The new 'entry level' Lamborghini is the Huracan. Following a wet track session in Japan, CarAdvice gets back behind the wheel at the Sepang F1 circuit.
Savage. That’s the best way to describe the acceleration. Unrelenting would work well too, but savage sums it up best.
Not just first gear either, where you expect to be punched back into the Huracan’s shapely seat. Work the engine to redline, shift into second and there’s another irresistible application of crushing force burying you into the seat. Then the same happens when you find third...
The Huracan might be the newest ‘baby’ Lambo but it is searingly quick nonetheless, and you’re going to need bravery almost matching that demanded by the Aventador to extract the best from this raging bull.
Anthony Crawford recently drove the Huracan on track at Fuju Speedway in Japan – the only problem being the torrential rain that 'slickened' his test drive, but CarAdvice is back for another round – this time at the incredible Sepang F1 track just outside Kuala Lumpur – and it isn’t raining. I’m sorry Tony. No, I really am…
Sepang is a wide, long, flowing track, with genuine changes in elevation and two monster straights, so it’s almost the perfect venue to put the Huracan through its paces. It’s hot too, 35 degrees with sapping humidity, so the durability of the latest ‘attainable’ Lamborghini super sportscar will be properly tested as the press vehicles get mercilessly beat on all day.
A quick chat with Lamborghini Research and Development chief (and perhaps owner of the world’s best job) Maurizio Reggiani elicits the fact that the Huracan had to deliver on two main fronts from inception. First, and most obvious, it had to perform like a Lamborghini. With a 5.2-litre V10 engine developing 448kW and 560Nm and a top speed of 325km/h, that box has well and truly been ticked.
Second, Reggiani is adamant that the Huracan had to be drivable, comfortable, usable and accessible. Lamborghini’s feedback is that customers, especially Gallardo owners, are driving their cars more often than any previous model. It’s not an easy task to engineer a focused super sportscar that can double as a daily driver, but that’s exactly what Lamborghini wanted to achieve from the outset.
In short, the small Italian firm from Sant Agata has succeeded. The Huracan’s doors open wide and while the Huracan is low slung, getting in and out is easier than you might expect and nowhere near as ungainly as some other supercars. The seating position is adjustable to the point that my 187cm frame was perfectly positioned behind the wheel. The steering wheel itself, adjustable for tilt and reach, helps here, but crucially the longer-legged can get far enough away from the steering wheel and dashboard not to feel like they are sitting on top of it either.
Visibility is surprisingly good. The two external rear view mirrors and the internal mirror are part of the equation in that they are large enough to provide a proper view of what’s going on behind you, but the expansive view forward means you’ll never feel like you’re looking through a telescope.
I haven’t driven the Huracan on the open road yet, but the initial signs are positive. Chugging around pit lane, cruising around on warm up and cool down laps and parking manoeuvres indicate that the Huracan is a clear step ahead of the excellent Gallardo on the usability scale. Lamborghini reps told us we will be able to unleash the Huracan on Sydney’s roads sometime in February, so stay tuned for a proper report on its daily driving chops.
Personally, I look back upon the glory days of Lamborghini with a little misty eyed nostalgia. I didn’t mind that cars such as the Miura, the Countach and the Diablo were savage beasts that dared you to tame them and beat you mercilessly when you didn’t. Not everyone could drive a Lamborghini, they weren’t for the faint of heart and that didn’t bother me one iota. That said, the modern Lamborghini might be significantly easier to drive, but it is also so much faster than its forefathers that the argument is really a moot point.
The numbers don’t lie. The time it takes to get to 100km/h from standstill is so rapid, you won’t even notice the digital readout hit three figures. A scant 3.2-seconds and you’re on your way to much faster speeds. 0-200km/h comes up in 9.9-seconds. That takes a little while to get your head around. Less than ten seconds, and you’re already into the 200 zone.
Our acceleration tests on the day were skewed toward experiencing that brutal rush to 200km/h, so the straights were used from a dead stop, which compromised top end. Even so, by the time I’m mashing the brake pedal at turn one, a quick glance at the speedo shows we’ve broken into the 240km/h region and the Huracan is still pulling like a train.
The V10 situated behind you is a screaming testament to the theory of adding two cylinders to the usual V8 ensemble. It wails and bellows in equal measure as you approach redline and there’s a gunshot crack as you shift through the gears. The engine note – at any speed – is intoxicating. How the gearbox is able to channel such immense amounts of power and torque to the wheels, shift so precisely under full load and yet behave like any other dual clutch auto at more sedate speeds is something I can’t quite get my head around.
Behave it does though. At speeds under 80km/h the auto shifts up or down through the ratios smoothly and precisely without any jerkiness or hesitation. Think of the most boring car ever made. One you really hate. If you were to drive the Huracan and complain about the gearbox at low speed you deserve to be sentenced to driving said boring car for the remainder of your days.
Sadly for some of us, there will be no manual Huracan. Alas, it’s the way of the future. The dual clutch automatic replaces the single clutch gearbox that the Gallardo used and the overall driving experience (at any speed) is better for it. There’s no doubt that in full auto, anyone can drive it.
As with any modern performance vehicle, electronic trickery is the piece de resistance of the Huracan’s lengthy features list. Three drive modes are accessible via the thumb-switch at the base of the steering wheel. ‘Strada’ is for the street, with ‘Sport’ and ‘Corsa’ equally enjoyable on track. Sport lets you hang the tail out more and slide around with minimal interference, while Corsa delivers the absolute fastest way around the track. These different modes affect a myriad of features such as the variable throttle mapping, the exceptional AWD system, stability control, optional adjustable dampers and the variable-ratio steering rack.
The incredible carbon ceramic brakes are standard, and their track performance is nothing short of mind blowing. The more you hammer them, the better they get, pulling the Huracan up from even 'serious' speed constantly. Stand on them deep into turn one, decelerating from the mid 200s and there’s the slightest touch of squirm as the Huracan washes off genuine speed, but there’s never even a split second of hesitation in the retardation.
The gauge cluster is a feature worth noting too. Customisable through a range of different displays, the 12.3-inch TFT screen is racy, but also elegant and it’s beautifully designed. The interior has always been part of Lamborghini’s sense of theatre, it’s just that now there’s also build quality and functionality to match the theatrics.
Tony lavished a 9.5 overall score on the Huracan after his track drive and he’s right on the money. It’s a 9.5 for me too, although I’m not quite certain where that extra half point could be gained. Yes, it’s that good.
The Lamborghini Huracan is damn close to perfect. I’m tempted to say it is perfect, in that it fulfils it’s brief (albeit a brief weighted down by history and expectation) to the letter. I suggest to Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann that the Huracan might in fact be perfect and, surprisingly, he disagrees with me. “No, we never say that,” he tells me with a smile. “We will never accept that a Lamborghini is perfect, because that means there is nothing for us to strive to improve.”
It’s a salient point, and it’s a point that ensures Lamborghini remains at the very top of the exotica tree. Anytime I drive a car at this end of the performance spectrum, I’m left feeling that I’ve been privileged to spend time in the presence of automotive greatness. Truly great cars have a way of doing that. While the Huracan might be more user-friendly than any previous Lamborghini, the impression it leaves on you is no less appreciable.
At $428,000 list, the Huracan is well beyond the budget of most of us but it exists for two types of people. But there are those who can afford one, and they’ll get a sense of just how special the Huracan is the second they sit behind the wheel.
Then there’s the rest of us, who can only dream. We should be thankful, though, that cars like the Huracan exist – daydreaming about one day being able to afford one makes any mundane driving chore almost bearable.