Lamborghini Huracan review
The Lamborghini Huracan replaces the Gallardo, and rivals the Ferrari 488 and McLaren 650S
In global car manufacturing terms, Lamborghini is still a tiny company selling just a few thousand cars a year, but the £180,000 Huracan is expected to sell in bigger numbers than any model that’s gone before. Sitting below the V12 Aventador in the Lamborghini range, the Huracan must eclipse all previous sales records for the brand while also carrying the torch lit by classic Lamborghinis like the Miura, Countach, Diablo, Murcielago and Gallardo.
Powered by an evolution of the Gallardo’s 5.2-litre V10 with 602bhp and 560Nm of torque, the Huracan delivers ballistic acceleration, sublime styling and predictable handling thanks to a new rear-biased four-wheel-drive system.
There is some recogniseable Audi switchgear in the interior, but quality is right up there with anything Ferrari or McLaren can produce - and 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 available optionally with a variable ratio (making the rack quicker at lower speeds and less twitchy at higher speeds), while a lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre hybrid chassis make it incredibly nimble in corners, although it doesn’t deliver the same sideways thrills as a Ferrari 488 at the limit.
The Huracan isn’t one of Lamborghini’s most outlandish shapes, but it’s a beautiful piece of design nonetheless. The wedge-like profile picks up 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 them that’s runs throughout the car. The 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 of jutting chin spoiler.
Drop into the low, firm sports seats and the forward visibility is excellent, but you’ll need to order the optional transparent engine cover to see anything out the back. Most controls, including headlight and indicator switches have been moved to the sterring wheel, while a 12.3-inch TFT screen behind the wheel can be configured in a variety of ways to show your speed, revs, sat-nav and audio information.
Build quality sets new standard 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 – it's a similar story with the windscreen wipers.
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, there’s optional adaptive dampers 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 send up to 100 per cent to the rear if it senses slip at the front, and 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’s 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 has been ditched in favour of a lighting-fast and perfectly smooth seven-speed twin-clutch transmission.
The 5.2-litre V10 now produces 602bhp and 560Nm of torque – enough for 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and a 202mph top speed – and delivers face-distorting acceleration along with a deep, growling soundtrack to match. The steering is light and incredibly precise and the standard-fit 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.
On the road the Huracan makes much more sense though – 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 day to 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.
Although the Huracan’s 5.2-litre V10 has been thoroughly reworked, it has effectively already had ten years of service in the Gallardo. During that time there were no major reoccurring complaints from customers.
There are a few things to keep your eye our for though, such as overfilling it with oil, or using cheaper alternatives to the manufacturer’s recommended lubricants, both of which have been known to cause engine failure.
The electric architecture is taken from the VW Group parts bin and dressed with Lamborghini-specific graphics, which means it’s proven, robust and bang up to date. The build quality, too, is second to none so treated with care, the Huracan should age well on its way to becoming a classic. If you plan to drive your car hard or take your car on a track on a regular basis the tyres and brakes will inevitably suffer.
Clearly, the Huracan hasn’t been designed with practicality as a priority, but it’s not quite as hopeless as you might think. For starters, push a button in the passenger footwell and the front bonnet pops up to reveal a surprisingly generous storage area.
With 150 litres of space you won’t be fitting your golf clubs in there, but a couple of soft weekend bags will squeeze in without a problem. There’s also a further 60 to 70 litres of space behind the seats (depending on how far back you push them), while the floating centre console means there’s a useful cubby behind it that’s hidden from view.
Whereas an Aventador feels too large and loud around town, the Huracan’s good visibility, light steering and silky-smooth gearbox means it really could be used every day on the commute, while the all-weather grip offered by four-wheel drive and the ride comfort means long motorway journeys aren’t a chore either.
Finding the £180,720 asking price for the Huracan is just the first bill of many – this will not be a cheap car to run. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have fallen by 11 per cent, to 22.6mpg and 290g/km respectively, but with such immense performance at your disposal you can expect to achieve far less than that in the real world.
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 will run into the tens of thousands of pounds. However, nobody said owning a supercar would ever be cheap.