What It's Like To Drive A Lamborghini For The First Time | A Beginner's Review
It doesn't feel like you are driving a complicated car at all!
I had always wondered how's it like to drive a Lamborghini. They have always have had the biggest engines, loudest exhaust system and the most eccentric exterior design. Even though I have become more of a Ferrari fan these days, Lamborghinis have always been the definition of 'supercar' for me. They have been the most ideal bedroom poster cars for young automotive enthusiasts since the times of Miura.
Prior to driving the Huracan, I have had a fairly poor exposure to driving supercars. Until now, I had driven a Ferrari California and have been for an insane ride in a McLaren 675LT Spider. So as you can guess, driving a Huracan was going to be nerve cracking experience for me!
The Huracan has been out for now almost 3 years. Over the course of time, Lamborghini have introduced various versions of this car and you have read and seen reviews of all those cars; just like me. So instead of a review, I am going to share my experience of driving a Lamborghini for the first time. How does it feel to drive for a first timer? Is it as easy to drive as they say? How quick is the acceleration? How is the dual clutch transmission? I will try to shed some light on these topics.
But first, let's get over the statistics quickly. The Huracan LP610-4 has a 5.2 litre naturally aspirated V10 engine which generates 602hp at 8250 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. All of this power is split between the four wheels via a super quick seven speed dual clutch transmission. You really start to get a taste of this transmission once you make the switch from the Strada to Sport mode.
The big brakes do their job efficiently
Starting up the Huracan is nothing less than a buildup to a very intense drama which is actually a combination of anti-climactic and climactic set of events. It all begins with getting inside in the least glamorous fashion. The ingress involves swinging your body inside while holding the steering wheel with your right hand from the outside and at the same time hoping not to smash your head on the roof. If you make it past these complicated steps successfully, congratulations because now it's the turn of the climactic events.
The interior is well thought out and very driver focused. It scores maximum points in ergonomics as almost everything is within the driver's reach. Talking about seats, they are incredibly comfortable for a supercar. They don't wrap around you like the ones on the 675LT Spider but they manage to hold on to you for those moments of sudden bursts of acceleration or fast cornering. Unfortunately they have one negative side, which was the lack of sufficient lumbar support. I constantly kept on getting a feeling of floating around and that was a bit annoying.
The most surprising part for me was the visibility. For a person like me who is just over 1.70m tall, this seemed like the ideal car! It doesn't feel too low when you look out of the sloping windshield and the side mirrors are big enough to show what is going around you. The rear view mirror on the other hand is very supercar-ish. The visibility is just enough to let you know that someone might be behind your car.
The button at the bottom of the steering wheel holds the magic!
Moving on, once you have adjusted your seat and made yourself comfortable, it is time to bring that V10 behind you to life. The procedure of starting the Huracan makes you feel like you are in a fighter jet! Put your foot on the brake, lift up the unmistakable red toggle on the central console and press the Start/Stop button while the cliched Top Gun theme music is playing back in your head and you are ready for lift off! The V10 engine comes to life with a loud roar and suddenly you are reminded what you have got yourself into! All the creature comforts as well as the annoying bits start to take a back seat, as your mind becomes obsessed with wanting to step on that throttle and drive away!
It took me a fair amount of time to gather my composure. Once the engine was warm enough, I slowly and carefully started to head towards the main road. When I first took the Huracan out of the driveway, it was set in the Strada mode and I can assure you that it is a very disappointing mode. The gear shifts happen between 4000-5000 rpm, the traction is at its maximum and the exhaust note is loud but not as fun when it is switched to 'Sport' or the 'Corsa' mode.
Cumulatively, all of this takes away the fun when you are pushing pedal to the metal. To put it into simple words, it definitely does not act like a supercar and that makes your mind boggle! You suddenly remember and realize that Lamborghini were not joking when they introduced this car and marketed it for the people who were looking for their first supercar. It is so toned down in Strada mode that it could be used as a daily!
A very well thought out start/stop button
After getting disappointed with the early gear shifts, I decided to take the control in my hand. The settings are so annoying in Strada mode that the computer will try to interfere every time and you have to establish your control by downshifting or upshifiting and letting it know who is in charge right now.
It took me a few hundred metres to get used to the car's measures and the judgement about it's size. From the outside, it seems like a very wide car but you get the exact opposite feeling from the inside. It feels like a completely normal car and at home even when driven on small single lane B roads. After driving for a few minutes and still feeling disappointed with the Strada mode, I felt I was ready to make the switch to the more aggressive 'Sport' mode.
I have an almost negligible experience of noticing the changes in the driving modes on these kind of cars but switching to the Sport mode felt like a completely different ball game in the Huracan. I was told to be slightly more careful when switched to the Sport mode as the traction is comparatively low and the acceleration gets much more brutal. Ignoring these suggestions, I decided to floor the throttle at the next stretch of road. The throttle response is instant thanks to its naturally aspirated engine and four wheel drive sytem.
Lift off and take off!
If I can put those acceleration feelings into words, I can only say that it felt like the car was going to take off at one point and I was going to end up in the ditch. However, there was joy instead of fear and that was the scary part. You get a weird feeling of having wind below your feet which is trying to lift you up. That's what a G-force feels like if you have ever wondered. This feeling is addictive, you just don't feel like taking your foot of the throttle once it starts moving because you want more and more.
The numbers on the dashboard display move so quickly that it's almost impossible to keep one eye on the road and the other eye on tracking your speed. I think I read something like 200 before I took my foot off the throttle. Little did I know that I was in Sport mode and taking your foot off the throttle meant I was in for some entertaining Lamborghini exhaust system orchestra! The exhaust system starts making all kind of pops, bangs and crackles and the best part is; they are unending just like the big smile on your face. The procedure is simple; just accelerate slightly and take your foot off and you can have your own orchestra which plays a new tune every time.
For the rest of the drive, I just kept on playing with the exhaust system and forgot I should use the time to focus on exploiting the driving dynamics of the car. Within a few more minutes, it was time to hand over the car keys back to it's owner and say goodbye and go back to the economical Smart for Four rental.
You can get the same powertrain in the R8.
If I have to point out one wrong or negative side in order to not sound like a fanboy; it would be the downshifts. It felt like with every downshift, the engine was being put under unnecessary stress. I could be wrong and maybe that's how every supercar sounds like from inside or maybe this particular car needs attention. If it's a completely normal thing then it's going to take some time for me to realize it is a completely natural phenomenon.
To summarize the experience; the Huracan harnesses a Jekyll and Hyde personality. It can be used as a perfect city car as well as a proper supercar when driven in the right mode. Its acceleration and the glorious soundtrack from the naturally aspirated engine feels unrealistic at times. Plus you cannot avoid attention when you are in a Huracan! It will turn heads and you will get enthusiastic thumbs up from the crowd especially if you are driving around on the roads near the factory in Italy.