Lamborghini. Are they the shining star in our modern dull motoring world?
A company so well know for its bedroom wall posters has transformed itself in to an underdog story of speed, refinement and track monsters.
Whether you like Lamborghini or not, they have certainly been on a roll of exciting cars recently. In 2017 they launched the Huracán Performante, which with its revolutionary ALA (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva) active aero system helped it go around the Nürburgring in an amazing 6m52sec, 5 seconds faster than the legendary Porsche 918 Hypercar. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Lamborghini made it usable for the road, look like a proper Lambo and brilliant to drive. It won MotorTrend’s Best Drivers Car 2018 and the one and only Mr Jeremy Clarkson awarded it his Car of the Year for 2018, high praise indeed. In the same year they launched the Urus, and yes, too all who love cars it isn’t really what we want, but it can’t be argued that it hasn’t been the most important car for the company of the past twenty years. In 2018 61% of all Lamborghini sales were the Urus. Just like the Cayenne and the Macan have done for Porsche, it has boosted their profits and given them a greater opportunity to make what we all really want and love. Let’s also not forget that when it was launched, it was the fastest SUV of all time, and even now it only shares that with the Bentley Bentayga Speed and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Not bad for this fast-paced motoring world we live in.
Next up was the truly insane Avenatdor SVJ. A car launched in 2019 with the looks of nothing else on the road, the second Gen ALA and a new record to its name. Fastest road legal car around the Nürburgring. A scarcely believable 6 minutes, 44.97 seconds, two whole seconds faster than the original ‘widow maker’, the 911 GT2 RS (991.2). People could hardly believe that a company so well known for its looks, style, and not much else, could make a bedroom wall poster in to such a track day weapon, and with nothing but a whopping 770hp 6.5L naturally aspirated V12 and some fancy aero trickery. True old school beats the modern hybrid turbo era, and something just felt so inherently right about it.
And now, in 2020, they have launched the rear-drive only, Huracán STO or Super Trofeo Omologata if you prefer. A proper, serious, track-honed special that is rear wheel drive only. This should be something truly special. All the tech that Lamborghini have been developing in recent years has been thrown at this, Magneride suspension, Rear-wheel steering and Torque vectoring. Three new driving modes have also been added, STO, Trofeo and Pioggia. STO is standard road mode, Trofeo is race mode and Pioggia is for 'adverse weather conditions'. Three quarters of all its panels are carbon fibre, so even with all the extra tech the STO weighs 43kg less than a Performante all whilst producing 53% more downforce. To save weight they have also taken out the ALA system and replaced it with a huge manually adjustable double rear wing.
The windscreen is 20% lighter, and the front boot has been replaced with a huge single piece of carbon that includes the front bonnet, wings, and the bumper. They have rightly called this a ‘cofango’, a mix of bonnet (cofano) and bumper (parafango). Only the Italians could make something like that sound so profound and beautiful. However, there is reason to their madness as it is lighter and increases airflow to both the engine cooling and aero. A huge roof scoop is there to assist with cooling and a stunning fin, which they say helps the rear wing generate more downforce, but even if it didn’t it looks so good you just wouldn’t care. Much of this tech and engineering has come from Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo racing series, which is no bad thing as they have been achieving some very impressive results, including winning Daytona three on the trot. Power comes from the same 5.2-litre V10, 631bhp and 417lb ft to be exact. Unusually it is slightly down on the Performante due to being rear drive only, but weighing in at only 1,339kg, this really shouldn’t matter. The STO will cost around £260,000, around the same as a 488 Pista and some £75,000 less than the AMG GT Black Series. I think the car world will soon have a new Nürburgring king. Lamborghini have done it again.