Here comes the story of the Hu­ra­can

Lam­borgh­ini’s first new V10 in 11 years takes the su­per­car to a new level

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - JOSHUA DOWLING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowling@news.com.au

THE Lam­borgh­ini Hu­ra­can is the gar­lic bread and herbed but­ter of the Ital­ian su­per­car maker’s line-up.

More than 14,000 ex­am­ples of the Gal­lardo pre­de­ces­sor were sold world­wide since 2003 and have pow­ered the com­pany from the brink of extinction to rude health.

Purists were wor­ried what might hap­pen to Lam­borgh­ini when the Audi lux­ury di­vi­sion of Ger­man gi­ant Volk­swa­gen took over the com­pany in 1999.

But his­tory will judge it as one of the most re­mark­able turn­arounds in su­per­car his­tory. Lam­borgh­ini sold 10,000 cars in its first 40 years and 20,000 in the past 11 years.

Much is rid­ing on the Hu­ra­can’s sharply creased flanks, but its rep­u­ta­tion pre­cedes it. It was un­veiled only months ago but there are 1500 or­ders glob­ally — or­der one to­day it’ll be de­liv­ered in 12 months. We jumped the queue to get be­hind the wheel in Spain be­fore it ar­rives in lo­cal show­rooms in Au­gust.

VALUE

The Hu­ra­can is cheaper than the Gal­lardo it re­places, at $465,000 drive-away in­clud­ing GST, Lux­ury Car Tax, stamp duty and on-road costs.

Stan­dard fare in­cludes Blue­tooth phone con­nec­tiv­ity, nav­i­ga­tion, elec­tric seats with heat­ing, a front sus­pen­sion lift kit (to raise the nose over drive­ways at the press of a but­ton), mag­net­i­cally con­trolled sus­pen­sion (op­tional in other mar­kets) and car­bon ce­ramic brakes. Con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence are front and rear park­ing sen­sors, or a rear cam­era, which are sold in a $5900 pack. Ouch.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The Hu­ra­can’s frame and body are mostly of alu­minium, but the spine in the mid­dle of the floor, and the fire­wall be­tween the rear-mounted en­gine and cock­pit, are made from high­strength car­bon-fi­bre, giv­ing a 10 per cent weight sav­ing.

How­ever, the over­all weight of the Hu­ra­can once it’s all bolted to­gether has in­creased by 12kg, from 1410kg “dry” for the Gal­lardo, to 1422kg “dry” for the Hu­ra­can; the driv­able weight — with oils, wa­ter and a tank of fuel — is 1532kg.

The net weight gain comes from the new seven-speed dual clutch gear­box and ex­tra in-car tech­nol­ogy. There are but­tons on the steer­ing wheel for blink­ers and wipers.

A 12.3-inch dig­i­tal screen — which looks like some­thing from a fighter plane — re­places ana­log di­als and can be set up in four dis­play modes.

A but­ton on the steer­ing wheel, with set­tings for “strada”, “sport” and “corsa” ad­justs the re­sponses of the steer­ing, throt­tle, gear­box, sus­pen­sion and sta­bil­ity con­trol.

Stop-start fuel sav­ing tech helps the en­gine meet Euro VI emis­sions stan­dards.

DE­SIGN

Sig­nif­i­cantly, Lam­borgh­ini de­signed the Hu­ra­can 100 per cent on a com­puter. The only phys­i­cal mod­els it made were just that: scaled-down to fit on a desk. The re­sult is no less im­pres­sive. Longer and wider than its pre­de­ces­sor — and with a big­ger foot­print — the Hu­ra­can has hints of the Mur­cielago V12 in its flanks.

The sharp lines and el­e­gant use of hexag­o­nal shapes leave you gaz­ing. “We love a hexagon,” says head of de­sign Filippo Perini, who is clearly prone to un­der­state­ment.

Al­most ev­ery time you look at the Hu­ra­can, you find a new an­gle or de­sign theme you’d not no­ticed be­fore. It may sound messy but it isn’t. It’s brave and it’s stun­ning., from the jagged vents across the back of the car (to cool the en­gine), to air­craft­style cabin con­trols in­side, and the jewel-like light de­tails.

The start but­ton flap in­spired by a mil­i­tary air­craft bomb trig­ger — that first ap­peared on the V12 Aven­ta­dor — has been re­fined for the Hu­ra­can. The re­verse lever is de­signed to look like the thrust ac­cel­er­a­tor of a plane.

