After driving the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan 610-4 at Sydney Motorsport Park earlier this year, I was impressed by pretty much everything about the way the car drove. But a few hot laps typically tells you very little about what a car is like to live with.
So, what better way to find out than by, well, seeing what it’s like to live with ... sort of.
We took delivery of a Lamborghini Huracan recently for a short, limited-kilometre, three-day loan in our Sydney office, and the aim of the game was to see whether the Gallardo-replacing “affordable” Italian supercar was as liveable as it was loveable.
At the three events CarAdvice had previously attended – Trent drove the car in Malaysia and Anthony got some time in the car in Japan, and I had a Lamborghini Esperienza of my own when the car arrived in Australia this year – each of us came away with an appreciation of the power and prowess of the Huracan.
The three of us also thought it could be the most practical powerhouse coupe from the brand yet. Anthony went as far as to say that the Huracan was the sort of supercar you could live with day to day – something we’ve previously only thought possible, perhaps, of the Porsche 911.
That’s important, because supercars aren’t supposed to be practical. If you wanted something fast and functional, there are mental wagons and super SUVs that have that covered. But that doesn’t mean cars like the Huracan should be difficult to live with.
Indeed, the whole car feels more focused on functionality (as well as being fast!) from the moment you open the door – for starters it’s not a silly scissor door, and it doesn’t open to a stupendously wide angle that would make it painful in tight parking spaces.
Getting in and out is still a bit of an origami act for taller or bulkier people, but once you’re inside there’s quite a bit of space, including ample head room for those who are six-foot and above, provided there’s no race helmet involved.
While previous Lamborghini models have been style-driven rather than focused on the utility of the cabin, there’s a level of comfort and familiarity on offer in the Huracan – and unlike Lambos of previous eras the pedals are logically placed.
But as you’d expect, there are some silly supercar touches.
For example, the controls for the blinkers, wipers and high-beam lights are positioned on the steering wheel, and the car’s gear selector will likely fool any would-be thieves. There’s a large R toggle, and two smaller buttons, P for park and M for manual. And to get things moving once you start the car by flicking up the red missile-style switch, you need to use the right paddleshifter to choose first gear.
The Italian brand has made use of its parent company Audi’s parts bin, with the big 12.3-inch high resolution TFT screen in front of the driver offering all your technology and connectivity needs – you can keep an eye on your speed, revs, phone contacts, navigation instructions and more through the dashboard.
It’s controlled through a rotary dial system that’s out of Audi’s old parts bin as it doesn’t have the clever touchpad bit we’ve come to appreciate. Still, it’s reasonably simple to use (aided by some familiar looking menu screens), and the Bluetooth phone and audio streaming worked fairly seamlessly during our time in the car.
Indeed, there are plenty of Audi touches to be seen – if you’ve driven any of the German brand’s cars you’ll notice a familiar font on all the buttons, for example. And there’s also the silly air-conditioning controls that require you to push a button to choose the fan speed, rather than just using a conventional switch or dial. But it’s nice to see there are some luxury touches included, such as heated seats that are coated in plush leather – but you still don’t get any cupholders (as if you’d dare to take a hot drink onboard!).
Still, it begs the question – who needs that stuff when you’re driving a Lambo? You want to hear the engine, not some pop song, right? And you don’t need navigation because driving anywhere is going to be an awesome adventure. Or is it?
We went out in some of Sydney’s finest traffic to find out.
After you go through the theatrical start sequence the next thing to do is put the car in the high-ride suspension mode, which raises the nose of the car by four centimetres to enable it to better cope with speedhumps, kerbs, gutters and the like. It's still extremely low, though.
Our local Lamborghini rep advised us to keep this engaged at all times around town, and warned that it deactivates at 70km/h and lowers the nose to vacuum cleaner level. That was a good tip – it wasn’t our desire to scrape the beautiful nose of this car on anything if it was at all avoidable.
We took all the speedhumps we encountered at well below the suggested signposted speed limit, even with the nose raised.
And when it comes to parking, you need to note that if you’re reversing you aren’t able to see very much.
Due to those enormous rear haunches and the slatted, louvre-style engine cover at the rear of the car its over-shoulder vision is deplorable, but thankfully there is a reverse-view camera and front and rear parking sensors … if you pay the $5700 option fee. Yep, $5700! Even then the quality of the display offered by the camera is grainy, and we’d still recommend taking a passenger along with you just so they can help you get out of parking spaces by stopping traffic. The car will do that, too, so don’t worry if you prefer to drive alone.
We also kept the Huracan in the Strada mode using the ANIMA switch on the steering wheel. That’s the most tame, urban-friendly setting, with a usable throttle response, smoother gearing, light-ish steering and the softest setting for the car's adaptive Magnetorhelogical suspension.
The urban ride quality is thoroughly impressive. The car’s suspension allows it to handle smaller imperfections on the road surface commendably despite the fact the Huracan's 20-inch rims have very low profile tyres (30 profile front and rear), but avoid hitting bigger or sharp-edged bumps, as they are still quite intrusive despite the overall comfort level being no worse than a hardcore hot-hatch.
The 20-inch rims have staggered width tyres, 245 aspect at the front and very broad 305 aspectat the rear, and it has all-wheel drive, so it’s no surprise the car feels plenty grippy and nicely manoeuvrable around town, even through tight roundabouts.
That said, the torsional stiffness of the car and the lack of suspension travel means that it will three-wheel if you tackle steep driveways. And we recommend always taking them at a fairly wide angle.
The biggest disappointment about driving around town in the Lamborghini Huracan is that you’re never exploring what the car can do. I mean, a 5.2-litre V10 engine with 449kW of power (or 610 horsepower, hence the LP 610-4 name) and 560Nm of torque hardly does its best work between 0km/h and 70km/h.
That’s not to say that it does a bad job. In fact, the engine is surprisingly amenable to low speed cruising, and a lot of that comes down to the excellent seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Sauntering along flat roads at 60km/h the Huracan will shuffle up to seventh cog and keep the revs down at about 1000rpm, while the ‘box is clever enough to sense small inclines and drop back a gear, too.
It also has engine stop-start to help cut fuel consumption (claimed at 12.5 litres per 100 kilometres), but it has to be one of the crudest applications of the technology to date – the engine fires to life with a pop and crackle, and you need to make sure you’ve got your foot firmly on the brake pedal as it can jerk the car forward, and it will also roll back upon re-starting, too.
As you’d expect of a Lambo, it gets better the faster you go – and not just because you get to enjoy that amazing engine soundtrack as the V10 screams towards 8500rpm. And it sounds even better in Sport mode, which opens up the exhaust a little more and offers bystanders an intoxicating tail-pipe crackle when you lift off the throttle.
As we’ve written in our previous track reviews, the grip on offer is phenomenal, the steering is quick and precise despite some slight understeer through tight corners, and the suspension manages to keep the body sitting extremely flat. The artistically-designed paddleshifters also come into their own out of town, as they allow you to take full control of unleashing the manic power on offer.
So, while this review was all about living with the car in the urban environment, if you owned a Huracan there’d be plenty of reasons to get out of town as often as possible.
And for all of its urban driving quirks, the Huracan is probably the first Lamborghini you could live with everyday. The Italian brand has honed this into something that is both mind-blowingly quick, but also amazingly amenable.
Photography and video by Mitchell Oke.