THERE IS SOMETHING SURREAL, DREAMLIKE EVEN, ABOUT DRIVING A SUPERCAR. They seem to skate at the edges of impossibility, so fast, like flying, such sounds, enveloping and glorious, and just so damned supernaturally capable.
And ignore for one moment that the Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 can hit 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, forget that it punches a howling 426kW to the tarmac through an astonishingly ‘stuck’ and flawlessly managed RWD system, and just look at the car.
Huge 20-inch wheels, skunk-rat low to the road; the smug menace of the Huracan’s jet-fighter lines cannot help but quicken the pulse. And that beautiful rear?
We drove it on Phillip Island, not a lot of laps and driving left-hook models that have undoubtedly seen some hard-working track kilometres elsewhere around the globe.
It may be the cheaper RWD version of the slightly more-powerful – and more expensive – AWD Huracan LP 610-4, but this car, brother, is one mighty righteous animal. And to drive it is to fly.
Vehicle Style: Supercar
Price: $378,900 (plus on-roads)
Engine/trans: 426kW/540Nm 5.2 litre V10 petrol | 7sp dual-clutch automatic, RWD
Fuel Economy claimed: 11.9 l/100km | tested: Not tested
Once past the slight contortion of slipping in below that low, raking roof and settling behind the wheel, you’ll find an interior that is surprisingly spacious and airy.
Understated it is not, but this is a real sports car interior of the super-premium kind. And everything drips quality, attention to the smallest detail and Swiss-watch craftsmanship. Of course, you would expect no less.
It’s wide, and split by an immense centre console (with a jet-fighter ‘doomsday button’ for a starter). The switch-gear has a machined look and feel, the flat-bottomed wheel is thick-rimmed and direct, and the race-style seats are thin but surprisingly comfortable, and unsurprisingly hip-hugging.
These are sports seats, the kind that hold you firmly when cornering at jet speeds or when hanging out the tail on the other side of the apex… because, yes, you can.
Look around, there are impeccable surfaces everywhere, impeccably trimmed and cosseting comfort, but served with a huge dollop of swashbuckling style and verve. Like the bright two-tone leathers matched to the exterior – bright orange, red, lime – your choice.
The paddles for the auto (only) seven-speed transmission – nice and large for when things get hectic – sit perfectly at the fingertips. Everything, in fact, from the clear easily-read instruments, to the ordered layout of the switchgear and dials for the audio, climate control and other mundane operations, is ergonomically ‘right’.
From the wheel, though seated low, visibility out is actually pretty good. There is no trouble getting a sense of the extremities of the car, which is important for a car designed to be “one you can easily live with, fun to drive”.
Not immediately apparent, until you stand beside it, is that there is a compactness to the Huracan that adds to a sense of ‘easy liveability’ uncommon in a supercar.
At 4459mm it’s around the same length as a Corolla, but considerably wider and lower (with a front bumper lift for accessing service stations and speed humps).
ON THE ROAD
- Engine: 5.2-litre V10
- Power/torque: 426kW @t 8000rpm / 540Nm @ 6500rpm
- Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch automatic, RWD
- Suspension: Aluminium double-wishbone suspension, steel springs and hydraulic dampers (optional electromagnetic damper control)
- Weight: 1389kg Brakes: Ventilated discs, 365mm front with 8-piston calipers, 356mm rear, 4-piston callipers
- Fuel consumption claimed: 11.9 l/100km | tested: not recorded
For the heading above, read ‘On The Track’. Because this, truly, is the Lamborghini Huracan’s natural environment.
As part of Lamborghini’s Esperienza program, we were let partially off the leash at Phillip Island in left-hand-drive versions.
Even a pace car dampening enthusiasm a couple of car-lengths ahead, failed to dampen the joy. To have the ears filled with the urgent rising wail of the V10 nestled two or three hand-spans from the nape of the neck, and surging through 7000rpm, 8000rpm, and beyond, is really something special.
That the rear-wheel-drive LP 580-2 version is missing a few kilowatts and Newton metres compared to the AWD LP 610-4 (the latter boasting 449kW and 560Nm), is simply academic. This thing is sinfully, deliciously fast, and nails the 0-100km/h dash in 3.4 seconds.
This is, academically, 0.2 of a second slower than the AWD 610-4; a margin surely undetectable from ‘the seat of the pants’.
But it does feel different. And that’s to do with the way the LP 580-2 puts power to the tarmac and the altered 40:60 rearward bias to the weight distribution (thanks to the deletion of the front-differential and drive-shafts).
Being rear-wheel-drive, the architecture at the front is lighter, is missing a heap of hardware, and sits on slightly softer springs but stiffer roll bars. And the feel at the wheel is noticeably different with a special low speed lightness and alertness.
It also has a ‘fun switch’. This car has been engineered for oversteer, for the kind of ‘power on’ heroics and rear-wheel slide that will have the High Prince of Lunacy, the barking mad Clarkson, in total foaming apoplexy when he gets his hands on it.
It is simply a matter of choosing ‘Sport’ from the three-mode switch on the wheel.
The first mode, Strada, is sensible, the mode you would use for everyday driving, with the ESC and traction control calibrated to keep things pointing in a straight line, and to thus avoid the unwelcome attention of Sergeant Killjoy and his unsmiling henchmen.
The second mode, Sport, is designed to hang the back out. After all, that’s what a powerful rear-drive car should do; it should be arse-happy. And it is, and fun it certainly is (although testing it out, and avoiding running up the exhaust of the pace car, had its moments).
This is aided of course by the LP 580-2’s instant, brutal throttle response and the astonishing torque of that monstrous V10.
It will muscle more than 75 percent of its 540Nm to the tarmac from just 1000rpm. Does it need a seven-speed box? You would hardly think so; we were taking Honda hairpin in third and still found ample to juggle the rear on exit.
The third mode, Corsa, is an all-out track mode. None of this sideways nonsense, it’s calibrated to spear though corners for the quickest lap times, sharpening throttle, transmission mapping, steering, yaw and traction control.
But in anyone’s hands, and in any of the three driving modes, the Huracan LP 580-2 is astonishingly fast. And brilliantly alive at the wheel.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Because it is wide, and has the underslung mouth of a shark, and sits on stupidly deliciously fat immense wheels, and has that howling 5.2 litres of sheer visceral joy nestled at the shoulders, few cars fill the senses like this Huracan LP 580-2.
And because it points so deftly and has the balance of a dancer under full-noise, it will find the keen driver in anyone. A supercar, certainly, and, getting back to where we started, with a kind of supernatural grip and agility on the racetrack.
It will top-out at 320km/h, but is as breathtakingly good looking as it is breathtaking. If you can rake the asking together, you will love this car. You will love driving it, and you will love just thinking about driving it.
Surely, who needs AWD when RWD can be this capable and this entertaining? (It’s just such a damn shame that cars like this are wasted on the rich… ah well, back to work.)
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