Force of Nature

Lamborghni’s new Huracan supercar is out to blow you away...



$428,000 plus on-road costs
5.2-litre V8 petrol
449kW @ 8250rpm
560Nm @ 6500rpm
Seven-speed dual-clutch
3.2 seconds
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THERE are a lot of things you expect to happen when you drive a Lamborghini Huracán. It’s a supercar, after all, capable of 320km/h and travelling from 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.9 seconds. It starts at more than $428,000, and it has a 449kW 5.2-litre V10. You expect intimidation and excitement. What you don’t expect is that this car doesn’t kill bugs. Well, it’ll kill them on the front bumper, but the windscreen is so steeply raked that bugs miss the front glass entirely. We found it free of viscera even after several hours of high-speed driving.

The Huracán is an entirely new Lamborghini. But it is still very much a Lamborghini, which means it looks like a shark made out of polygons. The edges and points aren’t quite as sharp as those of this car’s big brother, the Aventador, nor does it have any active aerodynamics, so the latest Lambo appears understated. Of course, this is a relative comparison — we’re pretty sure Joseph Merrick’s sister didn’t get the bulk of the attention when she went out to dinner with her brother.

The Huracán’s body is made from aluminium and so is most of the underlying structure. Architecturally, the big leap forward is the use of carbonfibre in the rear bulkhead, centre tunnel, and portions of its B-pillars. The composite accounts for a 25kg weight reduction and is part of a 50 percent increase in rigidity compared with its predecessor, the Gallardo. The carbonfibre sections are glued, baked, and riveted into place before getting paint. Like the Gallardo, the Huracán’s structure is assembled in Neckarsulm, Germany. Bodies arrive at the Lamborghini factory fully painted and ready for final assembly.

Another part of the Huracán that arrives in Italy ready to go is the 5.2-litre V10 engine. Built in Györ, Hungary, the ten makes 50 more horsepower than did the Gallardo LP560-4’s V10. A new dual fuel-injection system and revised intake are largely responsible for the power increase. According to Lamborghini, the upgrades work to cut emissions, add power and improve fuel economy. The company claims an 11 percent improvement over the Gallardo’s consumption, but who cares? The main thing is that its engine remains as boisterous and rage-filled as ever.

Unfortunately, there’s no manual option with which to lash the V10. Too few Gallardos were sold with three pedals, so now the Huracán comes exclusively with a seven-speed dualclutch automatic. Paddle shifters allow the driver to select gears, or if left in automatic mode, the transmission will try its best to keep you in the right gear without slurping down too much premium.

Down on the steering wheel, at the sixo’clock position, is the so-called ANIMA switch to access a three-mode system that toggles between Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (race) and changes transmission, engine, four-wheel-drive, steering, and suspension settings. In Strada, the steering lightens significantly, the gearbox upshifts automatically for fuel economy, the available suspension dampers go to their softest setting, stability control intervenes early, and the engine’s exhaust flap stays closed until 4000rpm. Moving to Sport or Corsa enlivens the car by changing steering effort and response, opening the muffler valves to let the engine bellow, stiffening the shocks, and holding lower gears longer. In Sport, the engine will upshift on its own at redline, but Corsa asks you to command your own shifts or risk banging into the rev limiter.

Switched to the brilliantly named Thrust mode, the new dual-clutch transmission is capable of launch-control starts. Disengage stability control, switch the ANIMA control on the steering wheel to Corsa, hold the brake with your left foot, the accelerator with your right, and the revs will climb to 4500rpm. Lift off the brake, and the Huracán will thrust you hard into your seat. Upshifts are done automatically at the 8500rpm redline in Thrust mode, just in case you’re preoccupied with avoiding a random stray dog instead of thinking about pulling the right paddle. For a car with more than 600 horsepower, the Huracán does a fine job of convincing you that you won’t be dying today. Near its limit, the chassis lacks any sort of spooky backbiting, and the weight reduction allows for smart responses and quick recoveries.

The Huracán’s limits are extremely high, but when the car’s Lamborghini-spec Pirelli P Zeros finally relinquish their grip, they do so with plenty of warning. The chassis is playful to a point, but the Huracán puts stability and grip first. Still, if you really go in too fast, the standard carbon-ceramic brakes provide immediate stopping power. Pedal feel is hugely improved over the Gallardo’s grabby ceramic brakes. A new electric power-steering system provides good road feel and increases in effort to communicate the duress of the front tyres. Be sure to leave the chassis in Sport or Corsa mode, though, as the Strada setting’s lighter steering is also less communicative and lively.

Despite the raked glass and deep dash, visibility is good. But you sit closer to the front axel in a Ferrari 458 Italia and get a better view out front as well as a lower cowl. Where the Lambo clearly trumps the Ferrari, though, is in interior design, and the Huracán has a straightforward and logical instrument panel. Aside from the obviously modern electronics, the leather-wrapped interior is so simple that it’s retro. In fact, Lamborghini’s head of design, Filippo Perini, admits that was a goal and that the inspiration came from the Lamborghini Marzal, a concept car from the late ’60s. He had no answer, however, when we asked whether he designed the Huracán to be bug-resistant.