Over 10 years, its predecessor, the V10-powered 'baby' Lamborghini Gallardo helped the famous, but relatively unstable, Italian brand grow from a niche player in the notoriously fickle hyper-performance market to a rock-solid, pillar of supercar society.
Now the Huracan (named after a famous Spanish fighting bull from the late 1800s) has arrived to fill its sizeable shoes.
Set to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year, the Huracan is powered by a developed version of the Gallardo’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine, producing 448kW and 560Nm.
Lamborghini claims it will blast from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds, and 0-200km/h in just 9.9.
Unmistakeably related to its immediate forebear, the Huracan is also obviously influenced by Lamborghini’s current, angular design language, evident in big brother Aventador, as well as more extreme, low volume models like the stealthy Sesto Elemento and radical Veneno. The menacing headlights are full LED.
The car’s hybrid chassis is made from a combination of aluminium and carbonfibre for light weight and increased stiffness.
The all-wheel-drive system is now electronically controlled, with a ‘Driving Dynamics’ system switchable via a steering wheel control through three modes – Strada (road), Sport, and Corsa (race).
The system modifies gearbox change points, engine settings, exhaust sound, AWD setup, and the electronic stability control.
One of the most significant mechanical changes is the move from the previous (literally neck-snapping) E-Gear single-clutch transmission to a new version of its Audi R8 cousin’s twin-clutch gearbox called LDF (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione).
Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, while an electronically controlled ‘Lamborghini Dynamic Steering’ system and ‘Magneto-Rheologic’ active suspension using magnetically controlled shock absorbers are optionally available.
With more than 14,000 examples produced across the decade from its launch in 2003, the Gallardo was an early move by Lamborghini’s parent, Volkswagen Group (owners since 1998), to stabilise the company and help it grow.
The Huracan’s large shoe-filling task will begin in mid 2014, with the car’s on-sale scheduled to follow a series of 130 private customer preview events in more than 60 cities around the globe.