Lamborghini Huracan review
The Lamborghini Huracan replaces the Gallardo, and rivals the Ferrari 488 and McLaren 650S
The Huracan delivers ballistic acceleration, sublime styling and predictable handling thanks to a new rear-biased four-wheel-drive system.
There is some recognisable Audi switchgear in the interior, but quality is right up there with anything Ferrari or McLaren can produce. Plus, the V10 howl from the exhausts is as theatrical as it gets – especially considering the new Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 650S both use turbocharged engines that tend to muffle the exhaust note.
The steering is light but precise, and is available with an optional variable-ratio rack, which delivers quicker responses at lower speeds and makes for less twitchiness at high speeds.
A lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre hybrid chassis means the Huracan is incredibly nimble in corners, although it doesn’t deliver the same sideways thrills as a Ferrari 488 at the limit, in four-wheel-drive guise at least. We’re still waiting to see how the newly revealed LP580-2 ups the excitement levels with its rear-wheel-drive chassis – watch this space.
Lamborghini is one of the most evocative names in the automotive world, and the Huracan LP610-4 is the latest supercar tasked with cashing in on the legend.
As with all recent Lamborghinis, it’s named in celebration of a Spanish fighting bull, followed by its specific drivetrain configuration. Huracan was a fabled ‘Toro’ that met its sticky end in 1879, while LP stands for ‘Longitudinale Posteriore’ in reference to the north/south engine located behind the driver, 610 denotes the power (in PS) and 4 is the number of driven wheels.
Although the LP610-4 is the only Huracan currently available, an ‘entry-level’ LP580-2 model has since been revealed. It has a little less power, is rear-wheel drive and should reach UK showrooms imminently.
The LP610-4 is powered by an evolution of the Gallardo’s 5.2-litre V10, and comes as a Coupe or Spyder, priced at around £180,000 and £200,000 respectively. That puts it head-to-head with the new Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 650S.
The LP580-2 will only be available as a Coupe, and although prices have yet to be announced, we expect something in the region of £140,000-£150,000. This model will have the McLaren 570S and the Porsche 911 Turbo in its sights.
In that ‘downsized and turbocharged’ company, the Lamborghini is pretty unique for retaining its increasingly old-school normally aspirated V10 engine configuration – although it does share the layout with its VW Group sister car the Audi R8.
As with the old Lamborghini Gallardo and previous-generation Audi R8, the two cars are built and painted side-by-side at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant in Germany. The shared V10 engine comes from another Audi plant in Hungary, leaving the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata responsible only for the Huracan’s final assembly and trim.
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In global car manufacturing terms, Lamborghini is still a tiny player, selling just a few thousand models a year. However, the Huracan is expected to prove more popular than any Lambo that’s gone before – including the hugely successful Gallardo it has replaced.
Engines, performance and drive
Lamborghini has leveraged the might of the VW Group’s engineering department to pack the Huracan with the very latest technology. The new aluminium and carbon-fibre chassis is 10 per cent lighter but 50 per cent stiffer than the Gallardo’s, adaptive damping is available as an option and the electromechanical steering varies its ratio depending on your speed.
An electronically-controlled four-wheel-drive system sends 70 per cent of the power to the rear in normal operation, but can divert up to 100 per cent to the rear if it senses slip at the front. Plus, a mind-boggling LPI system uses a collection of gyroscopes and accelerometers placed at the centre of gravity to tell the steering, gearbox and chassis exactly what the car is up to and prime it accordingly.
Three increasingly aggressive driving modes are selectable via an ANIMA switch on the steering wheel and, perhaps most significantly, the old automated manual box has been ditched in favour of a lightning-fast and perfectly smooth seven-speed twin-clutch transmission.
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The steering is light and incredibly precise, while the standard carbon-ceramic brakes provide immense stopping power even after several flying laps on a track.
Push the Huracan to the limits of adhesion, and even in its most aggressive Corsa mode it tends to understeer rather than let the back step out for heroic smoky drifts. It just doesn't feel that adjustable on the limit – in this respect both the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 650S are better.
Still, on the road, the Huracan makes much more sense. With the gearbox in auto and the suspension in its softest setting, it’s more compliant than the Gallardo ever was, and easier to drive every day than any of its rivals. We'd avoid the optional LDS variable-ratio steering system, though; it adds a hint of unpredictability to the Huracan's handling. The standard steering feels cleaner and more precise in its responses.
