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by David Zalstein

A rear-wheel drive version of the currently all-wheel-drive-only Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 has been all but confirmed, but any future use of a manual transmission has been ruled out.

Asked about the potential of a two- rather than four-wheel-drive Huracan during a pre-Geneva motor show event in Italy, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said wryly, “We never say no to anything.”

The head of technical development at Lamborghini’s parent company Audi, Ulrich Hackenberg, went a step further saying, “…But the chassis will be able to run also with two-wheel drive.”

A Lamborghini Huracan with rear-wheel drive would prove a successor to the 405kW/540Nm Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni of 2010, named after the company’s long-time test driver. Limited to 250 units worldwide, the 1470kg Balboni was also 30kg lighter than the standard Gallardo.

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 - 2

Despite Winkelmann ‘s statement about never saying no to future developments, the Sant’Agata-based firm has entirely ruled out any chance of a manual transmission ever being fitted to its newest supercar and likely any future performance models.

Citing diminishing demand for manual gearboxes – which commanded just two per cent of orders over the last decade and “close to zero if not zero” over the last two years – Winkelmann and Lamborghini R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani explained that a manual transmission simply isn’t viable.

Listing intrinsic complications associated with linking the Huracan’s numerous electronically controlled dynamic performance systems, Reggiani said, “If you have a manual transmission you have something that is completely out of control of the intelligence of the car.”

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 - 3

“In terms of complexity, to have a manual transmission means to redevelop the car completely and our powertrain for this.

“And for this [reason] we say that in the future most super-sport car will be only in automatic transmission.”

Known internally as LB724, the 1422kg Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 will begin right-hand-drive production in June/July with models due to arrive locally by August or September this year. With a confirmed Australian price tag of $428,000, the new Huracan will start at $18,500 more than the outgoing Gallardo.

Featuring a 448kW/560Nm 5.2-litre V10 and a seven-speed dual-clutch LDF (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione) automatic, the Huracan – first revealed late last year – makes its first public appearance at the 2014 Geneva motor show, which opens tomorrow.