Lamborghini builds a wowser
2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2.
2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2
Being a member of the old-school supercar club is not all it’s cracked up to be. They detest each other for a start. Given the chance, they’d happily spike the drink of the other guy. Inside the wood panelled library you will find grey Ron (McLaren), sulky Sergio (Ferrari) and austere Oliver (Porsche). All of them, scowling at one another. Around the back though, there is the Lamborghini boss; he’s a right old laugh. Fun, you see, has always been the Lamborghini way. Want scissors doors? Great idea. Kermit the Frog green paint? Yes, didn’t think of that.
So spare a thought for original Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (jargon-buster – LP for Longitudinal Posteriore or the way the engine is positioned, 610 denotes engine power and 4 denotes four-wheel-drive). No sooner was the car released to the press than they complained its handling was too safe and the existential Lamborghini insanity was missing. It also understeered too much on the track and oversteering slides were impossible to hold.
Some of which was partially true. However, if ever there was a more benign Lamborghini – the LP610-4 was probably it. Now it seems the people at Sant’Agata were listening. Just like that itch halfway up your back, it irritated the bejeesus out of them. Now you can buy a newly released rear wheel drive Huracán - the LP580-2. This, perhaps, is the Gallardo successor everyone really wanted in the first place. To separate the usual PR hype from the actual truth, I spent a full day in the new Huracán to find out.
Wow! Clasping eyes on the LP580-2 for the first time, it looked fabulous. In bright Rosso Mars Red and Black 20”Mimas rims it’s arguably the best colour combo for any Huracán. The other great thing about the Huracán is that it’s not supercar wide – at 1924mm its 25mm narrower than an Audi A8 so side streets can be negotiated without holding your breath and seeing stars. So what has Lamborghini engineered in and out to create this latest rear-wheel drive car? Essentially it’s missing a front differential and propshaft; it’s lighter by 33kg and the naturally aspirated 5.2 V10 engine’s (no turbos!) power is down to 572bhp with 540Nm torque from the brilliant double-clutch gearbox. 0-60mph takes 3.4sec against 3.2sec for the LP610-4. Flat out it’ll crack a you-tell me-officer 198mph. (290g/km CO2 if you’re interested).
Leaving North Acton on a Friday morning I drove down towards Surrey and the car immediately felt more lively and playful than the four-wheel-drive version. The steering response was sharper when entering and exiting roundabouts if way off Porsche 911 tactility. Lamborghini say they’ve softened the suspension by about ten percent at the front and a few degrees at the back to help provoke a rear-drive bias and it works. One other benefit of the softer dampers is that the car feels less brittle than the LP-610-4 which was something many original Huracán owners complained about. I searched for the right roads and found one that zig-zagged like a Snakes and Ladders board game. Pushing hard into corners the sharper steering turn-in was a big improvement – this is Huracán central shrugging off the cold composure of the four-wheel-drive car and bringing back big dollops of the Lamborghini charm that’s embedded in every Aventador. It’s like Father Damien exorcising the grey Ingolstadt demon from the belly of the Sant’Agata wild child.
As with the LP610-4 the seven-speed gearbox can be driven in auto or manual. The car’s settings can be chosen by the small ANIMA red lozenge button located on the bottom of the steering wheel. There are three settings. Sport (track), Corsa (really the best compromise) and (Strada – cruising with a quieter exhaust). And then there’s the utterly stonking V10 engine with, yes, we said it before, not a turbo in sight. You can keep your Ferrari or Porsche – the people at Lamborghini know full well that real supercars don’t need pesky turbos. Run the car hard up the gears and a shrill growl fills the cabin so hard that normal conversation is impossible. It’s incredibly addictive and leaves you shaking with adrenaline. We defy the most cynical cynic not to be giggling like a child after five minutes in this new car. On the right road this rear-wheel drive rocket is pure, unabashed joy.
My car was a left-hand drive version and if you’re an Audi driver many of the infotainment and climate controls would be immediately familiar. Intuitive and simple to navigate this is one of the easiest supercars to master from cold. I liked the generous room for six foot plus drivers with ample legroom, although rear three-quarter visibility is non-existent and changing lanes on the motorway is restricted to the door mirrors and guesswork.
Last year I drove the LP610-4 and came away a bit cold. This new car though is a real entertainer – smoother, sharper than the LP610-4 and more fun. It may be a pared back Huracán and subjectively beaten overall by the equivalent McLaren or Ferrari but supercars car out there with a bigger heart and personality – Lamborghini has, I think, nailed it. Driving along the A3 I reached the Hindhead Tunnel and dropped the car’s windows and blasted down three gears - for exactly 1.14 miles heaven was found screaming, wailing and crackling deep inside the tunnel. Price? At £155,400 (excl £3,000 delivery) this, at last, is the car we wanted all along. So let’s not underplay this for a moment - the Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 is one hell of a car.