The 5.2-litre Audi-sourced V10 in the LP610-4 now produces 602bhp and 560Nm of torque, and delivers incredible acceleration, along with a deep, growling soundtrack. It takes the Coupe from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and on to a 202mph top speed. The Spyder version completes the sprint in 3.4 seconds, and can ‘only’ manage 201mph.
The new rear-wheel-drive Huracan LP580-2 revealed at the LA Motor Show in November 2015 features a slightly detuned version of the same engine, making 572bhp and 540Nm. As a result, and with power only going to two wheels, it trails slightly on performance, according to the official figures: the LP580-2 is said to cover 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and has a quoted maximum speed of 199mph – although we’ve yet to drive it.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
Finding the £180,000-plus asking price is just the start for Huracan owners; as with any supercar, it won’t be cheap to run. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 11 per cent lower than the old Gallardo’s – the LP610-4 Coupe claims 22.6mpg and 290g/km – but with such immense performance at your disposal, you can expect to achieve far less than that in the real world. Specify the heavier Spyder model, and you officially lose nearly half a mile per gallon.
If you decide to save yourself £40,000-plus by holding on and buying the new rear-wheel-drive LP580-2 model, you’ll also benefit from slightly better fuel economy. The reduction in weight helps boost the official efficiency figure to 23.7mpg. CO2 is quoted at 278g/km, but again all figures should be taken with a large pinch of salt for real-life motoring. For the record, Lamborghini says the most efficient LP580-2 will do 16.4mpg around town and 31.7mpg on the ‘extra-urban’ test cycle.
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In case you have a very indulgent boss – or more likely own the company – business users choosing the Huracan will be looking at a 35 per cent Benefit in Kind charge based on the purchase price, which translates to monthly tax payments of a little over £2,100. After a year one road tax hit of £1,100, the annual VED charge will be £505.
It’s not just the day-to-day running costs that will look steep; wear and tear items are expensive, too. Carbon-ceramic brakes will wear at a slower rate than steel discs, but burn through a set of tyres and four new Pirelli P-Zeros will set you back well over £1,000, while major engine and transmission rebuilds outside of the warranty will run into tens of thousands of pounds. However, nobody said owning a supercar would ever be cheap.
Not surprisingly, the Lamborghini Huracan sits in insurance group 50 – the highest group possible – no matter which version you go for.
All supercars tend to enjoy a depreciation ‘honeymoon period’ when they’re brand new and in short supply, while rare and limited-production models can even increase in value over time. Sadly, in supercar terms the Huracan is a high-volume model, and as a result you can expect to lose a massive chunk of its purchase price over a three-year ownership period. Some predictions suggest a Huracan LP610-4 Spyder that costs over £200,000 to buy new is likely to lose a massive £110,000 over that period. The rear-wheel-drive LP580-2 is expected to perform a little better, depreciating by around £82,000.
Interior, design and technology
The Huracan isn’t one of Lamborghini’s most outlandish shapes, but it’s a beautiful piece of design nonetheless. The wedge-like profile continues where the Gallardo left off, while the front end gets an extra dose of aggression with a full-width lower grille and slim horizontal headlights.
At the rear, four exhausts at the outer edges emphasise the car’s width, while an intricate honeycomb grille mesh picks up on a hexagonal theme that runs throughout the car. The extrovert shape isn’t just for showing off, either; the Huracan produces 50 per cent more downforce than the Gallardo without resorting to using a big rear wing or jutting chin spoiler.
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Drop into the low, firm sports seats and there’s excellent forward visibility, but you’ll need to order the optional transparent engine cover to see anything out of the back. Most of the controls, including the headlight and indicator switches, have been moved to the steering wheel, while a 12.3-inch TFT screen behind the wheel can be configured in a variety of ways to show your speed and revs, as well as sat-nav and audio information.
Build quality sets new standards in the supercar class, while Lamborghini continues the aeronautical theme from the Aventador with a fighter jet-style flick-up cover for the ignition button.
It's not all good news, though; the indicators are controlled by a tiny switch on the steering wheel which is difficult to operate, and it's a similar story with the windscreen wipers.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
While the Huracan comes with an on-board audio system, Lamborghini doesn’t supply all the features you might expect as standard for the price.
