Cars

IT HAS THE FIRE OF THE FA­MOUS FIGHT­ING BULL AF­TER WHICH IT’S NAMED, BUT THE LAM­BORGH­INI HU­RACÁN ALSO HAS THE EL­E­GANCE AND RE­FINE­MENT OF A SKILLED MATA­DOR, WRITES Nick Hall

Hong Kong Tatler - - Con­tents -

Lam­borgh­ini’s Hu­racán melds the fire of a bull with the el­e­gance of a mata­dor

The world is awash with su­per­cars. Mclaren, Porsche, even Audi can sup­ply a mis­sile that will out­run a plane and put your driv­ing li­cence at risk from a co­coon of ab­so­lute com­fort. And then there are the hy­per­cars, such as the La­fer­rari and Mclaren’s P1. Among this em­bar­rass­ment of riches, the Lam­borgh­ini Hu­racán holds its own. The big­ger and more ex­pen­sive Aven­ta­dor might grab the head­lines, but the Hu­racán, suc­ces­sor to the Ital­ian mar­que’s all-time best­seller, the Gal­lardo, is the car that car­ries the com­pany.

So what’s it like in the flesh? Sim­ply epic— ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect from an Ital­ian su­per­car with Ger­man par­ents (re­mem­ber, Audi took con­trol of the then-trou­bled com­pany in the late 1990s). Its an­gles and

lines are clearly an evo­lu­tion of the out­go­ing Gal­lardo. And the sig­na­ture hexag­o­nal de­sign cues that broke cover in the Aven­ta­dor are present in the front air in­takes and in­side on the vents and in­stru­ment clus­ter.

While the ex­te­rior main­tains the Gal­lardo con­nec­tion, the in­te­rior is a whole dif­fer­ent an­i­mal. As in the Aven­ta­dor, an LCD screen re­places tra­di­tional in­stru­ments, and the slop­ing cen­tre con­sole, com­plete with fighter jet-style cov­ered start but­ton, is el­e­gance per­son­i­fied. The “An­ima” switch on the steer­ing wheel—which swaps be­tween three driv­ing modes, laid-back Strada, mid­dle-ofthe-road Sport and full-fat Corsa—is the clos­est thing you’ll see to an ad­mis­sion that Fer­rari’s “Man­netino” switch is a good idea.

If we’re be­ing picky, there’s a touch too much plas­tic on show for a car that sells for around US$200,000, but the dash it­self is coated in per­fectly stitched leather and the Rag­ing Bull logo on the wheel is a con­stant re­minder of the pedi­gree.

The Hu­racán is a world away from the cur­va­ceous Mclaren 650S and Fer­rari 458 that are its most ob­vi­ous com­pe­ti­tion; it’s a more co­he­sive, more ut­terly con­vinc­ing, cooler pack­age. Fer­rari has got wrapped up in the highly prof­itable world of base­ball caps and theme parks, and Mclarens are built with a fo­cus on ice-cool de­tach­ment and math­e­mat­i­cal per­fec­tion.

At Lam­borgh­ini launches, staff walk round in Aber­crom­bie & Fitch-style team gear and the pres­i­dent hits the track for a few laps be­fore join­ing the mo­tor­ing me­dia for lunch. The Lam­borgh­i­nis so launched in years gone by were rebels de­fined as much by their im­per­fec­tions as their bru­tal speed. But the

THE HU­RACÁN IS SO COM­POSED, STA­BLE AND UT­TERLY UN­FLAP­PABLE THAT IT AL­MOST DOESN’T FEEL LIKE A LAM­BORGH­INI

Hu­racán is a more grownup propo­si­tion.

The new­comer, which had a de­vel­op­ment bud­get the Ital­ian mar­que could only have dreamed about in the past, shares a chas­sis with the Audi R8 that’s soon to make its de­but. The hy­brid alu­minium-car­bon fi­bre chas­sis has re­sulted in the Hu­racán be­ing 10 per cent lighter and 50 per cent stiffer than the Gal­lardo, mak­ing it even more com­pe­tent in cor­ners, although you’d need to be a qual­i­fied rac­ing driver to ap­pre­ci­ate the dif­fer­ence in han­dling.

You don’t need to be a rac­ing driver, how­ever, to feel the power. The 5.2-litre V10, also shared with the com­ing Audi R8, pumps out 602bhp, which is ridicu­lously mus­cu­lar for a base-level car. It’s enough to blast the Hu­racán to 100km/h in 3.2 sec­onds and all the way to 325km/h.

Break­ing with Lam­borgh­ini tra­di­tion, this car comes with a real dual-clutch au­to­matic, rather than the old robo­tised man­ual that the mar­que stood by for far too long. That means you can leave it in auto and mooch around town with none of the grind­ing and shakes that were an in­te­gral part of the old Lam­borgh­ini ex­pe­ri­ence. The Hu­racán is as smooth as silk, though thank­fully it still sounds more ag­gres­sive than a steroid-fu­elled prison riot with a heavy metal back­ing track.

It’s un­nerv­ingly good in cor­ners, thanks to the chas­sis and con­stantly evolv­ing four-wheel-drive sys­tem. It just sticks. You prac­ti­cally couldn’t slide it on a pub­lic road. And it feels like a rear-wheel-drive, thanks to 70 per cent of the power be­ing di­rected to the back wheels. That only changes when the com­put­ers sense the Pirelli P Zero Cor­sas may be about to lose grip and feed power to the front to head off dis­as­ter. You’d have to be driv­ing like a loon to get into trou­ble in

the first place, though. The brakes damp down ex­cess speed in a heart­beat and the su­perb mag­netic sus­pen­sion keeps the car sup­ple and level even when thrown into bends.

The Hu­racán is so com­posed, sta­ble and ut­terly un­flap­pable that it al­most doesn’t feel like a Lam­borgh­ini. Cars from this mar­que used to in­spire fear and re­spect in equal mea­sure, and it was their sheer fe­roc­ity tied to stun­ning good looks that made them fan­tasy ma­te­rial for petrol­heads the world over.

It might have a fierce moniker—the Hu­racán, like many of its sta­ble­mates, is named af­ter a fa­mous fight­ing bull—but it’s the least in­tim­i­dat­ing to wear the Lam­borgh­ini badge. Audi has tamed the rag­ing bull to the ex­tent that a gran could drive one, fast, with­out plant­ing it in a wall. The re­bel­lious teenager has grown into so­phis­ti­cated ma­tu­rity. Fer­rari, Mclaren and Porsche should all be very ner­vous, be­cause the Hu­racán is the best Lam­borgh­ini ever.

blurred lines The de­sign of the Hu­racán was in­spired by the dy­namic and pop­u­lar Gal­lardo

com­fort on the go The ve­hi­cle’s in­te­ri­ors are plush and hi- tech, from the LCD screen to the steer­ing wheel

twists and turns wind­ing roads a breeze

An in­no­va­tive four- wheel- drive sys­tem makes nav­i­gat­ing tight,

space age The car’s dash con­trols and en­gine call to mind a fighter jet or space­ship rather than a mere land- rov­ing ve­hi­cle

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