Here comes the story of the Huracan
Lamborghini’s first new V10 in 11 years takes the supercar to a new level
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Huracan is a fitting sequel to the Gallardo and makes new levels of supercar performance accessible to mere mortals.