SAFETY

There are two frontal airbags (one in the steer­ing wheel and the other in the dash­board) and two “cur­tain” airbags in the roof for side im­pact pro­tec­tion.

Su­per­cars like this would break the budget of in­de­pen­dent crash test au­thor­i­ties such as NCAP, so they don’t get tested and, there­fore, don’t have their re­sults made pub­lic. But they must demon­strate to govern­ment au­thor­i­ties that the cars pass min­i­mum safety stan­dards.

In­cred­i­bly, a rear view cam­era (neatly in­te­grated in the rear lower panel) and front and rear sen­sors are a $5900 op­tion on this $465,000 car. And we think Ford and Holden are tight for not fit­ting a cam­era as stan­dard across their range of fam­ily SUVs.

DRIV­ING

There are a few sa­cred cars you’re ap­par­ently not al­lowed to crit­i­cise, lest their own­ers pop a sprocket. The Ley­land P76 and Subaru WRX and pretty much any Fer­rari or Lam­borgh­ini are al­legedly off lim­its un­less you want see some­one hit the rev lim­iter.

So it is with great trep­i­da­tion that be­fore I tell you ev­ery­thing that’s awe­some about the new Hu­ra­can that I tell you what’s, er, im­per­fect with it.

As fan­ci­ful as it may seem to find a flaw in a $465,000 su­per­car, it is, af­ter all, a man­made ma­chine. And some­times men can be too clever.

For all the prom­ises made about the whiz-bang steer­ing (a $3700 op­tion which ad­justs ra­tios be­low 50km/h and above 100km/h), some­thing didn’t feel quite right on the Hu­ra­can.

We sam­pled three dif­fer­ent cars over nine laps of a wind­ing race­track, and then did a 60km road drive in an­other.

Hav­ing sam­pled the var­i­ous set­tings, as we were en­cour­aged to do, it was tricky to find one that didn’t want to un­der­steer, or run wide in cor­ners. It’s not as good as I re­mem­ber the Gal­lardo to be.

One car tested in the mid­dle of the three felt bet­ter than all the oth­ers. But I can’t for the life of me fig­ure out what was dif­fer­ent about it.

One pos­si­bil­ity: the tyres were shagged on some cars and less so on the “good” one.

So with the dis­claimer that we’ll re­serve fi­nal judg­ment on the steer­ing (which, for now, doesn’t feel as sharp or as in­tu­itive as the Fer­rari 458 Italia or Porsche 911 Turbo), let me deliver the good news.

The seven-speed dual clutch gear­box el­e­vates the Hu­ra­can to a new level of su­per­car, slash­ing half a sec­ond from the 0 to 100km/h time.

That’s not much when you’re test­ing a Toy­ota Corolla, but be­lieve me, rip­ping 0.5-sec­onds, from 3.7 to 3.2, is like be­ing strapped nose-first to a lowfly­ing mis­sile.

The other in­cred­i­ble thing that al­most de­fies be­lief is that the gearchanges are ab­so­lutely seam­less. You can hear them as the 5.2-litre V10 wails from gear to gear but there is no longer a thump be­tween ra­tios.

In an odd way, I kind of miss the Gal­lardo’s bru­tal gear changes, but I wouldn’t swap it for the Hu­ra­can’s per­for­mance. Or sound. It is truly epic.

The 5.2-litre V10 en­gine has been re­worked; it now gen­er­ates 449kW of power and 560Nm of torque, 90 per cent of which is avail­able from just above idle, at 1000rpm. Holy bleep!

As be­fore, the nor­mal mode for the all-wheel-drive sys­tem sends 30 per cent of the power to the front wheels and 70 per cent to the rear.

Should the need arise it can send up to 50 per cent of power to the front, and 100 per cent to the rear.

Best of all, though, you don’t have to think about. The new Hu­ra­can has more com­puter power than be­fore, con­stantly analysing the be­hav­iour of the car (and the driver) to make sure mere mor­tals get the best of their ma­chine.

It’s Pho­to­shop for driver abil­ity, ex­cept it’s fix­ing your faux-pas in­stantly.

VER­DICT

The Hu­ra­can is a fit­ting se­quel to the Gal­lardo and makes new lev­els of su­per­car per­for­mance ac­ces­si­ble to mere mor­tals.

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