The poor little turtle scuttling down the double yellow lines provides a perfect counter to the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo. The hare and the tortoise in real life – well, almost. I slow down and eventually come to a complete stop, worried a following car is going to hit the little guy.
I look over at my father in the passenger seat, as the traffic behind me starts to build and horns start blaring.
“He’ll probably spray on me, too, the little mongrel,” he says. My father’s back isn’t great thanks to some lingering health issues, but he unfolds himself out of the passenger seat, walks out to the middle of the road, grabs the turtle and carries it off to safety.
My hazard lights indicate something is up, and the first car that crawls past me slows as it comes alongside. “Well spotted mate. I assumed you were just another wanker in a car like this...” I might be a sucker when it comes to helpless animals, but a little bit of respect goes a long way. And we’ve just fired a shot for Lamborghini owners Australia-wide. Hopefully anyway.
Whenever I’m lucky enough to review a Lamborghini that passes through the CarAdvice garage, the first place I go is for a run to show my father. First of all, he’s Italian, secondly he loves Italian cars, but there’s more to it than that.
His association with the Raging Bull goes back a long way – to 1987, in fact – when he bought his first Lamborghini. That car, a Urraco P250, served as one of my earliest inductions into the world of exotic performance cars. Imagine what a redlining overhead-cam V8 sounded like to 11-year-old ears.
The smile on my father’s face as we roll onto a freeway on-ramp an hour or so later, paddle-shift back to second and nail the throttle pedal, tells me two things. One, the love affair remains strong, but two, Lamborghini – love it or not – continues to build cars that do exactly what fans want them to do. Well, it tells me a third, too, actually. The Huracan Evo is way too fast for Australian roads, that’s for sure.
There is no doubt that this is a very special car.
Later, a rumoured thunderstorm with potentially large hail has sent me scurrying for the nearest cover I can find. I stand, for quite some time, admiring the subtlety of the Evo’s lines, trying to work out whether I’d prefer a Performante or the Evo. Obviously, it would be a drool-worthy conundrum to face, but it’s not one I can easily answer.
I don’t always love cars covered in wings and addendum, but damn the Performante looks amazing. Still, the purity of the Evo is alluring in its own way. It’s a tough call, but with the Performante done and dusted in terms of new-car sales at least, this is the Huracan you’ll get.
And what a warrior it is, too…
Pricing starts at a tick over $459,000 before on-road costs, but with Performante levels of acceleration, is the Evo a bargain? I'll leave that to you to decide, but I can't find a reason that it isn't. The 5.2-litre V10 hammers out 470kW and 600Nm of ear-splitting thunder. At the upper reaches of the rev band, it's utterly addictive with the exhaust set to its most offensive position.
Peak power arrives at 8000rpm, as you'd expect with a free-revving, naturally aspirated engine. 0–100km/h takes just 2.9 seconds and 0–200km/h takes 9.0 seconds.
Open the door and it's immediately evident that the designers didn’t call it quits when the exterior was pencilled. The cabin is a beautiful execution of design quality and uniqueness.
There’s nothing like a Lamborghini cabin. The seats are comfortable and sporty, the driver display is focused and sharp, and the switchgear – once you get your head around what does what – is nicely laid out. Familiarise yourself with the nose-raise button – you’ll be using it a lot.
What will most surprise you for a car of this focused nature is how comfortable and user-friendly the cabin is. It’s not quite Porsche 911-practical, but it isn’t meant to be either.
Like its brother from another mother – the Audi R8 – there’s no reason you couldn’t use a Huracan every day if you wanted to. Lord knows if you owned one, you’d want to drive it I’d wager.
When Curt and I last sampled a variation of this V10 engine – in the R8 – we opined both on test and in writing that it is quite simply one of the best naturally aspirated engines of all time. V10s don’t always get the respect they deserve.
Stuck between the V8, which wins applause for its broad flexibility, and the V12, which gets almost mythical status, the V10 is often overlooked. It shouldn’t be, though, and this iteration is one screaming example of why it shouldn’t be.
The initial hole shot of acceleration gets your attention obviously – this is a stupendously fast car – but it’s the relentless hammer blow through the mid-range and the way it thunders to redline that most catches your attention.
Turbocharged engines are ballistic in their own way, of course, but the way this V10 takes a deep breath and unloads its torque through the mid-range is staggering. The soundtrack that accompanies the climb in revs is equally appealing. Quite simply, if you’re not pencilling track days into your calendar, you bought the wrong car.
The gear shift deserves praise, too. Whereas the Aventador’s more crude mechanical execution means you’re constantly turning round to make sure someone isn’t hitting you squarely between the shoulder blades with a hefty mallet, the Huracan Evo is all smoothness and precision at any speed.
The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is beautifully executed.
It’s fast, really fast in fact, when you properly put the hammer down, but the way it does both jobs so easily is up there with the best of them. I loved driving the Evo in traffic; it was so easy to operate. Gone are the ugly supercar compromises of old, in every sense.
You won't get to test the ultimate benefit of rear-wheel steering and torque vectoring on-road, which is why you'll need track days as part of your monthly drive rotation. Those changes have been made to better deliver the searing pace that the Evo is capable of, and if you speak to the Lamborghini test drivers, the changes have done just that.
I remember the Aventador S being transformed with rear-wheel steering on-track, and the same can be said of the Huracan Evo.
Lamborghinis, like all super sports cars in 2020, are easier to drive than they’ve ever been. Gone are the days of impossible entry and exit, zero visibility when reversing, and average visibility everywhere else.
The clutch pedal that required legs like Arnie’s is gone, and hair-trigger throttle pedals have also been sent packing for vastly more finesse and precision.
As such, you can drive the Huracan Evo like you would a modern family hatch should you wish – it really is that easy.
The theatre, though, the execution of the cabin, the way it booms into life when you hit the starter toggle, and of course the way it looks, always provide a sense of occasion, even if you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work. Few vehicles turn heads universally like a Bologna bullet – there’s no doubt about that.
Lamborghini fans, like Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche and perhaps even R8 buyers, couldn’t care less what road testers think about these cars. If you want a Huracan, you want a Huracan, it’s a pretty simple equation. And if you go into a Huracan purchase expecting the full Lamborghini experience, this car is an 11 out of 10.
The only reason it doesn’t score that highly in our ratings is that even Lamborghini would agree that it hasn’t yet built the perfect car. That quest continues.
This is the perfect car if you want a Lamborghini, though – there’s no doubt about that. And we should rejoice in the purity of a naturally aspirated engine of this nature moreover while it’s still out there. It won’t be that way for long.
On that, we can all agree.