a blaze of velocity, molten metal, and giddily fulfilled adolescent fantasies. Which really just means that the Huracán is the first truly sophisticated Lambo to have been created by human hands on planet Earth. Lambos aren't supposed to be dignified. But the Huracán, without question, is.
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