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Equipment that’s included in a high-spec Ford family car costs extra in the Huracan – parking sensors, a reversing camera and sat-nav all have to specified from the options list. Even Bluetooth phone connectivity and DAB radio cost extra.
One fun option is the Lamborghini Track and Play app, which links to an on-board camera and turns your smartphone into a telemetry centre, so you can record and analyse your track day heroics.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
Clearly, the two-seat Huracan hasn’t been designed with practicality as a priority, but it’s not quite as hopeless in this respect as you might think. As well as a small ‘boot’ under the bonnet, it offers 60 to 70 litres of space behind the seats (depending on how far back you push them), while the floating centre console design has freed up a useful cubby behind that’s hidden from view.
There’s also a decent driving position – although taller owners may struggle for leg and headroom – and the seats are supportive, if sparsely padded.
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Whereas an Aventador feels too large and loud around town, the Huracan really could be used as an everyday commuter car, as it offers good visibility, light steering and a silky-smooth gearbox. Plus, the all-weather grip provided by the four-wheel-drive system and the decent ride comfort ensure long motorway journeys aren’t a chore.
It’s a large car by family hatchback standards, but when parked next to its Lamborghini Aventador sister model, the Huracan is relatively compact. It’s 4,459mm long, 1,924mm wide and 1,165mm tall; in comparison, the Aventador is longer and wider, at 4,835mm by 2,030mm, although it’s not as tall, at 1,136mm.
The Huracan’s chief rival is the Ferrari 488 GTB, which is also slightly larger, measuring 4,568mm tall, 1,952mm wide and 1,213mm tall.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
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The driving position is reasonable for averaged-sized individuals, and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach. But tall drivers will suffer from a shortage of leg and headroom, while the seat height – set at a level that allows decent forward visibility over the bonnet – means it’s quite hard to see upwards to traffic lights, for example, as the roof gets in the way. That said, there’s a full range of seat movement, and electric adjustment is an optional extra, too.
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With its engine where the boot ought to be, there’s not a great deal of space for luggage in a Huracan. But push a button in the passenger footwell, and the bonnet pops up at the front of the car to reveal a surprisingly generous storage area. It offers 150 litres of space, so you won’t be fitting your golf clubs in there, but a couple of soft weekend bags will squeeze in without a problem.
Reliability and Safety
Although the Huracan’s 5.2-litre V10 has been thoroughly reworked, it has effectively already had 10 years of service in the Gallardo. During that time, customers raised no major complaints.
There are a few things to keep your eye out for, though: overfilling with oil or using cheaper alternatives to the manufacturer’s recommended lubricants have both been known to cause engine failure.
The electric architecture is taken from the VW Group parts bin and dressed with Lamborghini branding, which means it’s proven, robust and bang up to date. The build quality, too, is second to none, so if treated with care, a Huracan should age well on its way to becoming a classic. But if you plan to drive your car hard or take it on frequent track days, the tyres and brakes will inevitably suffer.
Euro NCAP’s independent crash testing doesn’t extend to exotic models like the Lamborghini, so we have to rely on manufacturer information for insights into how such cars perform if the worst happens.
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There’s always an element of risk when getting behind the wheel of a supercar and driving it briskly. But the Huracan is arguably one of the safest and most accessible choices in its class, thanks to its combination of four-wheel-drive traction and its inclination to understeer rather than spin out of corners backwards.
The car’s construction is pretty cutting-edge, with an aluminium and carbon-fibre core that’s said to be 50 per cent stiffer than its predecessor the Gallardo.
As you’d expect, the Huracan comes with a full complement of airbags, plus stability and traction control. There’s nothing on offer in the way of more advanced driver aids like adaptive cruise control, lane assist or city brake assist, but perhaps that’s not wholly surprising in such a driver-focused car.
Lamborghini supplies its cars with one of the most generous warranties in the VW Group. Perhaps the brand has the biggest hill to climb in terms of reputation thanks to some horrendous tales about unreliability from its days before the Volkswagen takeover, but the four-year/unlimited-mileage package provides impressive peace of mind.
It’s recommended that the Lamborghini Huracan is serviced every 12 months or 9,000 miles. Main dealers such as H.R. Owen offer fixed prices for annual maintenance, and you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of £950 to £1,100 for a check.